Father jailed for assaulting baby son

First published in News

A MAN who broke the arm and ribs of his young baby – the first injury occurring when the child was just two weeks old – has been jailed for 15 months.

The man, from Guisborough, east Cleveland, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was said to have abused the trust and power he had over the boy who was injured in three separate incidents over a period of several weeks.

Judge John Walford, sitting at Teesside Crown Court, said he would be failing in his public duty if he did not immediately jail the child’s father.

The man initially tried to cover up the cause of the child’s injuries which were spotted when a health visitor on a routine house call in September last year noticed his left shoulder had dropped and he was failing to use his left arm.

When quizzed by police and following doctors reports he later admitted yanking the child’s arm hard when attempting to put him into a baby-grow.

He also said he had squeezed him around the chest when he could not settle.

Doctors said the victim had been subjected to “excessive force” with the fractures said to have resulted from more than just rough handling.

Prosecutor Paul Lee said the man, who admitted three counts of inflicting grievous bodily harm, had failed to seek medical treatment for the boy, who was expected to make a full recovery.

Kate Dodds, mitigating, said his issue was controlling his temper.

She said: “That there was a level of frustration that led to these offences is difficult to argue.”

Ms Dodds described the father as being unable to cope with the demands on him and said he was trying to address his lack of control.

She said he had demonstrated remorse and was of previous good character.

Judge John Walford said it must have been immediately apparent to the defendant that he had caused serious injury.

He said: “Any parent knows how difficult it can be, how testing, how frustrating it can be to care for a baby who cries and cries and won’t be comforted or settled.

“It is incumbent on a parent to control their temper and emotions and be patient and not give way to frustrations.”

Judge Walford said the starting point for a jail sentence was two years, which he reduced to 15 months because of the father’s guilty pleas.

*The Northern Echo is unable to name the father in connection with the offences after the judge ruled a court order protecting the child’s identity should remain in place.

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