Dad given suspended jail term for injuring baby while bottle feeding

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A father who injured his seven-week-old baby son by over-forceful bottle feeding has been given a suspended prison sentence.

The 23-year-old man, from a village near Mansfield, has also been ordered by a judge to do 180 hours’ unpaid work for the community.

A shiftworker, he called the ambulance service and the child was admitted to King’s Mill hospital with a deep cut under one eye, a bleeding nose and bruising to his inner lip, Nottingham Crown Court heard.

The child was kept in for three nights for tests and his injuries had healed well, said Dawn Pritchard, prosecuting.

At first the father said his son had possibly hit his head on a door but on the eve of his trial he pleaded guilty to assault causing actual bodily harm.

In mitigation, it was said he worked long hours and had been looking after the child while his partner was unwell. He had not coped very well.

He had immediately sought medical assistance and had not tried to hide the injuries.

Judge Nigel Godsmark said he treated it as recklessness, born out of frustration and tiredness. If he thought it was intentional the prison term would have been immediate.

The sentence was eight months suspended for two years, with automatic disqualification from working with children.