Dad who crippled his baby son is spared from time behind bars

Derby Crown Court.
Derby Crown Court.

A frustrated dad broke the leg of his 11-week old baby son after losing his temper because the child “would not settle”.

Derby Crown Court heard on Thursday, July 26, how the baby was also found to have suffered a broken rib from an earlier incident at the hands of the father after the child was fully examined at hospital.

Judge Jonathan Bennett refused to lift reporting restrictions because he felt the baby’s identity should remain anonymous which indirectly allowed the defendant to remain anonymous despite his appalling crimes,

But the judge told the defendant, of Shirebrook, that people reading what happened would be “absolutely horrified by your actions”.

Judge Bennett said to him: “Anyone that did not know the background to this would be absolutely horrified by your actions.

“This is a defenceless, immobile, young baby. You appear to have lost your temper, your partner was only away for a couple of minutes.

“And in that short time you caused these injuries because you were frustrated.

“It is clear to me from your pre-sentence report that you are quite immature and selfish in your outlook.

“This is going to live with you for years to come and dramatically affect your relationship with your son.

“But you have no previous convictions and your best piece of mitigation is that you admitted this offence to the nurse, your partner and the police.”

Sarah Slater, prosecuting, said the broken leg was inflicted on November 26, last year, at the home of the baby’s father’s parents in Derbyshire.

She added: “The mother had left the boy alone with its father, this defendant, for just a couple of minutes and when she returned the baby was crying.

“She tried to calm him down but could not and so ultimately they ended up at accident and emergency in hospital.

“That is when it was discovered the upper thigh bone was broken.

“The defendant then admitted to a nurse and the mother of the baby he had squeezed the baby’s leg but did not realise his own strength.

“He said he squeezed it because he was frustrated the baby would not settle.”

Miss Slater said the baby remained in hospital for a number of weeks but has made a near-full recovery except for concerns that one leg might grow to be longer than the other.

While being treated, it was discovered that the child had previously suffered a broken rib which the father later admitted happened in a second squeezing incident before he broke his son’s leg.

The defendant, aged in his 20s, pleaded guilty to two counts of causing grievous bodily harm from between September, 2017, and November, 2017.

Judge Bennett sentenced the defendant to 19 months of custody suspended for 18 months with 100 hours of unpaid work and a curfew until December 20.

He also imposed a five-year restraining order .

Will Bennett, who represented the defendant, said his client owned-up straight away to his offending when his son was in hospital.

He said: “The defendant does not - as in so many other cases you might hear - try and shift the blame to other people.

“He knows that through his actions he has ruined his chance of a proper relationship with his son and that causes him an awful lot of distress.”

The court heard the defendant is no longer with the mother of the child and there are on-going family court proceedings.