Thursday, November 17, 2011
Dad gets 9 months in jail for fracturing skull of infant son for crying (Albury, Australia)
Usual story. UNNAMED DAD got frustrated with the crying baby, so he dropped him on his head. Now the baby appears to be blind, in addition to having other long-term medical problems. But Daddy got his jail sentence reduced anyway. At least Mum got custody back....
Dad’s sentence confirmed
18 Nov, 2011 01:00 AM
AN Albury father who dropped his baby son on his head causing long-term medical problems including a possible loss of sight yesterday had a two-year jail sentence confirmed.
But instead of serving 24 months in custody as imposed by magistrate Tony Murray, the father will serve nine months with a further 15 months on parole.
The sentence was varied on appeal by Judge Colin Charteris in the District Court at Albury.
Judge Charteris took into consideration that the father, who cannot be named for legal reasons, will serve his time in jail in protection due to the nature of his offending.
The infant was almost nine months old when on September 4 last year the father vented his frustration at being unable to stop the boy’s crying by dropping him causing a fractured skull.
The father rang 000 in a panic with the child semi-conscious on the floor, the boy was rushed to the Albury Base Hospital, then by air ambulance to the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne for surgery to alleviate pressure on his brain.
Initially the father claimed the child had fallen from a couch, but more than two weeks later admitted dropping his son from a height of one to 1.2 metres.
The father, now 25, was sentenced to two years, the jurisdictional limit for magistrates, on a charge of recklessly causing grievous bodily harm in July, but lodged a severity appeal and was released on bail.
“It is somewhat surprising that the matter was dealt with in the lower court,” Judge Charteris said.
The father faced a maximum sentence of 10 years if the case went to the District Court, but just two years maximum before a magistrate.
The father was withdrawing from depression medication when the child was dropped.
A paediatrician’s report tendered to Mr Murray said the boy now “behaves largely as a non-sighted child”.
“The visual loss is highly likely to be severe and permanent,” the report said.
Judge Charteris said the father took the regrettable step of dropping the child a considerable distance.
“The appellant was in a position of trust, very special trust,” Judge Charteris said.
“I accept that the offender is regretful.”
But Judge Charteris said the child has suffered what could only be described as catastrophic injuries.
The child has been returned to his mother, but the father is prevented from having contact with him for four years.