Sunday, July 28, 2013

Drunk dad gets suspended sentence for swinging 4-week-old son, threatening to drop him (Dublin, Ireland)


Drunk dad threatened to drop his own baby

SONYA MCLEAN – 25 JULY 2013 02:30 PM

A FATHER has been given a five-year suspended sentence after he was caught drunkenly swinging his four-week-old baby boy.

A court heard that the man threatened to drop the infant if gardai came any closer to him.

Officers were concerned for the child, who was not crying or moving. The baby was later found to have some bruising, but was otherwise fully alert with normal vital signs.

The 30-year-old, who cannot be name to protect the child's identity, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to wilfully exposing a child in his care to injury by, while intoxicated, swinging the child around with its head unsupported on February 28, 2012.

He also admitted possession of a blade on the same occasion. He has three previous convictions, including a drug offence for which he was jailed.

Gda Ciaran O'Neill told prosecutor Garret Baker that the man told officers in interview that he "felt s***" about what had happened and said he would not have done it had it not been for the alcohol and prescription tablets he had taken.

He agreed with Ann Marie Lawlor, defending, that her client said he had the knife because his partner had previously been threatened.

He accepted that both the man and his partner believed this threat was credible, which was why he had removed the baby from the house.

Judge Patrick McCartan said at an initial sentence hearing that he had grave concerns about the case and adjourned it for updated HSE reports.


"While I accept the proposition of recklessness and disregard, the seriousness of the case was the fact that he removed an infant of that age from his home at midnight," the judge said.

He said also had concerns about the man's involvement in drugs.

"Having said that it's quite clear that he has made very significant efforts to put right the very grievous wrong he did."

Judge McCartan had adjourned sentencing previously pending an indication from the HSE that it was safe for the man to move back in with his family.

However he was told by Mr Baker yesterday that the HSE hasn't been able to provide this information.