Thursday, January 30, 2014

Dad on trial for causing "grievous harm" to 7-month-old son (United Kingdom)

Dad is identified as ANDREW RUTTER.

Great Lever dad shook baby 'until his brain bled'

6:00am Thursday 30th January 2014
The Bolton News
By Liam Thorp, Reporter

A FATHER shook his baby son so hard that the seven-month-old child suffered bleeding in his brain, a court heard.

Andrew Rutter is on trial at Bolton Crown Court accused of intentionally causing grievous bodily harm to his son, Jacob Rutter-Harper, and of wilfully neglecting him by not seeking medical help.

Rutter’s partner and the mother of the child, 22-year-old Samantha Harper, was earlier cleared of child neglect after the prosecution discontinued proceedings against her.

Rob Hall, prosecuting, said: “The count indicates that Rutter, with the intention of causing the child really serious harm, shook him in a manner that is beyond anything appropriate and then knowing what he had done, failed to do anything to assist the child in getting any sort of care.”

Yesterday the court heard that Rutter shook baby Jacob while he was looking after him in the family’s then home in Lever Edge Lane, Great Lever.

Jacob suffered a subdural haematoma — a serious brain condition where blood collects between the skull and the surface of the brain.

He was discharged from hospital on June 18, 2012, and is now living with Ms Harper’s parents. It is not believed he has suffered any long-term symptoms following his injuries.

Rutter's text messages read out in court:

•“He is doing my head in, he won’t stop screaming”

•“I can’t handle him”

•“If you keep being soft with him I’ll never have him again”

•“He can’t open his eyes, he’s gone all floppy”

•“He won’t wake up”

•“I’m getting worried now”

In his closing statement, Mr Hall told the jury of text messages sent from 28-year-old Rutter to Ms Harper on the day of the alleged offence.

He described them as the type of messages you might get from a parent who was “losing their self-control” and displaying “increasing anger”.

One of the messages, read out to the court, said: “He is doing my head in, he won’t stop screaming.”

Others said: “I can’t handle him” and “If you keep being soft with him I’ll never have him again”.

But then Rutter, of Old Clough Lane, Walkden sent a message, saying: “He can’t open his eyes, he’s gone all floppy,” “he won’t wake up” and “I’m getting worried now.”

After returning home, Miss Harper called the out-of-hours doctors service and it was suggested that she let the baby sleep but to call back with any concerns, the court was told.

The following day when Jacob’s health was still deteriorating, she took him to a walk-in centre where staff examined him and called an ambulance to take him to hospital.

Wayne Jackson, defending, claimed the medical experts were “at odds” when discussing the time frame when the injuries were incurred.

He added: “This leaves you with some medical uncertainty. Whilst I concede there was a shaking injury at some point, I say the evidence does not support any shaking on the Sunday in question.”

Mr Hall disagreed, stating that one of the medical experts was in “no doubt” that Jacob was injured while in the care of Andrew Rutter.

This morning, judge Timothy Clayson will finish his summing up before allowing the jury to retire and consider their verdict.