Friday, July 23, 2010

Dad "smashes" 8-month-old daughter for crying; stopped mum from getting medical treatment (Maketu, New Zealand)

Dad BLAIR SELWYN is not really that unusual. Not only did he "smash" his 8-month-old daughter for crying (while Mum was out buying formula), he punched Mum in the head when she confronted him about the baby's injuries and threatened to "knock her out" if she left with the baby. Mum wasn't able to call the police or call for an ambulance till the next morning. A lot of "failure to protect" charges against mothers are actually cases just like this one. Not surprisingly, Daddy has a history of domestic violence and assaulting the mother.

Not that this latest incident will help Mum get free. Dad will be out of jail in just 2 years.

Check out the statistics on the increased number of SUBSTANTIATED abuse and neglect cases in this area of New Zealand. This upward statistical trend is apparent in many areas of the world, especially in countries where there have been rollbacks in the rights of domestic violence survivors, and an increased emphasis on fathers rights and mandatory joint custody.

This man broke his baby's arm
Sandra Conchie 23rd July 2010

A man who "smashed" his eight-month-old daughter because she wouldn't stop crying broke her arm and caused facial injuries.

The case comes as new figures released to the Bay of Plenty Times show there have been 677 cases of substantiated child abuse reported to Child Youth and Family between last June and April this year - compared with 422 for the previous financial year.

In Tauranga District Court yesterday, Blair Selwyn, 21, was sentenced to two years and three months in prison for the attack on the baby.

After bashing his daughter, the Maketu man refused to allow his partner, the baby's mother, to get her medical treatment.

He punched her in the head when she confronted him about the child's injuries, and repeatedly threatened to knock her out if she tried to leave with the baby.

Selwyn had earlier pleaded guilty to charges of maiming with intent to injure, injuring with intent to injure, assaulting a female, and wilful neglect of a child for failing to seek medical treatment.

The baby's mother was out buying formula when Selwyn bashed the child on November 30.

When the woman returned home, she found her daughter screaming in her bed at their Maketu home.

Selwyn confronted his partner about how long she was away, before saying: "She [the baby] has been crying and I've just smashed her."

It wasn't until Selwyn left for work the next morning that the mother was able to call police and an ambulance, and the baby was admitted to Tauranga Hospital. Selwyn admitted he struck the child three times.

One of those blows broke her arm, and the others caused bruising and purple marks on her face

Judge Peter Rollo told Selwyn: "Nothing can be said to excuse what you did, which was to deliberately assault a harmless 8-month-old child, your own child.

"What you should have been doing was comforting her, giving her cuddles, and offering her your love and security. That's what's expected from a parent, from a father, to help calm her [when she's] upset."

Judge Rollo said leaving the child without medical attention for more than 12 hours was a "serious aggravating factor", as was the fact Selwyn had previously assaulted his partner.

But the judge gave Selwyn credit for factors including his guilty pleas, remorse, willingness to participate in a restorative justice meeting and steps taken toward rehabilitation.

In the pre-sentence report, Selwyn said he was "ashamed" and had been "haunted by" what he had done, and wished it had never happened.

Selwyn's lawyer Glenn Dixon said his client deeply regretted his violent offending, and it appeared he might have "turned a corner".

Judge Rollo urged Selwyn to continue with "the positive steps you are making to turn your life around.


Substantiated cases of abuse and neglect in the Western Bay

2004: 169

2005: 298

2006: 462

2007: 498

2008: 381

2009: 422

2010: (as of April) 677

- Based on notifications to Child Youth and Family Tauranga. Figures are for financial years to the end of June.