Thursday, February 14, 2013

Dad admits assault on 2-month-old son (Melbourne, Australia)

UNNAMED DAD. Could this be a single father? No mention of a mother in the home.

Dad admits shaking two-month-old baby

Date February 13, 2013

A Melbourne father has admitted injuring his two-month-old baby by shaking him, in a case a magistrate says is too serious for her to decide.

The man was 18 years old when he shook his baby son on three separate occasions in 2011.

One of the shaking episodes left the child requiring emergency surgery.

Both the prosecution and the father's lawyer urged Magistrate Amanda Chambers to decide the matter, saying she could hear it because the appropriate penalty was the 31 days he had already served, and a community corrections order.

But Ms Chambers refused, saying the matter was serious and should be heard by a Victorian County Court judge.

"In my view, the overwhelming seriousness of the offence makes it inappropriate (for the) matter to be heard in this court," she said.

"Parents, even those very young, have a core parental obligation – that is to do no harm to their children."

Ms Chambers said in her time on the bench, she had never decided a baby-shaking case.

A summary of the offence was not read out, but the court heard some details, including that the father shook the baby three times in August and September 2011.

In September 2011, the father injured the baby when he shook him, the court heard.

The baby required surgery. While he appears fine so far, the extent of the damage will not be known until he is older and it can be seen if he achieves developmental milestones, prosecutor Peter Rose, SC, told the court.

The father pleaded guilty to negligently causing serious injury, and to two counts of reckless conduct endangering serious injury.

His lawyer Peta Murphy said it was always a serious matter when a baby was involved.

She said when the father shook the baby, he was a struggling young parent who did not intend to harm the child.

Ms Murphy said the father had been referred to a psychologist to examine if he had an acquired brain injury.

Ms Chambers continued the father's bail and ordered him to face a pre-sentence hearing in the County Court on April 26.