Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Dad assaults 4-month-old daughter during her first overnight visit; dad was "estranged" from baby's mother (United Kingdom)

Notice that Daddy didn't just shake the baby. He fractured her skull, causing a brain injury and possible visual/developmental disabilities.

Not clarified here whether this "totally ill equipped" father had overnight visitation by court order or through the mother's discretion. But given that the couple is "estranged" it doesn't appear this was totally out of Mum's free will.

Dad is identified as NATHAN SMITH.


Wolverhampton father jailed for dropping baby

A short-fused father who "recklessly shook" his four-month-old daughter, fracturing her skull and causing a bleed on the brain, has been jailed for 18 months.

Nathan Smith injured the child, who is now likely to be short-sighted and face possible learning difficulties, on the first night he was left alone with her.

The 24 year old had a "short fuse" and was "totally ill equipped to deal with the pressures a baby brings", Wolverhampton Crown Court heard yesterday.

Mr Jonathon Barker, prosecuting, said Smith, from Russell Close, Ashmore Park, dropped the child on her head during feeding while "tired and frustrated" after a sleepless night. He then panicked when the baby appeared lifeless after the fall and shook her both up and down and from side to side for around 30 seconds in a bid to revive her.

The court heard how he lied to doctors treating the little girl in hospital, claiming she had banged her head on a car seat.

Smith also sent a text message to the baby's mother, from whom he is estranged, begging her to take over but she was unable to because she had no transport. The message, which was sent at 6.57am, read: "I can't take the baby no more. I am tired, man. She won't shut up."

Smith admitted causing grievous bodily harm to his daughter on August 15, 2012, and was sent to prison by Judge Robin Onions.

"He was totally ill equipped to deal with the pressures a baby brings," the judge said. "Having children is a great gift but can be demanding. It is clear that the child fell from your arms and struck her head because you were not holding her with sufficient care. She clearly hurt herself badly and, in your panic, you shook her in such a way as to create further injury.

"People cannot treat babies like this and expect not to be sent into custody."

Mr Jon Roe, defending, Smith was taken into care when he was one had lived at more than 100 different addresses during his childhood.

He added: "This was the result of reckless handling of the baby compounded by reckless shaking. He has tried and failed to come to terms with his actions.

"It was the first time the baby had stayed overnight with him. He was tired and having difficulties coping.

"He knows the importance of a father in a child's life and wants to re-establish himself with her although he realises this will be a slow laborious process."

Judge Onions said he was reducing the sentence because of the "unacceptable" delay in bringing the case to court and the part played in the defendant's loss of control by his difficult upbringing.