Man from Letchworth jailed for breaking his baby son's bones

A FATHER who admitted handling his baby son roughly while changing him broke three of the child s bones, a court heard. The 24-year-old man from Letchworth GC was jailed for a year after pleading guilty to three charges of cruelty. Judge Andrew Bright QC

A FATHER who admitted handling his baby son roughly while changing him broke three of the child's bones, a court heard.

The 24-year-old man from Letchworth GC was jailed for a year after pleading guilty to three charges of cruelty.

Judge Andrew Bright QC told him at Luton Crown Court: "To say you did not have much experience with babies does not carry much weight with me.

"Anyone knows, just by looking at a baby, how delicate, how vulnerable and how easily harmed they can be.


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"Gripping and twisting him in such a way to cause these injuries is utterly appalling and no right thinking member of the public would thank me for doing anything other than passing an immediate custodial sentence."

Prosecutor Catherine Purnell said the nine-week-old boy was taken to Lister Hospital on Christmas Eve 2007 and an X-ray revealed a fracture to his elbow.

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Further examination revealed a fracture to both thigh bones, one of which was four to five weeks old.

The prosecutor said the baby had been seen by a GP and practice nurse on December 17 for a persistent cold, and no outward sign of injuries were visible.

Dee Connolly, defending, said the father had never intended to cause harm. "He has admitted causing the injuries while roughly handling him while changing him and he did not foresee what could happen.

"He was under a great deal of stress at the time. His marriage has now broken down. I urge you to pass the shortest possible custodial sentence. He is terrified of going to prison."

She said he had a supportive network of family and friends who had written glowing references to the court.

The judge said he accepted the father did not intend to cause the injuries, which did not need medical treatment and have not resulted in permanent injury. He said he was also impressed that he had voluntarily sought help for controlling his temper.

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