Suspended sentence for Louth man after injuries to daughter

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A Louth man who caused six fractures to his newborn baby while changing her clothes and nappies has been given a suspended jail sentence.

Lincoln Crown Court heard the seven-week-old baby girl was found to have fractures to an arm, knee and ankle and three broken ribs when taken to the casualty department at Louth Hospital by her parents.

The father, 25, who cannot be named to protect his daughter’s identity, admitted causing the injuries by “rough handling” on two separate occasions.

Cat Sjolin, prosecuting, said the child was found to have a broken right arm after being taken to hospital in August 2011. The father admitted he heard a “clicking sound” after struggling to put her arm in to a vest.

An X-ray showed the child had suffered a spiral fracture caused by a “violent twisting” action, the court was told.

A full skeletal examination showed the child also suffered three healing rib fractures from “excessive squeezing” and fractures to her right ankle and left knee caused when she was just two to four weeks old.

Miss Sjolin said it would been obvious when the injuries were caused that child had been hurt. “She was extremely vulnerable, she was extremely young,” she added.

The court heard a care plan was in place to keep the family together. Alison Summers, defending, said a jail sentence for the father would end the chance of keeping the family together.

Miss Summers said the father had behaved recklessly and did not realise his child was hurt until she suffered the injury to her arm. “At the time he was unskilled and pre-occupied by finding a regular job and permanent accommodation,” Miss Summers added.

The father admitted two charges of inflicting grievous bodily harm in August 2011.

He was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment suspended for two years, placed under the supervision of a probation officer for six months and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.

Judge James Samspon told the father he was being given a golden opportunity which he probably did not deserve. “The purpose of a sentence is to punish and to rehabilitate, and a balance has to be struck,” he said.