A man who shook his seven-week-old son so violently he was left permanently disabled has been jailed for six years.
The unnamed ‘inexperienced’ father appeared at Penrith District Court on Tuesday, alongside the child’s mother, when he was found guilty of the life-altering incident.
The then 27-year-old was caring for the infant in April 2018 while the boy’s mother slept in the couple’s Dundas home in Sydney’s north-west.
The baby boy started to twitch and smack his lips after a night of ‘uncontrollable crying’ before being taken to The Children’s Hospital at Westmead when his mother grew concerned, the court heard.
The then seven-week-old was found to have suffered extensive brain and spinal injuries, and doctors later stated he would likely suffer lifelong disabilities.
Police were alerted to the infant’s condition when he was admitted to hospital on April 17, 2018, with seizures.
The unnamed ‘inexperienced’ father appeared at Penrith District Court (pictured) on Tuesday, alongside the child’s mother, when he was found guilty of the life-altering incident
The child’s father was arrested while at work in Ryde on April 19, 2018.
He charged with reckless grievous bodily harm and not providing for a child, causing danger of serious injury, after being taken to a nearby police station.
Police alleged the baby suffered seizures for at least 24 hours before medical attention was sought, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
The father told a relative the child ‘slipped out of my hands’, but this was disputed by District Court Judge Ian Bourke SC.
Bourke said medical evidence showed the child suffered abusive head trauma while in the care of his father, and ‘can in no way be explained by actions such as picking him up too quickly’.
‘I do not believe (he) intended to deliberately harm (his baby), rather … (he was) an inexperienced father who was attempting to manage on his own with a child who would not settle and was crying uncontrollably,’ the judge said, according to the Daily Telegraph.
The child’s father was arrested while at work in Ryde (pictured) on August 23, 2018
He was charged with reckless grievous bodily harm and not providing for a child and causing danger of serious injury. Pictured: The child’s father being arrested
‘(The father) in his private thoughts genuinely knows that it was his actions … committed out of frustration … that led to these terrible consequences.’
Mr Bourke told the court the precise time of injury to the child remained undetermined.
The then 27-year-old father was convicted and sentenced to six years six months behind bars.
He has a non-parole period of three years, 10 months, and will be eligible for parole in July 2024.
The child’s then 27-year-old mother – who also appeared in court, cannot be named and was charged with neglect in June 2018 – was also convicted and sentenced to a two-year community correction order. Pictured: The mother being arrested
The child’s then 27-year-old mother – who also appeared in court, cannot be named and was charged with neglect in June 2018 – was also convicted and sentenced to a two-year community correction order.
This is despite the court hearing she would not have known her child had been shaken.
The court heard it was understandable the mother had not taken any initial action prior to taking the young child to the hospital.