Shaken baby suffered brain bleed

July 19, 2017 | By More

Name suppression has been granted to a father who admits hitting and shaking his infant son, causing a brain bleed.

The suppression will be considered again when the 28-year-old father-of-two is sentenced in the Christchurch District Court on October 4.

He pleaded guilty today to charges of assaulting the eight-month-old victim, and wounding him with reckless disregard for his safety.

Judge Paul Kellar remanded him on bail for sentencing and ordered a pre-sentence report that will consider his suitability for home detention. The judge also read him a first-strike warning on the wounding charge.

When he was arrested, the man told police he was frustrated, tired, and had no support when looking after both the children alone. He said he needed help to deal with his anger and how he reacted to the children when he could not settle them.

Bail conditions at present give him only supervised contact with his children.

The man was living with his partner and their two children aged two years and eight months, when the incidents happened in March. His partner often worked split shifts and the man would regularly look after the children alone.

On March 16, he assaulted the eight-month-old baby, causing bruising to his ears and face. He told his partner that he was playing with the boy on the floor when the dog pushed past causing the father and son to clash heads.

Two days later, he was caring for his son who was grizzling, crying, and unsettled in his cot.

The father left him, but when he did not settle, he returned to the room and struck him on both sides of the head.

The baby screamed and cried, after which the father lifted him out of the cot and shook him violently. He then threw him down into the cot “with a lot of force”, police said.

The baby immediately went quiet. The father left the room to calm down but returned when he realised the baby was quiet, and unresponsive. He took him outside hoping the fresh air would wake him but it didn’t so he phoned for an ambulance.

The baby was hospitalised with a subdural brain bleed, retinal haemorrhaging to both eyes, bruising to the face and both ears. He was placed in the hospital’s High Dependency Unit.

The brain bleeds and haemorrhaging are common in cases where babies are shaken, the police said.


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