Young dad threw newborn into wall in series of assaults

A YOUNG father threw his weeks-old son against a wall in a sickening series of assaults a judge yesterday labelled "completely spineless".

The 23-year-old man was sent to prison for seven charges of assault against his baby boy when the child was only four to eight-weeks-old.

The Biloela man pleaded guilty in the Rockhampton District Court yesterday to the assault occasioning bodily harm charges and one of failing to provide medical care for his son.

The court heard one of the accounts the defendant told the police involved him throwing the baby into a pram from 30cm away when he was crying, then picked him up and shook him two or three times as he was still crying.

From there, the defendant threw the baby against a wall and describe the baby hitting it with a 'bang'. He then threw the baby against the couch and it 'bounced' off the couch and fell on the floor.

Crown prosecutor Tiffany Lawrence said the injuries - which include a haematoma to the femur along with fractures to the skull, femur, ulna and ribs - were caused by at least two assault occasions.

She said the advice of the medical experts was the 'throwing' account could not explain all of the baby's injuries.

Ms Lawrence said medical experts who examined the baby after he had been treated at Lady Cilento Hospital where he spent 14 weeks with his legs in traction in the air determined his injuries had been sustained over a period of two months.

The baby, at the time of the assaults, had been in the full-time care of his mother. His parent's relationship had broken down prior to his birth and his father would visit daily.

Ms Lawrence said the mother had noted the defendant struggle when the baby cried saying it caused him headaches and she had to intervene in her child's care by the father.

She said the defendant was left alone with the baby on two four-hour periods during a two-month timeframe the medical experts determined the injuries occurred.

Ms Lawrence said the mother had once noticed the baby look pale after being in his father's care and when she picked him up, felt "a bubble in his chest" and he was making a "popping or clicking sound" when crying.

The mother then discovered bruises on the baby's back, check and temple.

When she was later changing his nappy, she noticed his right leg was swollen. It was after this she took him to the hospital.

The court heard as a result of the man's continual denials to police, the baby's mother had her two children taken away by the Department of Child Safety.

Judge Burnett sentenced the man to a two-year-nine-month jail term, suspended after eight months and operational for four years.

"You can not be trusted to tend to any children," he said.


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