Father broke baby's arm by 'rough handling' while changing her vest
A MAN who caused six fractures to his newborn baby while changing her clothes and nappies has been given a suspended jail sentence.
The seven-week-old baby girl was found to have sustained fractures to an arm, knee and ankle and three broken ribs after being taken to the casualty department at Louth Hospital by her parents, Lincoln Crown Court heard.
The 25-year-old father, who lives in Louth but cannot be named to protect the identity of his daughter, 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 admitted to hospital in August 2011.
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The baby's father admitted he had heard a "clicking sound" after struggling to put her arm into 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 carried out a few days later showed the child had 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 told the court it would have been obvious to anybody present 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 now in place to keep the family together.
Alison Summers, mitigating, said any jail sentence for the father would destroy the possibility of keeping the family unit together.
The father had behaved recklessly, said Miss Summers, 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," she told the court.
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 him 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.