Dad jailed for fracturing two-week-old baby's legs, arm, rib

A YOUNG Ipswich mother woke early to find her two-week-old baby daughter's arm "really floppy and leg puffy" on a morning in June last year.

The baby was taken to hospital where it was confirmed she had suffered up to seven fractures to her tiny body, some doctors predicted could have been days old.

The girl's rib, arm and legs were broken in multiple places and forensic evidence showed they were most likely caused by an adult shaking or squeezing the baby excessively, bending or twisting the baby's limbs and impact forces caused from shaking the baby.

Her 22-year-old father was sentenced to jail in Ipswich District Court yesterday for causing the injuries to the baby.

He told police he "was changing her nappy and she wouldn't stop crying so I grabbed her leg and I twisted it" until he heard a "pop".

His "very delightful looking young curly headed girl" waited outside the court room as the man pleaded guilty to assault occasioning bodily harm and dangerous interference with the operation of a motor vehicle.

While the young family was driving home from visiting the baby during her week-long hospital admission, the man pulled the hand break on the car his partner was driving while they travelled at 100kmh.

The car crashed into a cement barrier and the couple were both injured.

"It was absolutely outrageously foolish but it wasn't a malicious act," defence lawyer Stephen Kissick said.

"An argument developed and it was always going to end in disaster, he was trying to slow the car down."

He said the baby did not suffer long term disability from her injuries and would grow up to have no memory of the injuries.

"The young child will grow up to be completely oblivious," Mr Kissick said.

A victim impact statement tendered to the court from the baby's grandparents called for "justice" for the baby.

"If she could speak I wonder if she would ask for her father to be sent to prison, I doubt it," Mr Kissick said.

Police and child services were informed and the baby was removed from the couple's care but later returned to the mother earlier this year.

The court heard the man told police he "done her leg in frustration".

"I grabbed her ankle and I twisted it until I heard it pop," he told police.

"Every time I see her I want to smack my head on the wall cause I feel bad for what I done to her."

Judge Greg Koppenol said the offending was "a serious breach of trust".

"It was a series of appalling, cowardly and inexcusable acts of violence towards your little baby daughter," Judge Koppenol said.

"It resulted in significant injuries to the poor little vulnerable defenceless baby because she wouldn't stop crying and you had difficulty putting her nappy on."

The man was sentenced to a head sentence of two and a half years imprisonment with parole after 10 months and disqualified from holding or obtaining a drivers licence for 12 months.



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