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Mum tells of baby assault: "It sounded like a scream of pain"

A MOTHER has described the horror moment her baby son was assaulted in his crib by his father.

In the hearing of a Gladstone man, who cannot legally be named, a court was told the shocking details of an assault on a three-month-old baby.

The man, 28, pleaded not guilty in Gladstone Magistrates Court to one count of common assault but was found guilty of the charge.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Balan Selvadurai called upon the baby's mother, who also can't be named, to give evidence.

The court was told after the allegations the pair separated but at the time of the offending were living together.

The mother told the court the assault occurred on July 1.

She had woken from a nap on the couch in the lounge room about 5pm and her former partner was cradling the child.

The boy was put in his crib and around 5.30pm started crying, the mother told the court.

"I went and put the dummy in his mouth, 10 minutes passed, and I heard an almighty scream," she said.

"It sounded like a scream of pain. I ran into the room and he (the father) was in there, holding him."

She told the court when her partner put the dummy back in the child's mouth, he spat it out.

She said her partner then used an open hand to push down on the baby's face.

The mother told the court on a scale of 10 being the most force he could use, the push was between an 8-9 level of force.

She told the court he pushed down on the baby's face a second time with less force.

The mother described the fight between the pair after the assault to hold their son as like a "tug-of-war".

"I was terrified of what could have happened if I let him go."

In her statement to police the mother told officers he pushed so hard she thought he was going to snap the baby's neck, the court heard.

She told the court the child's father threatened to kill the baby if he didn't stop crying.

Her credibility and reliability was questioned by the father's defence barrister Scott Moon.

Mr Moon said the mother's evidence in court differed significantly to the statement she gave police; her initial claim being he only pushed the baby's face once.

He also questioned why she never called the ambulance or police after the incident and only went to the hospital at her mother's suggestion hours later.

Mr Moon said his client was innocent and the allegations made by the child's mother simply "didn't happen".

The court heard the father had no criminal history.

Magistrate Philippa Beckinsale said she believed "beyond reasonable doubt" the man assaulted the child and did not fault the mother's credibility or reliability.

Ms Beckinsale said it was understandable the mother's version of events to police and in the courtroom differed given she had not slept the night before making a statement.

Listening to the mother give evidence, Ms Beckinsale said it was clear the mother had faith in the man's abilities as a father before the offending and had not tried to paint him in a "negative light".

The court heard the man worked at Woolworths and since the allegations was only allowed supervised contact with his children.

The court was told the man had participated in counselling sessions and Ms Beckinsale said she would take that into consideration.

She said any punishment given by the court would not compare to the "severe punishment" he was already facing.

On finding the father guilty, Ms Beckinsale fined him $500 and did not record a conviction.



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