Feet of new born baby under ultraviolet lamp in the incubator. iStock Image – Generic
Feet of new born baby under ultraviolet lamp in the incubator. iStock Image – Generic

Dad jailed for attack on 11-week-old baby

A YOUNG father has been sentenced after X-rays revealed he assaulted his newborn baby at least three times in her 11-week life.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and his partner took the newborn to the Mount Isa Hospital in 2018, thinking she had a cold.

But when doctors examined her further, they found she had severe pneumonia, pulmonary contusion and acute bronchitis.

The Townsville District Court heard doctors also performed an X-ray and found the baby had multiple rib fractures.

The 11-week-old was sent to Townsville University Hospital where doctors discovered she also had a fracture to the right tibia.

Doctors discovered the fractures were all of different ages.

The 24-year-old father pleaded guilty to three counts of assault occasioning bodily harm against the infant.

The baby's injuries were caused by the father squeezing her, and pulling her leg and twisting it with force on three separate occasions in 2018.

The father denied hurting his child in a police interview but said he may have handled her roughly due to fatigue and frustration.

Defence barrister Frank Richards said his client's offending was not intentional.

"My submission doesn't demonstrate a pattern of unrestrained violence but rather instances where a young father has struggled with the duties of looking after his young children," he said.

But Judge John Coker said the offending was inexcusable and "frustration or tiredness in no way provides an excuse".

"The injuries are serious and it is fortunate what appears to be the case is that they are not irredeemable and the child is no doubt on the road to full recovery."

Judge Coker sentenced the father to two and a half years jail, to be released on parole on May 31, 2020.

Originally published as Dad jailed for attack on 11-week-old baby