Parents let baby suffer for 15 hours
TWO parents who let their 12-day-old son suffer severe skull fractures for 15 hours, leaving him brain damaged, will be out of prison by next Christmas.
It is the second time the father, a disability support pensioner, has been convicted of being involved in a child being injured at home.
A year ago his 14-day-old daughter was left with rib fractures, pelvic inujries and abrasions to her face after he assaulted her. He was given a suspended sentence and probation.
In regards to the baby boys injuries, the mother, a child care worker at the time, did not tell doctors that her son had been dropped on his head, was not eating and behaving lethargic.
The incident has prompted questions about what the Department of Child Safety was doing to protect the child.
The baby boy was dropped on his head twice in two days in October 2014, the final drop leaving him with severe skull fractures.
The parents told no one about the head injuries until he was left limp and lifeless.
Doctors at a Gold Coast hospital found a fracture to his skull and still the pair did not speak up.
The boy was left with brain damage to half of his brain, suffers from moderately severe disabilities and requires a full-time teacher aid at school.
The husband and wife, who cannot be named in order to protect their children, pleaded guilty in the Southport District Court in September to one count each of cruelty to a child under 16.
The boy is now in the care of foster carers and the girl lives with her grandmother.
Judge Catherine Muir yesterday sentenced the man to three years prison, to be released on parole in December next year. The woman was sentenced to two years prison to be released in August next year.
"You covered up (the injuries to the boy) because you were fearful from intervention from the Department of Child Safety," Judge Muir said.
"This displays extreme selfishness on your behalf.
"To allow your child to deteriorate to the point of being lifeless and limp was reprehensible."
During the sentencing the pair remained dry eyed.
After it was declared they were going to prison and proceedings had finished both sobbed and clutched their mothers.
The great aunt of the boy criticised how the Department of Child Safety for not intervening or monitoring the situation after the father was accused of assaulting the boy's older sister as an infant.
"They have a lot to answer for," she said. "They never do anything with anyone until it's too late."
The man's barrister Janice Crawford said her client had since completed the Triple P parenting program.
She said the GP examined the baby but did not find anything wrong.
The woman's barrister David Funch, instructed by Howden Saggers Lawyers, said the woman had lost her career in child care and was now studying IT.