Baby boy left with fractured ribs and bruised face after 'lack of sleep' assault by parent

Baby boy assaulted in East Cambs

Two parents, in their 20s from East Cambridgeshire but cannot be named, appeared at Cambridge Crown Court after their five-month-old baby boy was assaulted. - Credit: Archant

A five-month-old boy was left with bruising to his face, an eye haemorrhage and fractured ribs after being assaulted by a parent who denied any wrongdoing and instead claimed the injuries were self-inflicted.

The parents, in their 20s and from East Cambridgeshire but cannot be named, attended a routine appointment to check the baby’s weight and general health in November 2018. 

After concerns were raised about bruising to the child’s face and a bloodshot eye by a health worker, the parents suggested this was because he had scratched his eye as a result of moving around his cot. 

Additional assessments were made at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge and both parents were later arrested as the child was taken into social care.

In interview, the parents denied any wrongdoing and said the child’s injuries were self-inflicted. 


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However, information downloaded from their mobile phones revealed messages from the mother, detailing her frustrations over a lack of sleep and the number of times the child cried.  

One message stated she would “smash his head against the side of a cot” if things didn’t improve. 

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Medical experts concluded that the injuries were not self-inflicted and there were no evidence of bone weakness and the fractures would have required significant force to occur. 

Today (Thursday) at Cambridge Crown Court, the mother was sentenced to 18 months in prison, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to complete 25 days of rehabilitation activity requirement. 

The father was handed a 12-month community order and ordered to complete 20 days rehabilitation activity requirement.

Both parents were charged and later admitted assaulting or ill-treating a child to cause unnecessary suffering or injury. 

The child remains in the care of extended family by court order. 

Detective Sergeant Tom Rogers said: “Sleep deprivation and increased stress are common factors when parenting, but to let those frustrations turn into physical abuse is unforgivable. 

Anyone who is concerned for the welfare of a child can report this by calling 101 or visiting https://www.cambs.police.uk/

For more information on child protection, visit: https://www.cambs.police.uk/information-and-services/Child-protection/Child-protection

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