Mid Wales

Newtown father jailed for breaking baby son's leg

A Powys father has been jailed for 18 months after breaking his 13-day-old son's leg.

The 22-year-old from the Newtown area denied grievous bodily harm, claiming he heard a clicking sound as he changed the baby's nappy.

But the man's trial at Mold Crown Court heard the fractured femur could not have occurred that way.

The judge said the man, who cannot be named, had been reckless rather than deliberate in inflicting the injury.

The father had claimed during his trial that he was holding the baby's legs in one hand, was cleaning him with the other, and feared that his leg might have been dislocated when the baby turned and twisted.

But the court heard that babies did not have the strength to do such a thing, and in any event the fracture to the leg was not the kind which would have occurred by twisting.

The judge, Recorder Phillip Davies, said that it was difficult to think of a more vulnerable child than a 13-day old baby.

"Significant force, outside the normal course of changing a baby's nappy, would have been required," he told the man.

"During the trial you sought to evade responsibility for that injury but you were convicted by the jury."

The court heard the baby's fracture healed and within a few weeks his leg seemed to be equal in length to the other.

'Reckless'

"Very fortunately no significant damage has been caused by your actions," added the judge.

Oliver King, defending, said it had not been a gratuitous act of violence or part of a pattern of abuse going on for many months.

The court heard that the man and his partner were separated, he had supervised contact with his children, and following a risk assessment there was no concern about the way he handled the baby now.

Mr King said: "He does accept some responsibility. He still denies intentionally breaking his son's leg but accepts that he was reckless."