Northern Ireland

Man jailed for dropping baby who fell 23ft from window

man arriving at court Image copyright PAcemaker
Image caption Timuras Kozlov was babysitting the child

A man who dropped a baby out of a second-floor window, resulting in the child falling 23ft (7m) to the ground, has been sent to prison.

The six-month-old boy was seriously injured in the incident at his mother's home on 6 May last year but has since made a good recovery, medics said.

Timuras Kozlov, who was babysitting the child at the time, was drunk and claimed he accidently dropped the baby.

The 21-year-old, from Derrychara Drive, Enniskillen, was jailed for 15 months.

He was originally charged with attempted murder, but after a review of evidence, prosecutors later agreed to downgrade the case against him to a charge of grievous bodily harm (GBH).

Kozlov admitted the GBH offence, on the basis that his actions were down to recklessness, rather than a deliberate act.

However, Dungannon Crown Court heard that after picking the injured baby up from the ground, he failed to fully inform the child's mother about what had happened to her son.

'Fractured skull'

The court was told that Kozlov had been drinking alcohol with his cousin and the child's mother in her flat before the his companions went into a bedroom and he was left in charge of her baby and toddler.

He had no previous experience of looking after children and did not know what to do when the baby started to cry.

He claimed that he picked the infant and walked to the window, but the older child "distracted" him and the baby moved in his arms.

Kozlov contended in police interviews that he accidently lost his grip and the baby fell through the open window, tumbling to the ground.

Image caption Dungannon Crown Court heard Kozlov was drunk when the child fell from his arms

The defendant then ran down the stairs into the street to retrieve the child, who had sustained a fractured skull, and handed the baby back to his mother.

The judge was highly critical of Kozlov's conduct after incident, saying he left the scene without providing an explanation for the injury.

"The defendant found the baby lying on a grassy area. He noticed a large lump on his head which was blue in colour but failed to inform the baby's mother what had happened," the judge said.

"He left the flat, stopping to talk with friends, making no mention of the serious events which had taken place."

'Medics misled'

An ambulance was called and the baby was taken to the South West Acute Hospital, and then transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast.

The court heard hospital staff were then misled, having been told he fell from a cot, and the child was considered very seriously ill for a time.

A prosecution barrister said it was "miraculous" the baby did not sustain even more serious injuries than occurred.

However, she said a paediatric consultant had confirmed the child has recovered extremely well and there is no lasting damage.

The judge said he considered Kozlov's misinformation after the incident as an aggravating factor that "could have had a catastrophic impact on the baby's treatment".

Passing sentence, he added it was "patently obvious that to hold a baby by an open window whilst drunk, particularly at a high floor, could cause significant danger".

"This case is so serious only a custodial sentence will suffice."

On his release from prison, Kozlow will spend a further 15 months on supervised licence.

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