Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Jail for Edinburgh man who threw baby in air

Liam Simpson Image copyright CIARAN DONNELLY
Image caption Liam Simpson was seen throwing the baby in the air

A man who threw a two-month-old baby into the air on numerous occasions has been jailed for 13 months.

The child was found to have broken ribs and fractures to his leg after being taken to hospital.

A lawyer for the 22-year-old Liam Simpson, who has learning difficulties, said he did not appreciate the damage he was inflicting.

Simpson admitted culpable and reckless conduct and will be supervised for 12 months on release from prison.

He was arrested after the boy was taken to hospital feeling ill and X-rays showed the infant had a number of painful injuries.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard medics concluded that the damage sustained by the child could only have been caused by somebody throwing him in the air.

Defence advocate Bert Kerrigan QC urged Lord Woolman to deal with Simpson by sparing him prison and imposing a non-custodial sentence.

Calling it a "wholly exceptional case", Mr Kerrigan added: "His conduct did not result in visible injuries and I think it can properly said on his behalf that he did not appreciate the damage that was being caused to the child.

"He thought the child was being amused by what he was doing, little realising that he was causing the child injury."

'Difficult upbringing'

The court heard that Simpson had no previous convictions.

Ordering Simpson to be supervised by the authorities for 12 months following his release from custody, Lord Woolman said: "You handled him roughly and in consequence he suffered multiple rib fractures and a fracture of his left thigh."

Lord Woolman also said he took into account that Simpson had a difficult upbringing and had ADHD.

At earlier proceedings, prosecution lawyer Kath Harper told the court that witnesses were concerned by the way he threw the child into the air.

After the baby fell ill in March 2017, doctors concluded that the infant had been deliberately injured and contacted police who immediately launched an investigation.

Ms Harper said: "The fact that the baby had been thrown into the air and grabbed on the descent could explain the rib fractures.

"The fractures were caused by pressure or compression. Some of the fractures were positioned at the back where the baby would be held in such circumstances.

"Because of the number and age of the fractures the baby would have been thrown and caught on more than one occasion.

"The rib fractures would have caused the child pain and the child would not have been able to breathe normally while the fractures were healing."

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