Glasgow & West Scotland

Man who shook a baby and blamed his brain damage on a puppy is jailed

Paul Carlton Image copyright Spindrift
Image caption Paul Carlton was jailed for 12 years for attempting to murder the eight-week-old boy

A man who violently shook a baby, then tried to blame a puppy for the child's injuries, has been jailed for 12 years.

The High Court in Glasgow heard Paul Carlton left the eight-week-old boy with severe brain injuries.

Carlton, 25, was supposed to be looking after the baby in his flat in the city's Nitshill area.

Jurors found him guilty of attempting to murder the boy who now cannot crawl, walk or talk.

The judge Lord Burns told him: "These cases are always tragic. The boy has been rendered helpless by your actions.

"He was as vulnerable a child as could possibly be imagined. You have tried to deflect responsibility by various means but the jury found you guilty.

"He is now wholly dependent on his mother and others."

'Loud cry'

The court heard Carlton was looking after the boy on 9 August, 2017 while the baby's mother went for a beauty appointment and lunch with her sister.

The baby had been checked by a health visitor that morning and found to be fine.

After she left him in his care, shortly before 13:00, Carlton even sent the woman a video of her son waving and kicking his legs.

But by 14:29 he had dialled 999.

Carlton told jurors he had been briefly tidying his garden and had left he child on a baby swing in the flat.

He claimed the boy was alone, apart from his two dogs, when he heard a "loud cry" from inside.

Carlton described one of the pets - a cross breed American Bulldog-Staffordshire terrier puppy called Sapphire - as "boisterous".

He said he could "speculate" the dog seriously injured the baby as he did not.

'Shaking injury'

Carlton told the jury he realised something was wrong when he went back into the flat and the boy was not opening his eyes properly.

His grandparents visited and agreed the baby needed medical help.

The court heard the boy was found to have suffered massive brain damage.

Prof Robin Sellar, a neuroradiologist, was asked in court how the injuries could have occurred.

He told jurors: "In that time frame, something very dramatic has happened. The injuries are consistent with a shaking injury."

Carlton denied being responsible for what happened and then trying to cover it up.

He said: "I would never hurt any child."

Prosecutor Alan Cameron went on to point out the boy had no bite marks or cuts associated with a possible dog attack.

It emerged during the trial Carlton had previously been violent to the boy's mother.

This included headbutting her, causing her nose to bleed.

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