Tayside and Central Scotland

Aaron Brown found not guilty of breaking baby's leg

Aaron Brown Image copyright Tim Bugler
Image caption Aaron Brown had denied the charge that he broke the baby's leg

A man accused of wrenching a baby out of her cot so forcefully that her leg broke has been acquitted.

A sheriff directed that Aaron Brown be found not guilty of injuring the eight-month-old child by recklessness on the second day of a jury trial.

The baby was found with a full-thickness spiral fracture of the femur at a house where Mr Brown had been awake all night playing video games.

The 22-year-old, from Kippen, Stirling, had denied the charge.

During the trial jurors heard that the baby's mother, who along with the child cannot be identified, had put the baby down for a nap on the day of the alleged incident at about 09:00 or 10:00.

The 20-year-old mother said she also went for a nap, as she had been up all night playing on an Xbox with Mr Brown.

The court was told that between 13:00 and 14:00, she woke to hear the baby crying with what "sounded like discomfort". She went into the baby's room to find that Mr Brown had lifted her out of her cot and was holding her.

'No case'

She said the child had stopped crying by then, but when she went to feed and change her she started screaming when she was moved.

A hospital X-ray later found the child's left femur had been fractured.

A consultant paediatrician, Dr Ishaq Abu-Arafeh, said that to have broken the femur of a baby of that age would have required "significant force".

But Harry Couchlin, defending, submitted Mr Brown had no case to answer.

Mr Couchlin said: "His position is that he doesn't know how the child got hurt."

Sheriff Craig Caldwell upheld Mr Couchlin's submission and formally found Brown not guilty.

The court heard that the baby - described as otherwise healthy, clean, and well-nourished - spent a week with her leg in traction, and was in hospital for a further week after that.

She was then released into the care of her grandmother, and returned to her mother by social workers four weeks later.

Despite her injury, she recovered, and was walking by the time she was 11 months old.

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