North East Wales

Father jailed for breaking baby son's ribs and arms

A father who "snapped" and shook his three-week-old baby son so hard he broke his ribs and arms has been jailed for eight years.

The 22-year-old, from Wrexham, denied wounding with intent, but was convicted by a jury at Mold Crown Court on Wednesday.

Judge David Hale said he accepted it was "a one-off" by a man of good character.

"On this night you snapped," the judge said.

The baby suffered two fractures to the ribs, one each side. One arm had two fractures and the other had one fracture.

Judge Hale acknowledged the defendant had looked after his son, and a daughter, previously without problem.

But on the night of the incident in July 2014, the baby would not settle and would not finish his bottle.

The judge said: "He was crying and you were very tired. You had hardly slept the day before. You snapped.

"You cannot snap with a baby. You can't do it - and you did."

'Twisting injuries'

"You caused fractures to this little child. Fortunately, there were no injuries to his brain and he has made a full recovery."

Judge Hale said the medical opinion was that he must have held the baby and shaken it - causing twisting injuries - but he did not shake the baby hard enough to cause brain injuries.

The defendant, who was separated from the child's mother, told his ex-partner he had fallen while holding the boy but had not injured him.

But it was only later when the mother was changing her son she noticed his arms were floppy and he began screaming in pain.

Duncan Bould, defending, said after the verdict: "There has to be an element of incompetence and inexperience here."

The defendant admitted a charge of child neglect for not reporting the injuries immediately.