Man (26) jailed for shattering baby girl's skull
A young man who assaulted his girlfriend's infant daughter, fracturing her skull so badly that it shattered, was jailed for eight years for an attack a judge described as "chilling".
The 26-year-old - who cannot be named for legal reasons - was warned by Judge Seán O Donnabháin that he had shown "no insight and little remorse" for what the nine-month-old girl suffered.
"This was an enormous breach of trust. The evidence [about the injuries inflicted] was chilling. There is [also]the seriousness of an assault by a grown adult on a baby," he said.
Medical experts at Cork University Hospital (CUH) assessed the infant's injuries as life-threatening.
"The force [used] had to be massive. The skull was, in effect, shattered," the judge said.
The young man denied charges of assault causing serious harm on December 31, 2016, and wilful neglect of a child before Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
However, a jury of seven men and five women unanimously convicted him last November following a week-long trial.
During the trial, the infant's mother said she was shocked on returning home on December 31 to see her daughter's physical condition.
The woman had left her infant daughter asleep in a cot in the care of her boyfriend while she took her two-year-old daughter to the park. She had both children with a previous partner.
"Her head was deformed -on a huge scale. Her ear was nearly down by her jaw and you could see her blood vessels. She just seemed in shock. I screamed and I was crying, just like I am now," the mother said.
"He said: 'I was downstairs smoking a cigarette [at the front door]. I heard three bangs. She [the infant] was on the floor'."