Wednesday 21 March 2018

Mother (27) avoids prison for breaking baby daughter’s ribs, leg and arm

The mother was post-natally depressed and had asked for help.
The mother was post-natally depressed and had asked for help. Newsdesk Newsdesk

A 27-year-old mother who admitted assaulting her baby daughter by grabbing her forcefully from a buggy and squeezing her, breaking the baby’s ribs, leg and arm, has been given a one-year suspended jail sentence.

The young mother, who cannot be named to protect the identity of her child, was before Cork Circuit Criminal Court for sentencing yesterday.

The woman had previously pleaded guilty to the charge of assault causing harm to the child, the Irish Examiner reports.

The mother attended court with social services for what Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin had previously described as a highly complex and unusual case.

Social services became involved in the case, and the mother is now deemed as being of low risk of re-offending. She is no longer subject to supervision, the court heard.

The judge said yesterday the suspended sentence was given “in view of the level of supervision and the steps taken by the HSE and returning the child to her and the probation report saying she is a low risk of re-offending.”

Sergeant Miriam McGuire said the three-and-a-half month-old baby was admitted to hospital in May 2013 and later was treated for fractures to her ribs, femur, tibia and humerus.

The little girl had been grabbed forcefully from her stroller and squeezed, the court heard.

Following the incident the child lived for a period with her grandparents, Sgt McGuire said, but she has returned to live with her parents with a continuing involvement from health services.

Defence barrister, Sinead Behan said the mother had difficulty bonding with her baby and had felt the urge to press the baby before this assault occurred.

“It would have been documented that she said prior to this happening she had an urge to squeeze the baby. She had gone looking for help,” Ms Behan BL said.

“The child is now back fully in the care of [the defendant] and her partner,” she said.

 “It was a sad situation. She was post-natally depressed and unfortunately she caused the injuries to the child,” the barrister said.

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