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Dad blamed baby's injury on plane trip

A MAN who claimed that climate change or a recent plane trip had caused injuries to his baby's brain was due to be sentenced today.

The 30-year-old man first told a hospital registrar that he had shaken the infant for up to 40 seconds to try to revive it after it had lost consciousness.

He later denied this account to Dr Owen Hensey, the consultant paediatrician at Temple Street Hospital. He told the doctor that the child had been very irritable earlier in the day and would not settle.

The Saudi national with an address in Dublin pleaded guilty to assault causing harm of his son by shaking him on August 4, 2011. He cannot be named to protect the identity of the child.

After presenting at the hospital, the three and half month old child was found to have bleeding on the brain consistent with non-accidental baby shaking.

A CT scan showed an older region of blood on the brain suggesting, an injury of up to 10 days old. The court heard that the man had turned up at the hospital with the baby 10 days earlier.



SHAKEN

The doctor asked the parents, a married couple from Saudi Arabia, if the child had been shaken but the father denied this.

Garda Detective Fergal Flynn told Tom O'Connell, prosecuting, that the accused, a dental technician, never provided a satisfactory explanation for the injuries to them or the HSE.

His suggested explanations included climate change, the recent plane trip from Saudi Arabia, an incident there and an incident with a pram.

The child and his mother have since returned to Saudi Arabia and the child has not exhibited any problems.

Defence counsel Bernard Condon said that the man and his wife are keen for their family to be reunited in Saudi Arabia.

He asked Judge Martin Nolan to consider allowing his client to undertake to leave the country within 24 hours.

Mr Condon said that a report from a fostering unit which kept the parents and the child under 24 hour observation described them both as "very loving and caring".

Judge Nolan said he would sentence the man today.

hnews@herald.ie


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