A Luton man who viciously attacked a seven-week-old baby – leaving him with permanent brain damage – was jailed for three years today.
Daniel Gilbert, 22, of Morris Close, was convicted of the attack after a three week trial last month, which left the baby in cardiac arrest and bleeding from the nose and mouth.
The court heard how the baby was in the care of Gilbert on the evening of August 9, 2017, when the baby became floppy, started bleeding from the nose and mouth and went into cardiac arrest.
Emergency services were called to reports of an unresponsive baby and paramedics were able to resuscitate him before he was taken to Luton and Dunstable Hospital.
Scans revealed that he had suffered a bleed to the brain, which included damage to the cardiac control centres in the brain stem, and caused his heart to stop working.
He was also suffering from bleeding to the retina of both his eyes and was transferred to Great Ormond Street Hospital in London for specialist intensive care.
During the trial, evidence emerged that Gilbert’s accounts of what had happened that night were inconsistent.
Medical experts ruled out that the baby’s injuries could have been caused naturally and concluded that he had been forcefully shaken.
Gilbert was subsequently arrested and charged with Section 20 Grievous Bodily Harm.
The baby will need round-the-clock care for the rest of his life.
DI Justine Jenkins, from the Beds, Cambs and Herts major crime unit, said: “This was not a gentle shake, but a forcible, severe shake, causing the child to suffer permanent brain damage and partial vision.
“The quality and length of [the baby’s] life is likely to be very limited, and it is extremely unlikely that he will ever be able to walk or feed himself without the use of a tube.
“The fact that Gilbert was inconsistent in his accounts of what had happened that night proves that he wasn’t telling the complete truth, and his defensive nature rightly rang alarm bells.
“Gilbert’s actions left this poor defenceless baby with such appalling injuries, which have changed his life forever. I am pleased that he has received a custodial sentence for this.”
An NSPCC spokesperson for the East of England said: “Gilbert’s actions were beyond sickening with his abuse permanently damaging the health of a completely innocent baby boy.
“Babies and young children are completely at the mercy of those looking after them which is why we all need to look out for signs of neglect or abuse.
“If you are concerned that a child is being abused the NSPCC Helpline is available for advice on 0808 800 5000.”