Baby basher a 'vicious thug'

A GRANVILLE man who repeatedly punched a baby to stop it crying has been branded a "vicious thug" in court.

The 25-year-old, who cannot be identified, was yesterday sentenced to three years' jail for six counts of assault on the 21-month-old child.

On one occasion, the man had punched the baby's forehead with a closed fist up to 10 times "in quick succession and quite hard".

He had also smacked the boy's head with an open hand and blown marijuana smoke into his face.

The defendant was in a relationship with the mother, but the child was not his own.

The Hervey Bay District Court heard that the assaults took place in December last year in front of a number of witnesses, including the mother, who told police the child had fallen over in the bath.

When the baby was taken to hospital on December 18, doctors found extensive bruising on his face, head and mouth, two black eyes and bruises on both thighs.

His skull was thought to be fractured, but subsequent tests proved otherwise.

Crown prosecutor Ken Spinaze said the accused man had three previous offences of violence on his criminal history and had also threatened the mother when she questioned him on his discipline of the child.

He labelled him a "vicious thug" who used "gratuitous, torturous behaviour to torment the child".

Judge Hugh Botting classed the assaults as "truly horrendous" and said they would horrify most members of society.

"Children are entitled to be protected by those adults that have to deal with them," he said.

Defence barrister Rob Glenday said the man, who has already been in jail for nine months, had to be segregated at the prison after his case was reported in the media.

He was put in protective custody amid fears for his safety.

He is due to be released on parole in December, after serving one year behind bars.

The child has made a full recovery and is now in foster care.

The 20-year-old mother has been charged with neglect.


Baby's injuries

  • Significant contusions to face and head
  • Left side of face swollen and boggy
  • Yellow, red and purple bruising indicating multiple injuries
  • Small contusions around mouth
  • Bilateral black eyes
  • Bruises on both thighs

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