January 2012

Thug who inflicted 19 fractures on baby in two-week campaign of abuse is jailed for 13 years

A man who inflicted a series of agonising injuries on a baby in a ‘ghastly and terrifying’ campaign of abuse has been jailed for 13 years.

Stephen Gosling inflicted the horrific injuries over a two-week period by yanking at the youngster’s legs and squeezing the child so hard he broke its ribs.

When the mother took her child to hospital, the full extent of the abuse came to light.

The baby had fractures all over its body, including 12 to the front and back of several ribs, the right shoulder bone, left leg, right leg and left foot.

In all the child suffered 19 fractures.

Experts said the appalling injuries would have required substantial force to inflict and were of different ages, meaning they were not all inflicted at the same time.

Gosling had pleaded not guilty to a charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent but was convicted by a jury.

Speaking after a trial at Newcastle Crown Court the child’s mother branded him ‘an animal’.

She said: ‘My baby was only weeks old when he did this and it is disgraceful.

‘The baby suffered fractures all over the body. We are pleased he has been sent to jail for a long time.’

At Newcastle Crown Court, Judge Roger Thorn told Gosling: ‘This was terrible, ghastly and terrifying abuse.

‘The baby sustained multiple fractures on its body and limbs and even now you have not shown any remorse.

‘You simply cannot control your temper, and it is clear in the expert evidence that these fractures required a substantial use of force.’        gosling, 43, of Wallsend, North Tyneside, denied attacking the baby, but was convicted unanimously after a trial last month.

He has previous convictions for offences including wounding with intent and robbery.

Paul Cross, defending, said: ‘I do have to accept the victim was particularly vulnerable and there were repeated assaults on the same victim.

‘This defendant lost his self- control on more than one occasion, but the child is happily going to make a complete recovery from its injuries.’

After the case, Detective Constable Carol Dowson, of Northumbria Police’s protecting vulnerable persons unit, said: ‘These were serious injuries caused to a baby and we welcome the sentence passed by the judge.

‘We would like to thank the baby’s family for their help in this detailed and upsetting investigation and in helping to put Gosling before the courts.