June 2016

Trucker attempted to murder 26-day-old baby


A truck driver left a three-week-old baby with permanent brain damage by shaking it violently, a court heard.

The child’s mother wept openly as a jury found Damien Menzies guilty of attempting to murder the infant, who was just 26-days-old at the time.

Members of the mum’s family, who filled the public benches at the High Court in Livingston, comforted each other as the majority verdict was read out.

Menzies showed no emotion or remorse as he was convicted for the attack, which has left the child unable to walk or talk.

Judge Lady Scott called for a background report and told Menzies she would sentence him at the High Court in Edinburgh on July 19.

She added: “You will appreciate in terms of the verdict of the court that this is a very serious matter. You will be remanded in custody.”

During the week-long trial, the jury heard that the baby had been well and feeding normally before it was taken to a dance show at Deans Community High School in Livingston on October 10, 2014.

The baby’s mum gave evidence that Menzies volunteered to take it to change its nappy. Less than 15 minutes later, he returned with the infant lying “blue” and “lifeless” in his arms.

She described the youngster as being so limp and floppy it seemed to have no bones.

She described the baby, now around 18 months old, as “still like a newborn with most things”.

Menzies, who was in the Armed Forces before he started driving articulated HGV lorries, had denied repeatedly shaking the baby to its severe injury, permanent impairment and danger of life.

His family live in Bathgate, but he has since moved to Kent.