September 2017

Father who vigorously shook baby causing serious brain injuries has avoided prison sentence

THE father of a young baby who “snapped” and vigorously shook him causing serious brain injuries has avoided a prison sentence

Liverpool Crown Court was told the six-month-old infant was taken to hospital and needed surgery to relieve pressure on his brain but his dad, Ian Bower, steadfastly denied being to blame.

Fortunately the little boy has made a full recovery and as the incident was three years ago Judge David Aubrey, QC imposed a two-year jail sentence but suspended it for two years.

“Your child was vulnerable, your child was tender, your child was precious and your child was in your care to be looked after and nurtured.

“In March 2014 you lost your temper, you lost your patience.

“You snapped and shook the baby seat upon which your child was sitting with what must have been considerable force albeit but a few seconds.

“In consequence of those few seconds your child’s life could have changed forever but not only that it was a mother’s worst nightmare.”

The baby’s severe injuries included a subdural haemorrhage and retinal haemorrhages and nine days later after being admitted to Alder Hey Hospital he had to undergo surgery to relieve the pressure on his brain before being allowed out a week later.

The judge pointed out that Bower would not admit to the medics what he had done and suspicion inevitable fell on him and his innocent partner. The situation was exacerbated by the child and his sibling being taken into care by social services.

A family court hearing ruled that on the balance of probabilities he had been responsible for the injuries but in February this year he pleaded not guilty to inflicting grievous bodily and only later changed his plea.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that 37-year-old Bower has a conviction for assaulting a previous partner involving “intense jealousy” the use of a kettle and a toothbrush holder, and a caution for punching another girlfriend.

Judge Aubrey said he accepted the assault on the baby had been “an isolated incident when you lost your patience.

“You are a working man and I am told that the child has ultimately made a full recovery but it could have been so different.”

But having considered the guidelines and the fact it happened three years ago he would suspend the inevitable prison sentence.

He also ordered Bower, of Upton Road, Birkenhead, Wirral, to carry out 140 hours unpaid work and 30 days rehabilitation activities and imposed a four month curfew between 8-6am.

Andrew Ford, prosecuting, had told the court that the child’s mum had gone out with their other child on March 22, 2014 leaving Bower at their home in Liverpool with the baby.

After he rang her she returned and at 4 pm they both took the baby who was “floppy, with fixed staring eyes” to hospital where he was given a scan revealing a bleed on the brain.