November 2017

Teenage girl who injured three-month-old baby avoids prison

A teenage girl who injured a three-month-old baby in an attack that could leave him with permanent brain damage has avoided jail after a judge told her: ‘There is clearly some good in you.’

Megan Crosby, 18, from Blackpool, dropped the infant on his head and shook him while she was staying at a local authority support unit.

The baby suffered extensive head damage and bleeding in the brain and eyes, with doctors saying it would take three to four years to establish whether he has any long term learning difficulties or epilepsy.

Crosby initially denied wrongdoing but later confessed: ‘I stood up with him in my arms and he fell awkwardly onto a baby bouncer and hit the left side of his head onto the metal bar.

‘He then started falling to the floor so I grabbed his leg and arm and yanked him towards me. I accept that I shook him and I accept that my behaviour was reckless.’

At Manchester Crown Court, Crosby admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm but was given eight months in a young offender institute suspended for two years and ordered to complete 100 hours unpaid work.

Passing sentence Judge David Stockdale QC told her: ‘You accept that you acted recklessly and you know that this is a very serious offence. 

‘No victim is more defenceless than a baby. No victim is more vulnerable than a baby – but there is clearly some good in you.’

The court heard the incident occurred in April whilst Crosby was staying 24 hour support flat in Clayton, Manchester. 

Prosecuting Joanna Rodikis said: ‘She ran into the office in a hysterical condition to tell staff that the child wasn’t breathing.

‘One of the members of staff performed CPR while the other called the ambulance. He was taken to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital where he was assessed.

‘It was found that he has multi-location bilateral haemorrhages over the back and top of the brain.

‘He also had a bilateral multi-layer haemorrhage which were too numerous to count in his retina. 

‘There was also a purple mark to his left ear. The doctor concluded that this was as a result of shaking with or without an impact.

‘As a result of the injuries Crosby was arrested. The doctors reported that he was lethargic, poor response, pallor and vomiting. 

‘He had to be fed through a nasal tube. He required an operation for a stent to be put in his brain for several months if not a couple of years.

‘Children with these kinds of head injuries can suffer problems with behaviour, learning difficulties and epilepsy. 

‘The full effects will not be known fully for another three to four years.’

The court also heard Crosby at first lied to paramedics and doctors regarding how the child came by his injuries, unable to give an explanation when interviewed by police.

The baby cannot be identified for legal reasons.