June 2019

Man who put toddler in tumble dryer guilty of ‘monstrous’ assault

A violent thug has been found guilty of a “monstrous” assault after a one-year-old girl was put in a tumble drier which was turned on

The 13-month-old toddler suffered serious multiple injuries in the attack, which left her with fractures to her skull, bruises and a bite mark on her arm.

Thomas Dunn, 25, carried out the sickening abuse at his flat in Arbroath, Scotland, on January 8 last year.

He took her to hospital when he found she was unresponsive.

Following a five-day trial at Dundee Sheriff Court, a jury found Dunn guilty of endangering the child’s life by repeatedly striking her on the head and body and striking her against an unknown object or objects.

He was also found guilty of culpable and reckless conduct over an earlier incident that saw him place the girl in a tumble dryer at his home, in the presence of the child’s mother.

Earlier in the trial, the child’s mother told the jury the toddler was not strong enough to be able to climb into the machine herself.

Asked about Mr Dunn’s demeanour, the woman replied: “There was just no emotion. I felt like he felt like it was a joke.”

The mother added that she heard a “thud” and turned around to see her daughter in the tumble dryer with the door closed.

Referring to the later assault, Sheriff Alastair Brown told Dunn he “must have hit that little girl extremely hard at least twice” in order to inflict what were potentially life-threatening injuries.

He said it was “only by her good fortune and perhaps yours” that Dunn was not tried at the High Court of Justiciary on a charge of murder.

The Sheriff said he did not feel his sentencing powers were adequate to punish the “monstrous” assault and the tumble dryer charge, and the case would be referred to the High Court.

The Crown earlier dropped two further charges of assault, one on the girl and another on a young boy.

Dunn was remanded in custody ahead of sentencing at the High Court at a later date.