December 2020

Man who left 10-month-old girl with life-changing brain injury jailed

A man who left a 10-month-old girl with a life-changing brain injury after shaking her violently has been jailed for three-and-a-half years.

Joshua Morris, 29, of Old Colwyn, Conwy, lost his temper when the baby woke him up by crying at night.

Mold Crown Court heard Morris had an “explosive loss of temper” during the attack in January 2018.

He was found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm in November.

During the trial the jury heard Morris was woken after going to bed at 05:00 GMT. He grabbed the baby from a cot and shook her violently.

He had then lied in a call to emergency services and to a paramedic about what had happened.

The baby was left critically ill and could have died without medical treatment having had an injury “as serious as can be imagined”, the court heard.

Judge Rhys Rowlands said had a jury not cleared him of acting with intent, he could have had a sentence twice as long as the one he was given.

He said he could see no signs of genuine remorse from Morris, who had a longstanding drug habit

November 2020

Man guilty of shaking 10-month-old baby in ‘loss of temper’ causing life-changing injuries

A man who shook a “helpless” 10-month-old baby in a “momentary loss of temper” caused her to suffer life-changing brain injuries.

Joshua Morris had had little sleep when he was left alone with the child while her mother went to the shop.

When she returned, the baby girl was “floppy and motionless” after Morris had shaken her on January 9, 2018.

Neither the child or her parents can be identified for legal reasons.

The 29-year-old of Ffordd Elias in Old Colwyn, initially claimed the baby had been bouncing in the cot and fell.

He denied any involvement in her injuries, including bleeding on the brain, oxygen deprivation and bleeding of the retinas on both of her eyes, and claimed he had found her “mangled” on the floor

He later admitted that was a lie, and changed his story to say he had found the baby “lifeless in the cot” after hearing a thud upstairs.

But after deliberating for less than two hours, a jury at Mold Crown Court found him guilty of causing the baby grievous bodily harm (GBH).

He was acquitted of a second charge of causing GBH with intent.

Mold Crown Court heard how the child, who is now three, will have ongoing issues for the rest of her life, and will be unlikely to ever live independently.

It comes after suffering serious brain injuries, “highly consistent” with shaking, also known as “shaken baby syndrome”.

Following the verdict, Judge Rhys Rowlands, said: “You are convicted on overwhelming evidence having caused very serious injury to an innocent child.

“You did it in a loss of temper which has had awful, awful, consequences for this child – sadly that she will have to live with for the rest of her life.”

The prosecution argued the baby’s injuries came after being shaken “forcibly” when Morris “lost his temper” after waking up from little sleep to find he was alone in the house with the baby.

The court heard he had taken drugs the night before and had gone to bed around 5am.

Morris said it wasn’t unusual for him to have any more than three hours sleep a night.

Following the incident, the child was taken to Alder Hey hospital, who informed North Wales Police and social services.

Morris was arrested, but denied any involvement in her injuries.

He accepted he had initially lied about finding the baby on the floor, but said the lie had not been “deliberate” after “putting two and two together” by assuming the baby had fallen from the cot.

However, detailed examinations found the baby had suffered “non-accidental injuries” likely to have been caused by someone.

One medical expert concluded the type of injury was “unlikely” caused by falling out of a cot.

They explained had the baby fallen from the cot, they would have expected to see fractures of the skull.

Another expert who specialises in the brain said only a “minimum degree of force” would have been required to have harmed the child.

Any underlying medical conditions were also ruled out.

The court heard after the baby was admitted to hospital, she was also found to have small unexplained bruises on her head and an old fracture to her left leg.

Morris will be sentenced at Mold Crown Court on Wednesday, December 9, and was told that custody was inevitable.