August 2018

Woman, 28, fractured a baby’s skull – and then tried to cover up what she had done

A dishonest woman fractured a baby’s skull – then tried to hide the injury from the authorities.

28-year-old Cleo Smith has never admitted how she injured the tot, who was only weeks old at the time.

The injury was eventually uncovered by a health visitor, who spotted the baby’s head was swollen.

The tot was taken to hospital and diagnosed with a fractured skull, which experts later said had been caused by ‘a high energy impact between the child’s head and a hard object’.

Now Smith has walked free from court after receiving a suspended sentence for causing the baby grievous bodily harm, and a further charge of child cruelty.

Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard there had been considerable delays in the case, and the incident happened around five years ago.

After the injury was caused, the child’s head was ‘obviously swollen’ but Smith did not seek medical help and avoided a scheduled check-up for the baby. She also told family members a doctor had seen the child

The tot only received medical attention three days later, after the health visitor discovered the injury.

Smith, of Spring Road, Normacot, initially claimed that the baby’s head had hit a door frame as she bent down to retrieve a dummy from the floor, and gave this explanation during her first two police interviews.

However, she later changed her story and claimed the child had accidentally fallen from a bed.

Smith went on to plead guilty to a charge of child cruelty – admitting she had failed to get medical attention for the baby – but denied causing grievous bodily harm. She was found guilty of the charge following a trial

The court heard the child, who suffered no lasting effects from the injury, no longer has contact with Smith.

Judge Paul Glenn said had the incident happened more recently, he would have sent Smith to prison. But he told her: “The delay in this case has been significant punishment. You pose no risk or danger to the public.

“I don’t believe it’s appropriate or necessary to impose immediate imprisonment. I seek to try to achieve some degree of rehabilitation because I think you need help.”

Judge Glenn handed Smith a 16-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months. He attached a 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement and a six-month alcohol treatment requirement.

“It’s plain that at the time the injury was occasioned you were under significant stress,” said Judge Glenn. “The jury were satisfied that the injury was caused by an unlawful act.

“Only you know how that fracture was sustained.”