Consett man left baby severely disabled and blind from attack
A man has been jailed following a brutal attack on a baby which left the child severely disabled with cerebral palsy due to brain damage and blind in both eyes
Connor James Hume, of Consett, was 18 when he struck the infant in the head and nearly shook them to death.
Durham Crown Court heard that the child has been left with severe disabilities, including blindness in both eyes and cerebral palsy.
Last month Hume, 22, went on trial and was convicted on a unanimous jury verdict of causing or allowing serious physical harm to a child.
Sentencing, Judge James Adkin said: “You were in charge of them on that evening and the evidence at trial pointed unequivocally to you as the perpetrator of the injuries. I’m sure that you lost your temper and struck them hard in the head and shook them vigorously. You caused a significant front right haematoma which damaged their brain irreparably which needed emergency surgery. You caused so many haemorrhages in both of their retinas that the doctors stopped counting and they very nearly died. You went for help from a neighbour but then started to lie which you have done continually throughout proceedings, no doubt ashamed and afraid of what you have done.
“A perfectly well baby is now blind in both eyes, has cerebral palsy due to brain damage and requires constant 24-hour care.”
Hume was sentenced to eight years and ten months in prison, half of which will be served on licence.
In a victim impact statement, the youngster’s fulltime carer said: “They sustained life-changing injuries and their healthy and care free life was robbed from them. While they may never remember or understand what happened to them the impact will forever hinder and restrict their ability to live a fulfilled life.
“They went from a healthy baby with their whole life ahead of them to a child who faces constant daily struggles due to their severe physical and cognitive disabilities alongside complex needs.
“What saddens us the most is how isolated and dark their world is due to having no vision.
“They are now at a level where they would be starting to understand the world but will never witness the magic of childhood such as seeing Santa Claus, the snow or Christmas lights twinkling. They will never know how colourful the world around them is.
“Their vision isn’t the only thing that restricts their quality of life but every single disability they have endured from injury has ensured they will never live an independent life. They will never go on a group holiday, or university or a restaurant. Most importantly they will be able to verbally tell the people around them they love them. These are all natural milestones that they will never experience.
“We can only hope that any sentence passed, Connor will use this period to reflect on what he has done and we would like him to be mindful that his sentence will only be a temporary period whereas the child has been given a life sentence as a result of Connor’s actions.”