July 2021

Wakefield thug who shook baby so violently he caused “catastrophic” injuries is finally jailed

A violent bully who persistently denied shaking a newborn baby boy so violently that he caused him “catastrophic” injuries has been jailed

Joshua Moody spent more than three years claiming he was not behind the violent assaults on the seven-week-old tot which left him with permanent brain damage and needing round-the-clock care, Leeds Crown Court was told.

The 25-year-old eventually admitted two counts of causing grievous bodily harm without intent, but Judge Penelope Belcher said he could have saved the youngster’s family years of heartbreak if only he “had the guts” to admit his crimes.

Moody’s case was heard on May 17, but a court order was put in place that prevented the full facts of the case being reported.

Prosecutor Craig Hassall had told the court that an ambulance had been called to an address in Wakefield late at night in the summer of 2017, after the the tot – who still cannot be named for legal reasons – became unresponsive.

He then stopped breathing and Moody and other adults in the property at the time were asked to perform CPR until the paramedics arrived.

It was found that he had suffered a cardiac arrest and was taken to Pinderfields then later transferred to the paediatric intensive care unit at LGI.

He was found to have multiple injuries including hemorrhaging in various parts of his body, including his spine, and behind both eyes.

He was also found to have six broken ribs, one of which was beginning to heal, suggesting it had been damaged during a previous assault. He also had a fractured shin bone.

Despite Moody’s initial denials, Mr Hassall said that medical experts had agreed that the only credible explanation was “life-threatening child abuse”, and that many of the injuries had been caused immediately prior to the baby’s cardiac arrest that night, consistent with being shaken violently.

It was not thought that he would survive, and his family were told to prepare for the worst.

But he began to improve over the weeks and was eventually able to breathe on his own, although he has been left with severe injuries.

His vision and hearing is impaired, he is unable to speak, is not mobile, suffers from epilepsy and has cerebral palsy, meaning he is likely to need 24/7 care for the rest of his life.

Moody, of Thornleigh Drive, Wakefield, was later charged with GBH with intent and was due to stand trial, but earlier this year admitted to GBH without intent, which was accepted by the Crown Prosecution Service.

The court was told that due to Moody’s persistent attempts to absolve himself from blame, the finger of suspicion fell on the baby’s mother, leading to her arrest, and the arrest of her own mother.

The baby’s mother, who also cannot be named for legal reasons, described it as a “nightmare journey” that lasted almost four years.

She said: “As a family we were all under suspicion. Josh maintained his innocence throughout.

“By maintaining his innocence, he was inferring I had to be responsible for what had happened.

“The fact is Josh could have prevented this by admitting his responsibility on any number of occasions. The actions of Josh are terrible and inexcusable.”

Judge Belcher jailed him for three years and nine months