Young mum watched on as thug boyfriend battered her baby
A mum who watched and allowed her violent boyfriend seriously injure her baby son was jailed.
Chantelle Welsh kept quiet about the appalling incident for several hours before taking the little boy to hospital but repeatedly lied about how he had been injured – which led to her own brothers falling under suspicion and being detained in custody.
The tot’s horrifying catalogue of injuries included complex skull fractures, multiple eye socket fractures as well as a broken right arm and left leg.
Liverpool Crown Court heard that the 11-month-old had “a large boggy swelling” to his head which he needed emergency surgery to reduce.
He was discharged from Alder Hey Hospital after ten days and has fortunately physically recovered but there are concerns he may suffer psychologically in the long term.
23-year-old Welsh also has an older son but both have since been taken off her.
The court heard that the defendant, who is now pregnant by another man, is unlikely to ever get her sons back and social services are involved in her life.
Welsh, of St Domingo Vale, Anfield, had pleaded guilty to child neglect involving failing to get medical help for the victim.
Jailing her for 18 months Judge Garrett Byrne said, “A doctor refers to the injuries as would be seen in a serious car crash.
“It is impossible to determine the long term psychological effect this trauma will have on this child, all one can say is there is the potential for long term psychological harm.”
He told Welsh, who was dressed completely in baby pink, that her limited cognitive ability reduced her culpability but said the aggravating factors were “the time you took to seek medical attention and the lies told to the professionals which resulted in innocent people being arrested and detained, namely your brothers.”
Judge Byrne said it was “a shocking case” and she had “told a pack of lies” and it was only three months later that she started telling the truth.
He said he had considered if he could suspend the sentence on Welsh, who has no previous convictions, “but simply it was so serious only immediate sentence of custody can be justified.”
John Williams, prosecuting, said that on the afternoon of February 20 last year the boy was taken to hospital by Welsh and her then partner. The baby had significant swelling to his right eye which was completely closed and when examined he was found to have multiples injuries.
He listed the fractures the child had suffered as well as a perforated right ear drum and bruising to his right flank and abdomen. “There was no reasonable explanation as to how he had suffered these extensive injuries.
“Neither she nor her partner were able to provide any explanation for the injuries. The nature and location of the injuries was such that clinicians rapidly concluded they were non-accidental and were indicative of significant abuse.”
Mr Williams said that the medics also concluded that the injuries had been caused on the day he was presented at hospital. The police and social services were notified and Welsh was questioned in the early hours of the next morning at hospital.
She said she was unable to understand how he had suffered such injuries and he had not complained. It was only when she gave him paracetamol as he was hot that she and her mum realised his arm was floppy and decided to take him to hospital.
Her two brothers, who lived in the same house as Welsh, were arrested as potential perpetrators as was her partner, who had not stayed at the hospital. The brothers were “detained for a significant period of time. “
She was not in a relationship with the father of either of her sons and had only recently formed a relationship with the boyfriend. He did not live with her but he had been there overnight February 19 last year.
When interviewed she denied that her partner or brothers were involved in causing the injuries. Mr Williams said that the brothers were entirely innocent but she had lied about the partner.
In family court proceedings which ran alongside the criminal proceedings Welsh admitted that her partner had inflicted the injuries.
In an impact statement the victim’s paternal grandmother said the telephone call telling her about his injuries was “the worst news in the family’s life.”
She said that the child, who the court heard had gone through a period of self-harming, was “more loved than he could ever want to be” and described the bond he has with her, his grandfather and his dad as “amazing”