Mum’s heartbreak as ‘perfect’ baby brain damaged after beating by her aunt

The child, from Wigan, was four-months-old when he was shaken and hit his head, causing him to have severe bleeding in the brain, and was covered in bruises

Bolton Court
The court heard that the boy was bruised and struggling to breath when the father came to pick him up

A mother whose son was left with severe brain damage after her sister with learning-difficulties violently shook him says “She is nothing to me now.”

The four-month-old baby, from Wigan, Greater Manchester, fractured his skull after his 44-year-old auntie aggressively shook him, causing him to hit his head.

The unnamed woman was babysitting the infant when she injured him on May 3 2018.

That night, the boy had initially been left in the care of his grandmother as his mother had fallen ill over night and had to be taken to hospital.

However, the grandmother needed to go and run and errand, so it was agreed with the parents that the auntie would care for him.

She had not looked after him on her own before, but she had changed his diapers and cared for him with someone else, and she also had previous babysitting experience.

It was within this time that the baby was injured, and when the father came to pick him up, he realised something was wrong.

The prosecutor on the case said: “The boy’s father arrived home picked up his son from the sofa but noticed he had a large bruise on his head and was struggling to breathe.

“He was pale and his eyes were fluttering open and closed.

“When he asked the defendant what had happened, she suggested that she had been bouncing him up and down on her knee, and his head had banged against her shoulder.

“She appeared scared while he was examining his son and expressing concern for his condition.”

The child was taken to hospital and was left fighting for his life in an intensive care unit, and medics were concerned he may not survive due to the extent of the brain damage.

After conducting some scans of his head, it was found that he had a fracture to the skull, which doctors determined occurred from impact with a hard surface, with severe bleeding between the skull and the brain.

His face and arms were bruised, including pin prick bruising to his arms, left cheek and right eyelid.

Thankfully, the boy survived after three weeks in hospital, but he has epilepsy as a result and it is feared he may never be able to walk or talk due to having cerebral palsy as a result of the brain trauma.

He will require round the clock care for the rest of his life.

The mother of the boy wept at Bolton Crown Court as the sentencing Judge Graeme Smith decided that her half-sister committed grievous bodily harm but will not spend time behind bars.

This was concluded after it was heard that the woman lives in supported accommodation and has a low IQ and learning disability.

She was judged to be of “low risk of reoffending” and there were concerns that she may be “vulnerable” if she is sent to jail.

The half-sister’s name cannot be shared as it may reveal the identity of the child.

The mother expressed her anger and distress in a statement that was read out in court by a relative.

She said: “My son was perfect when he was born.

“He wasn’t ill and had no issues but he was taken away from us by someone who made a choice to seriously hurt our boy.

“Our lives have changed forever and will never be the same again.

“She is nothing to me now because of what she has done.

“We had allowed her to be around our children lots of times before.

“We trusted her, believed she loved children and had a heart of gold. But clearly we didn’t know her at all.

“In the beginning we were under suspicion and we weren’t allowed to be there for our son when he needed us most.

“The doctors said he had been shaken and it was like he had been in a car accident. I screamed and broke down when I heard this.

“It felt like my stomach was being ripped out. He has beaten the odds to survive but he might still die from his injuries.”

The baby’s grandmother added: “My grandson’s journey is far from over and will struggle for the rest of his life. She should never be allowed to be near children ever again.

Jude Graeme Smith added: “What happened was a tragedy for all involved. This boy survived his injuries but they will have a significant and lifelong affect on him.

“His life will never be what it otherwise could have been.”

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