Baby shake dad sentenced for child cruelty

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A 26-year-old man who held his two month old baby upside down and “ shook him vigorously” has been ordered to complete 60 hours community service and spend a year on probation.

The man who cannot be named for legal reasons pleaded guilty to one charge of child cruelty between between October 24 and November 26, 2009.

Derry Crown Court heard that no injury was caused to the child, however during the incident, which lasted five minutes, the child squealed in distress.

Passing sentence Derry Crown Court judge Piers Grant said that if the child been left with any marks, injuries or bruising then man would have been going to prison.

He accepted the case was at the lower end of the scale and said the incident arose out of a “ sudden loss of temper.”

The judge warned that “you can not lose your temper with a two and a half month old baby or indeed any baby. That is part and parcel of the experience of life for parents.”

He said children are entitled to lookup to parents for protection and not to be subjected to ill treatment.