Suspended sentence for man who punched baby

Derry Magistrate's Court
Derry Magistrate's Court

A 26-year-old man has been sentenced to five months in prison suspended for two years for punching an 11-month-old baby.

Aaron O’Kane, of Carnhill in Derry, appeared at Derry Magistrate’s Court where he admitted two counts of assault against the baby and its father.

The court heard police received a 999 call and a woman could be heard screaming and a voice telling her to hang up the phone.

A second call from the injured party said he and his son had been attacked by his brother.

The police were told that the injured party and the baby were asleep when O’Kane came into the room and turned on the light.

He was asked to turn the light off and he started to argue with his brother.

He then assaulted him, punching him to the head.

In the course of the attack, the baby’s cot was knocked over and the injured party took the baby into to his arms.

O’Kane continued to try to hit his brother and hit the baby on the side of the head.

He then hit his brother causing his head to bang against the baby.

At interview, O’Kane admitted that he had seen the baby and continued to try to hit his brother.

The court heard that, during interview, O’Kane was ‘laughing and smiling’ and said he ‘did not have time to think about the baby’.

Defence solicitor Me. Seamus Quigley described it as an ‘extremely serious’ matter and said the consequences would stay with O’Kane for a long time.

He said the defendant had issues with alcohol and drugs.

District Judge Barney McElholm said it was an ‘absolutely disgraceful incident’.

He said not only was it ‘utterly disgraceful’ to hit someone holding a child, but to laugh about it was something he could not understand.

He sentenced O’Kane to five months, suspended for two years, imposed a restraining order for two years and ordered him to pay £300 to the baby.