herald

Tuesday 24 April 2018

Mother shook baby so hard she broke 8 bones

A YOUNG mother suffering from post natal depression shook her baby girl so hard she inflicted eight broken bones in her arms, legs and chest.

The 25-year-old mother pleaded guilty before Cork Circuit Criminal Court to assaulting the four month old baby last year. The mother, who cannot be named to protect the identity of her child, will be sentenced in November 2014 after Judge Sean O Donnabhain warned that it was "a highly complex case".

The woman had sought help from her GP and counsellors after admitting she had urges to squeeze her child.

A Garda investigation was launched after the baby was presented at hospital with multiple injuries.

Sgt Miriam McGuire said the baby was examined at Cork University Hospital by a pediatrician who noticed she had a number of marks on her body, including pinch marks on her face and bruises to her back.

X-rays were ordered and these revealed eight fractures to her legs, arms and ribs.

A doctor ruled that, given the age of the infant, the injuries had to be non-accidental.

"They would have been as a result of forcibly shaking a child," the garda explained.

INJURIES

It was determined that the injuries were inflicted by the child being grabbed from her stroller and forcibly squeezed.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) intervened in the matter and the mother co-operated fully both with gardai and HSE officials.

"She was very upset ... she realised the enormity of what she had done," Sgt McGuire said.

"She was suffering from postnatal depression at the time."

Sinead Behan, a lawyer for the mother, said her client attended a GP 21 times before the baby suffered the injuries. She added that the mother was deeply remorseful over what had happened.

Judge O Donnabhain noted that the mother had been open and honest with officials and, on her own volition, had gone looking for the help she needed.

The judge adjourned the case until next November to assess how the young woman was progressing.

hnews@herald.ie

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