Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Bonnyrigg man jailed over attack on baby girl

Douglas Cooper
Image caption Cooper claimed the baby's injuries were accidental

A babysitter has been jailed for nine years for an attack which fractured the skull of an eight-month-old baby.

Douglas Cooper, 24, was convicted of attempting to murder the girl he had been caring for.

The High Court in Edinburgh was told that Cooper, of Bonnyrigg in Midlothian, claimed the injury had been an accident.

But temporary judge John Beckett QC told him he had committed a crime involving "gross violence".

During the trial, doctors who treated the baby girl said her injuries were similar to those sustained by children in road traffic accidents or after a fall from the first floor of a building or above.

The child's 26-year-old mother, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had told the court that she left Cooper to look after her daughter while she went out to play darts.

After receiving a "panicky" call from him, she returned home to find the baby lying on a couch, not moving.

Complex fracture

Scans carried out by doctors showed the child's skull had been fractured in three places.

The judge told Cooper: "This child sustained complex fracturing of her skull.

"The jury rejected your explanation that this was an accident. However it happened, it must have involved considerable violence.

"It seems likely you lost control because the crying baby was upsetting your plans to watch a football match on television."

The judge ordered that Cooper be on licence for three years after he is released from custody.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites