Glasgow & West Scotland

Steven Davidson jailed for 'catastrophic' attack on baby

A man who inflicted "catastrophic" injuries on a six-week old baby has been jailed for seven-and-a-half years.

Steven Davidson admitted shaking the baby girl to her severe injury and danger of life at a house in Dumbarton, West Dunbartonshire, on 3 October 2012.

The 23-year-old was looking after the child while her mother was asleep.

The child, now aged two, cannot sit upright or communicate and needs round-the-clock care.

At the High Court in Edinburgh, judge Lady Scott said Davidson's actions had resulted in truly tragic consequences for the child.

'Tragic case'

The judge said: "She suffered truly catastrophic injuries, causing very real danger to her life."

Defence counsel Ronnie Renucci said first offender Davidson had accepted full responsibility for the offence in "a truly tragic case".

He added that Davidson would regret it for the rest of his life.

He said Davidson had been suffering from toothache and had been up most of the night. The baby had been changed and was then sick and had to be changed again.

Mr Renucci said that in "a single moment of madness" he shook the child once and threw her down on a sofa.

He did not think that a soft sofa would cause such injuries.

The defence counsel said that it was a one-off isolated, catastrophic incident. He added: "It is a matter he deeply regrets."

Reduced charge

A previous hearing was given medical evidence which showed that the child had been shaken and may have been hit against something.

Davidson was originally charged with attempted murder, but the Crown accepted his plea to a reduced charge.

Advocate depute Paul Kearney, prosecuting, outlined the consequences of the girl's injuries.

He said: "She has an acquired brain injury which has left her with a severe physical disability. She is not able to sit unaided and has restricted movement in her upper limbs.

"Although aged two she functions at the level of a child of four or five months. She can make sounds, but cannot speak. She is described as an engaging child and can smile, laugh and cry and use facial expressions, but is otherwise unable to communicate, even though she clearly wants to.

"The child cannot take solid food and will need a wheelchair."

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