South West Wales

'Monster' who beat baby is given 17-year term

A "monster" father who pretended to dote on his four-month-old daughter but broke her neck and damaged her spine has been given a 17-year term.

The man, 20, was found guilty of five counts of grievous bodily harm with intent at Swansea Crown Court.

A jury heard the baby was rushed to hospital unresponsive and floppy after he shook her, swung her by the legs and sat on her.

He had admitted being a monster but blamed the pressure of raising a baby.

A jury found took just 90 minutes to find him guilty of five counts of GBH.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was sentenced to 17 years - but he will be locked up for 12 with an extended period of five years on licence.

'Extremely chilling'

Judge Keith Thomas told the defendant: "You started abusing her when she was just two months old and it went on until she was around 19 weeks.

"Still only weighing 10 and a half or 11 pounds she was a tiny and delicate child.

"You were her father. You were charged with caring for her. For inexplicable reasons you chose instead to harm her.

"The catalogue of what you did is extremely chilling."

The judge said he accepted and agreed with a pre-sentence report which said the father had limited capability to cope with stress and that it was unclear whether he would have the ability to cope with stress in the future.

"You do present a serious risk to the public," Judge Thomas said.

"In order to do what I can to protect the public, I'm going to maximise that term."

Older fractures

During his trial the court heard that the father treated his daughter "like a plastic doll" and also squeezed her, gripped her by the throat and pressed fingers into her eyes.

The baby girl was rushed to hospital in January after she became unresponsive and floppy.

Scans showed she had fractured vertebrae in her neck and had a spinal cord injury.

The jury heard doctors were concerned her injuries had been caused deliberately and she was transferred to hospital in Cardiff.

X-rays revealed she had five rib fractures, as well as other older fractures which had started to heal.

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