Cumbria

Workington man jailed for shaking nine-week-old baby

Steven Macaulay Image copyright Staff reporter
Image caption Macaulay admitted causing the baby grievous bodily harm

A man has been jailed for 30 months for shaking a baby, leaving the child critically injured and temporarily blind.

Steven Macaulay, of Moss Bay Road, Workington, admitted causing the nine-week-old grievous bodily harm in 2017.

Carlisle Crown Court heard the baby's retinas were detached by the force of the shaking.

Passing sentence, Judge Adkin, said "there could be no more vulnerable victim than this infant."

Macaulay, 30, was left alone with the baby at an address in West Cumbria before another adult returned, but by that stage the baby's eyes were closed, its full body limp and it was "making a moaning sound", Carlisle Crown Court heard.

The child was taken to hospital in Whitehaven, and then transferred to Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary for specialist head injury treatment.

Prosecutor Tim Evans said: "Further tests led medical staff to believe that the baby had bleeding to the rear of the eyes as well as to the brain stem."

He added: "Expert medical evidence suggests that the injuries were caused by (the baby) being shaken, shaken baby syndrome, with the effect this has by causing the brain to collide with the bony sides of the skull cavity."

The baby was rendered blind for two months although sight appeared to have been regained.

However Judge James Adkin heard the extent of its developmental delay could not be fully assessed until the child reaches school age.

Macaulay's barrister, Kim Whittlestone, had said of him: "He is an isolated individual with a depressive disorder who needs support."

Prosecutor Tim Evans had said that people who knew Macaulay had "talked of him becoming angry and venting that anger by - for example - hitting walls... causing damage".

The judge had also noted Macauley's "relatively low IQ".

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