Scott McGeachy given community sentence for baby attack
A man who shook a two-month-old baby boy with such force that it caused bleeding on the child's brain has been given a community sentence.
Scott McGeachy, 38, from Barrhead, East Renfrewshire, lost his temper with the crying child in March 2011.
The baby, who later had an epileptic seizure, was left with a broken leg and bruising to his chest, forearm, face, left calf, hip and stomach.
McGeachy was ordered to perform 300 hours of unpaid work in the community.
At the High Court in Glasgow, judge Lady Scott told McGeachy: "A prison sentence is not necessary in the circumstances."
She also placed him under supervision for two years and ordered him to have treatment for his addiction to cannabis.
Lady Scott told McGeachy: "The assault of a defenceless and vulnerable child is always a serious matter.
"It is a matter of great fortune that he did not develop brain damage."
The judge said she accepted that the incident was a one-off which happened when McGeachy was left in charge and he was "stressed and under pressure and unable to cope with a crying baby".
The court heard that the assault took place in a house in Barrhead in March 2011.
When the baby's mother returned from the shops, she discovered her son crying "harder than normal".
McGeachy insisted the baby's legs had gone limp when he picked him up, but the child's mother took her son to Paisley's Royal Alexandra Hospital.
Medical staff found bruising consistent with recent pressure being applied, shaking and impact.
A CT scan revealed bleeding in the brain and a fractured left leg.
A doctor who examined the baby said that the injuries were potentially life-threatening.
The court was told that the boy has since made a good recovery and is unlikely to suffer any lasting damage.
McGeachy was originally charged with attempted murder, but his guilty plea to a reduced charge of assault was accepted by the Crown.
He admitted seizing the baby by the body, repeatedly shaking him by the arms and throwing him onto a bouncy chair to his severe injury and the danger of life.
The court heard that McGeachy confessed what he had done to the baby's mother.
He told her: "It was like a black-out. I flung him onto a bouncy chair and walked out of the room. Wasn't a fling - more like directly in."
He said he could not cope and became stressed because the baby was crying. Later, he said he had "just snapped".