Man jailed for attempted murder of toddler in Glasgow

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David McMullenImage source, Sprindrift
Image caption,
David McMullen was convicted of inflicting blunt force trauma on the child in December 2016

A martial arts fan has been jailed for the attempted murder of a two-year-old boy.

David McMullen, 35, from Provanmill in Glasgow, was convicted of using a similar force on the child to that seen in road traffic accident victims.

The High Court in Glasgow heard that in December 2016 he left the boy with severe stomach injuries, including a split colon and intestine.

McMullen was jailed for eight years and seven months.

The former chef, who was trained in Muay fighting, attacked the child at his home in Cambuslang on 21 December 2016 while his mother was at work.

The High Court was told that on the day of the attack, the boy's mother had received a panicked phone call from McMullen to say her son was sick and "freezing cold".

'Lips were blue'

Giving evidence at McMullen's trial, the woman said she rushed home to see her son.

She said: "He told me his tummy was sore. It felt quite hard.

"I wrapped him in a big fluffy cover, but I could still feel how cold he was. I could also see that his lips were blue."

The mother and McMullen took the child to hospital where bruising was found on the boy's stomach.

Medics quickly decided that the child needed surgery.

His mother told jurors: "I remember crying and being shocked. I just wanted to make sure my son was OK.

"The doctors were asking what happened, but I directed them to David as I was not there."

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
McMullen was sentenced for attempted murder at the High Court in Glasgow

Consultant surgeon Nicola Brindley operated on the child.

Prosecutor Michael Meehan asked her how ill the two-year-old boy had been.

Miss Brindley told the court: "He was a gravely ill little boy. He could have died."

Doctors later told the mother and McMullen that they believed the injuries were "non accidental".

She recalled the surgeon stating to her: "I am telling you someone has done this to your child."

However, the court was told that the boy's mother "refused to believe" the boy had been deliberately harmed.

McMullen's QC Gordon Jackson asked her: "Had you any suspicion that David had done anything?"

She replied: "No."

Mr Jackson: "You still don't have a suspicion?"

The witness said: "No."

'Blunt force trauma'

The woman denied trying to protect McMullen and insisted he had previously looked after the child without incident.

She added: "If I had any concerns, I would not have left him."

The court was told that the child had since recovered from his injuries.

McMullen was found guilty of inflicting massive "blunt force trauma" to the child by "means unknown".

Sentencing judge Lord Armstrong told him: "The child was vulnerable by reason of his age and had been left in your sole care.

"You were in a position of the utmost trust...but for treatment, he would have undoubtedly have died.

"You continue to deny responsibility and have displayed no remorse or regret."