Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Man jailed after breaking baby's ribs by shaking and squeezing the crying child

Liam Reeves pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent. Credit: BPM Media

A 20-year-old man has been jailed for six years after breaking a baby’s ribs by shaking and squeezing the crying child.

Liam Reeves was arrested after he allegedly punched the child in the stomach outside a supermarket.

The baby taken to the Royal Stoke University Hospital where a CT scan showed healing fractures to the ribs.

Medics believed the injuries were between 10 and 21 days old, Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Adrian Fleming told the court:

A CT scan showed healing fractures to the ribs. Rib fractures are very rare in infants of a certain age. Accidental rib fractures are extremely rare. The most likely cause of the serious injury was an episode of shaking and squeezing.

– Adrian Fleming, prosecutor

Reeves pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent. He has no previous convictions.

Robert Smith, mitigating, said the squeezing of the child was ‘momentary’ and lasted no more than 30 seconds.

He told the court:

It was in response to the crying of a child from an ill-equipped and inadequate man.

– Robert Smith, Defence counsel

Mr Smith said the defendant had mental health issues at the time - but conceded that was no excuse.

It was a momentary loss of temper, a 30-second show of anger, just to get the child to quieten. There is only one word for it, despicable. He accepts that.

– Robert Smith, Defence counsel

Judge David Fletcher accepted Reeves's remorse was genuine.

He will serve half of his sentence in prison and the rest on licence.

This was an horrific offence. You are described by your own counsel as inadequate and ill-equipped, and you were.

You were at the time exhibiting extremely immature behaviour. That immaturity resulted in you behaving in this grotesque way to this child.

– Judge David Fletcher, sentencing