Bedford abuser who seriously injured baby tried to pin blame on four-year-old child

ANGLIA 220424 Muhammad Usman 
credit: Bedfordshire Police
Usman told staff at Bedford hospital that the 8-week-old had been dropped by a young child. Credit: ITV News Anglia

An abuser who caused a catalogue of serious injuries to a baby tried to blame a four-year old child for his crimes.

Muhammad Usman, 32, had claimed he was not responsible for the girl's injuries and tried to pin the blame on a young child, but was found guilty by a jury of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

This week he was jailed for eight years.

Staff at Bedford Hospital were told the eight-week-old had been dropped by a four-year-old, leaving the baby with "severe fractures" to several bones.

The warehouse security worker texted his wife Salma Mughal saying: “Honey, please don’t change the story.”

The couple, of Chester Road, Bedford, took the child to A&E on 29 October 2020 - two hours after her most recent injury.

Prosecutor Martin Mulgrew told Luton Crown Court there were “severe fractures to several bones in her body” on her feet, arms hands and fingers.

He said a paediatric radiologist said all the fractures required excessive force and occurred on seven separate occasions.

A consultant paediatrician’s report indicated a minimum of three traumatic events.

“Some fractures occurred in a one to two-week period before 29 October. Some fractures were in a two to four-week period at the end of September and it may be that some were caused as early as six weeks before,” said the prosecutor.

He added that the story of a child dropping the baby did not account for the injuries.

The baby died later from an undetected heart condition that was not connected to the assault.

Salma Mughal, 36, was sentenced to two years suspended for two years after a jury found her guilty of allowing a child to suffer serious physical harm.

Det Sgt Claire Long from Bedfordshire Police said: “This was an especially upsetting case, particularly as it involved a tiny baby sustaining serious injuries as the result of the actions of someone who should have done everything to protect her from harm.

“Protecting children from abuse is absolutely imperative, which is why it is important for anyone with concerns that a child is being neglected, exploited or abused, to report it. We must all play our part in protecting children.”

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