This story contains disturbing details of assault on an infant. Caution is advised.
A Revelstoke man was sentenced to two years in jail for what the judge called a “horrendous” attack of a “defenseless infant” by a “cruel and indifferent father.”
“These were serious, prolonged and countless attacks against a child who was the man’s responsibility,” said Justice Mayland McKimm in Revelstoke court last Wednesday, Jan. 9.
The man, 20, who cannot be identified due to a publication designed to protect the identity of the witness, had previously pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily harm for a series of incidents against the weeks-old infant.
According to the circumstances read out in court by Crown prosecutor Angela Ross, bruises were first noticed on the infant’s mouth, legs, cheeks and back when he was only a few weeks old, however X-rays showed no signs of any broken bones.
About six weeks later, the infant was brought back to the doctor, when more bruising was found on the back, arm, foot and scrotum.
This time, X-rays showed several rib fractures, a fracture of the lower-left leg, and a healing fracture on the lower-right leg.
RCMP and the Ministry of Children and Family Development were notified and the child was placed in foster care.
When first approached by police, the man admitted to squeezing the baby in frustration and that he had anger problems.
Later, after taking a polygraph test, he admitted to a number of assaults on the baby, including squeezing his legs and pulling them apart. He told police he once put the entire weight of his body on the baby’s legs.
He once squeezed the baby for so long “he could feel the baby stop breathing and feel his ribs cave in,” said Ross.
He then threw the baby under the bed, picked him up by his legs and flicked his testicles.
Chris Johnston, the man’s lawyer, tried to have the sentence reduced by noting the man’s remorse for his actions and his co-operation with police. He was immature, in a new relationship, suddenly faced with the burdens of fatherhood and being the bread winner for his family, and he had anger issues.
The man said he wasn’t angry, despite how it may seem.
“I’m trying to get my life back on track and fix myself so some day I might be able to have a relationship with my son,” he said in court.
Justice McKimm sentenced him to two years in jail and three years of probation, with the conditions that not be in contact with anyone under the age of 14 unless permitted; not enter any public park, school, playground or day care; and attend counselling, including anger management.
“He is clearly a young man that has anger issues that are so severe he is able to vent them on a helpless infant,” said McKimm.
He seemed to weigh the possibilty of a longer sentence, but precedent indicated two years was the norm in other, similar cases.