Charity worker punched baby in the face

Haddington Sheriff Court

Haddington Sheriff Court

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A CHARITY shop worker who punched a four-week-old baby in the face has escaped a jail sentence.

Russell Griffin struck the new-born infant as she lay innocently sleeping in a car seat as her mother browsed for clothes in the shop just feet away.

Customers who had been cooing over the baby girl were undecided as to whether the month-old child was in fact a doll as she did not move and her skin was so pale.

But Griffin decided to end the debate by stating “I’ll show you lot it’s a doll” and proceeded to punch the little girl in the face. The one-month-old baby began screaming and burst into tears following the punch.

And although the youngster did not suffer any injuries one witness described Griffin’s punch as “like he was in a boxing ring”.

Griffin, from Musselburgh, East Lothian, was found guilty of conducting himself in a culpable and reckless manner by punching the baby in the face to her potential injury following a two-day trial at Haddington Sheriff Court last month.

He appeared at the court for sentencing today and was ordered to carry out 145 hours of unpaid work in the community.

Sheriff Peter Braid said: “As I said after the trial this was a bizarre offence whereby you punched a baby to find out if it was real or not.

“As bizarre as that sounds other members of the public similarly were unsure if she was a baby, but they, of course, did not punch her to find out whether she was a baby.

“I do accept there was no intention on your part to cause harm, but the method you used to adopt was culpable and reckless.

“Unpaid work adequately reflexes the bizarre nature of the offence.”