A BABY girl has been left blind and severely disabled after being shaken and smacked against surfaces by a man who was supposed to be looking after her.
Ross Dunn, 28, is behind bars today after being convicted of attempting to murder the four-week-old after apparently losing his temper with her.
The girl, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, suffered a fractured skull, broken leg, eye damage, bleeding and bruising during the attack almost two years ago at a flat in the Capital.
Dunn tried desperately to lie his way out of trouble – but a jury was not convinced during what was described as “a stressful and difficult trial”.
He insisted he had got up with the child to get her bottle and fell while holding her in his right arm as he tried to avoid a walker used by his victim’s older sister.
He told the court: “From what I remember, at that point I tried to pull her in towards me. I knew I was going to hit the floor.
She is very floppy, like a small baby. She will likely never stand, walk, even sit by herselfChild’s mother
“Immediately I thought she was OK. For the first few seconds I really thought she was OK, but very quickly after that I realised she probably was not, but I hoped.
“I just hoped it would go away. I thought she would get better.”
Dunn, from Wester Drylaw Place, told the child’s mother he had fallen while holding the girl, but insisted she was fine. He later sent her a message saying the baby was asleep but woke herself with hiccups.
The baby girl was eventually taken to the Sick Kids Hospital, where it was noted that her heart rate was very high and there were signs her brain was not working properly.
A consultant in paediatric and emergency medicine said she was taking occasional pauses in her breathing and he documented “a high-pitched scream”.
A pattern of bruising was found above the child’s ankle which was suggestive of being caused by “gripped fingers”.
The child’s mother told the High Court in Edinburgh: “She is a good little girl, but she has been left with very severe, lifelong disabilities.
“She is not mobile. She is very floppy like a small baby. She will likely never stand, walk, even sit by herself.”
Dunn – who was described in court as a cannabis smoker – agreed with the prosecutor during the proceedings that he was a man who had problems with his temper.
The court also heard that during an interview with police, Dunn admitted that he sometimes lost control quickly. He agreed that he could lose his temper and overreact.
Advocate depute Bruce Erroch told jurors: “On November 17 in 2013, a four-week-old baby appeared to be perfectly well when her mother left her to be looked after by Ross Dunn.
“During the few hours she was away, something happened to the baby as a consequences of which she suffered life-threatening injuries and has been left profoundly disabled.”
Mr Erroch said that the pattern of multiple injuries found on the child was not consistent with an accident. He contended that injuries found on the baby were consistent with shaking.
He added that the consequences were “the most appalling combination of disability for a baby to live with for the rest of her life”.
As well as attempted murder, Dunn was convicted of assaulting her to her severe injury and permanent impairment by seizing her by the body, shaking her, striking her against a surface or by means unknown to the prosecutor.
He was also found guilty of failing to seek timely medical aid for the child knowing she was unwell and failing to tell doctors treating her the way in which she was injured.
He had denied all the charges, but could now be given a life sentence.
Police said both the baby – who is now registered blind – and her sister had suffered as a result of Dunn’s cruelty.
DI Morag Bruce said: “The violence these children have suffered at Dunn’s hands is utterly saddening and we have worked with partners to ensure they have a safe environment to grow up in.”