Man caused infant multiple injuries and bone fractures

AN EDINBURGH man who repeatedly threw a two month old baby in the air caused the child to sustain multiple rib and leg injuries, the High Court has heard.

Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 2:13 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 2:38 pm
The High Court in Edinburgh. Picture: TSPL

Liam Simpson,22, was arrested after the infant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, fell ill and was taken to hospital.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard on Tuesday that doctors carried out X Rays on the tot and found he had sustained a number of painful injuries.

The court heard that medics concluded that the damage sustained by the little boy could only have been caused by somebody throwing him in the air.

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Police launched an investigation and found evidence to prove that people had seen Simpson carrying out the activity.

The story emerged after Simpson, also of Edinburgh, pleaded guilty before judge Lord Woolman to a charge of culpably and recklessly throwing the baby in the air at various locations in Scotland between December 28 2016 and March 17 2017.

After admitting the culpable and reckless conduct charge, the Crown accepted a not guilty plea to a charge which alleged that he assaulted the same child to his severe injury and to the danger of his life on the same dates and at the same locations as the culpable and reckless conduct charge.

Prosecutors also accepted a plea of not guilty to a charge which alleged that on December 8 2014, Simpson repeatedly inflicted blunt force trauma to a four week old child at a house in Edinburgh.

On Tuesday, prosecution lawyer Kath Harper told the court that witnesses were concerned by the way he threw the child into the air.

After the baby fell ill in March 2017, doctors concluded that the baby had been deliberately injured and contacted police who immediately launched an investigation.

The child had multiple rib fractures and injuries to his tibia and femur.

Ms Harper said: “In these circumstances the fact that the baby had been thrown into the air and grabbed on the descent could explain the rib fractures.

“The fractures were caused by pressure or compression. Some of the fractures were positioned at the back where the baby would be held in such circumstances.

“Because of the number and age of the fractures the baby would have been thrown and caught on more than one occasion.

“The rib fractures would have caused the child pain and the child would not have been able to breath normally while the fractures were healing.

“On March 24 2017, the accused was interviewed under caution in the presence of an appropriate adult. He denied handling the child roughly.

The court heard that Simpson had no previous convictions and has a learning disability.

Defence advocate Bert Kerrigan QC asked Lord Woolman to grant his client bail ahead of his sentencing hearing which is scheduled to be held in the new year.

Mr Kerrigan added: “As a consequence of the Crown accepting a plea of guilty to a charge of culpable and reckless conduct, the Crown accepts that there was no criminal intent to assault the child.

“The accused accepts there was culpable and reckless conduct on his part.”

Mr Kerrigan told Lord Woolman that he’d address him more fully on behalf of his client at the next set of proceedings.

Lord Woolman granted bail to Simpson and adjourned sentence for the court to obtain reports about the accused’s character and background.

He added: “I believe it will be better to obtain these reports whilst you are in the community. Bail is a privilege and you must adhere to the conditions set out in the order.”

Simpson will be sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh on February 6 2018.