Six-week-old baby nearly killed in ice-fuelled attack, court told 

The Age

Adam Cooper

Februaru 25,2010

A man who inflicted devastating injuries on a six-week-old baby girl might have

resented her because he believed that she wasn't his biological daughter, a court resented her because he believed that she wasn't his biological daughter, a court has heard.

No one knows exactly what happened when the 37-year-old man was alone witht he child in regional Victoria on June 10, 2016.

But investigators believe the man either hit the baby with an object or struck her against something hard, and also violently shook her in the hour that he was against something hard, and also violently shook her in the hour that he was

against something hard, and also violently shook her in the hour that he was swelling of the brain that could affect her sight, motor skills and communication..

After the little girl was released from hospital into the care of a foster family, she did not make a sound for months.

"She didn't make a sound all the way home. For the first six months, she made nos ound," the family said.

The girl, now aged nearly four, is happy, walking and playing with other children, but her foster mother is often asked why the girl is cross-eyed, and what caused

the scars on her legs and head.

"I wonder how she will answer this and how it affects her growing up," the foster mother said in a victim impact statement read to the County Court on Tuesday.

A jury was last year told the girl was the man's daughter, however, he believed that

while he was in jail in 2015 his then partner was with another man, and so the girl while he was in jail in 2015 his then partner was with another man, and so the girl

was not his biological daughter.

The offender and girl share the same surname so he cannot be named to protect the child's identity.

Forensic psychiatrist Jaydip Sarkar said on Tuesday that it was possible the manr esented the baby because he believed she wasn't his and that he directed his

anger towards his then partner onto the child.

It was also possible he woke to the baby's crying and bashed her in a drug-fuelled rage, Dr Sarkar said.

The jury found the man guilty of intentionally causing serious injury but he maintained he didn't cause the injuries. He blamed the partner, and told police

 He blamed the partner, and told police the woman hated her four children.

Before the incident, court documents show he lunged at his partner with a knife as she held their baby and in the presence of her other children.

The woman ran from the house yelling "help, help, he's going to kill me" as the man smashed up the house and threw the baby's bassinet.

She said her life fell apart after her partner shook their baby.

"Not knowing what or how this happened has stayed with me ever since," she told the court in a statement.

Dr Sarkar diagnosed the man with borderline personality disorder, but Judge Mark Taft rejected a defence submission the condition reduced his moral culpability.

The attack was one of the worst the judge had encountered.

"Everything in this case suggests to me a grave, reprehensible departure from any moral standards," Judge Taft said.

"Ultimately a six-week-old baby has almost been killed.

"You cannot imagine a more vulnerable position than that child."

The man has previously been jailed for assault offences and police had been to his home for family violence incidents.

At the time of the attack he was wanted by police for an earlier family violence incident.

After that earlier report, in May 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services had the woman's brother and his girlfriend stay in the house as part of a

safety plan.

However, the court heard, all the adults in the house used ice and helped hide the offender whenever police searched for him.

Judge Taft described the department's plan as a "recipe for disaster".

"The Department of Health and Human Services would face the gravest allegations if this child died," he said.

Prosecutor Russ Hammill said the man's offending was a serious example of the offence given the baby's vulnerability, the devastating injuries and his lack of

remorse, and aggravated by him enlisting his mother to tell police she saw the injuries before the date they were inflicted.

The man was remanded to be sentenced at a later date.

with AAP


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