April 2017

Man who dangled baby by neck while in pram spared jail

A man who dangled a baby strapped in his pushchair by the neck of his hooded jacket has been spared jail.

The combined weight of child and buggy pressing on his windpipe began to choke the 15-month-old boy, who turned blue in the face before his attacker relented.

George Cochrane, 27, of Lumley Street, Grangemouth, near Falkirk, was annoyed at the baby’s crying and called him “a little b*****d”.

At Stirling Sheriff Court on Wednesday, sheriff William Gilchrist said jailing Cochrane, who had already spent three weeks in custody on remand, would serve “no useful purpose”.

He sentenced him to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work – the maximum allowed – and placed him under supervision for two years.

Cochrane was also ordered to have anger management and alcohol counselling.

The sheriff said: “The charges to which you pled guilty did not involve any allegation of injury but that does not reduce their seriousness, considering they involved a very young infant boy.

“It appears that at the time you had a number of personal difficulties. You were simply not coping and you were unable to deal appropriately with challenging situations.

“I think you accept that what you did was entirely wrong.”

The assault on the boy was seen by two witnesses.

Prosecutor Matthew Kerr said: “He strapped the baby in a his pushchair and when he continued to cry took hold of the hood of top the baby was wearing and lifted him by it.

“Both the child and the pushchair were lifted from the floor.

“Both witnesses observed the baby’s face go purple and then blue, and saw he was struggling to breathe as the front of his clothing was tightening to the front of his neck.”

Mr Kerr said the witnesses “challenged” Cochrane, who he put the baby back on the seat of the pushchair and left.

The incident happened at a house in Grangemouth where Cochrane visited with the baby, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, at lunchtime.

The court heard the witnesses were already concerned after a previous incident a few weeks earlier.

On that occasion, Cochrane picked the baby up from the floor by his jacket and shook him backwards and forwards violently because he was crying.

Social workers were contacted the next day.

The child was taken to a place of safety and examined by doctors, who found brown bruises on either side of his forehead.

Mr Kerr said: “They found the injuries were consistent with blunt force trauma and said a child of his age would not have been able to bruise himself so badly by striking his head on the side of his cot.”

Mr Kerr said on both occasions the baby had been attacked after crying because it was tired.

Cochrane, an unemployed father-of-one, had pleaded guilty to assaulting the child and behaving towards him in a threatening and abusive manner.

The incidents occurred between December 2015 and March 28, 2016.

March 2017

Baby’s face turned blue as thug dangled him above ground

A man dangled a 15-month-old baby by his hooded jacket until the wee tot’s face turned blue.

Callous George Cochrane (27) actually lifted the baby while he was in his buggy and the combined weight of the child and the carrier pressing on his windpipe began to choke the baby, who turned blue in the face before his attacker put him down.

Grangemouth man Cochrane was annoyed at the baby’s crying and shouted at him “ you little bastard” before carrying out his violent act.

Appearing at Stirling Sheriff Court today, Cochrane previously pled guilty to assaulting the child and behaving in a threatening manner between December 2015 and March 28 last year.

Matthew Kerr, procurator fiscal depute, said: “The accused strapped the baby in his pushchair and, when he continued to cry, took hold of the hood of the top the baby was wearing, and lifted him by it.

“Both the child and the pushchair were lifted from the floor. Two witnesses observed the baby’s face go purple and then blue, and saw he was struggling to breathe as the front of his clothing was tightening to the front of his neck.”

Mr Kerr said one of the witnesses “challenged” Cochrane, and he made him put the baby back on the seat of the pushchair and then Cochrane quickly left.

The incident happened at an address house in Grangemouth.

Witnesses were already concerned after a previous incident a few weeks earlier, when Cochrane had picked the baby up from the floor by his jacket and shook him backwards and forwards violently because he was crying.

They contacted social workers the next day.

Doctors found brown bruises on both sides of the child’s forehead, as well as a mark on his thigh.

Mr Kerr said: “They found the injuries were consistent with blunt force trauma and said a child of his age would not have been able to bruise himself so badly by striking his head on the side of his cot.”

Mr Kerr said that on both occasions the little boy had been attacked, he had been crying because he was tired.

Cochrane was forced to represent himself in court after his solicitor withdrew from acting for him.

Sheriff William Gilchrist remanded him in custody until April 19 for pre-sentencing reports, and warned Cochrane: “A custodial sentence is almost inevitable.”

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