April 2018

Baby was left looking like he ‘had been in a fight’ 

A tiny baby was left looking like he “had been in a fight” after a cruel chef subjected him to an “abhorrent” attack.

Christopher Rudsdale headbutted and possibly punched the youngster hard in the face when he was just a few weeks old.

A court heard the baby was left with nine sites of injury, including bleeding on the brain, after being left with Rudsdale for just 15 minutes.

He then heaped further misery on the child’s distraught mum by denying all responsibility – meaning the innocent and loving woman came under suspicion and had her child taken away from her for months after seeking medical help.

The shocking details of the case were revealed as Rudsdale, a chef at a pub, was jailed at Newcastle Crown Court for causing the injuries.

Judge Simon Batiste told the 35-year-old, of Parons Drive, Ryton, Gateshead: “Babies are the most vulnerable in our society and need to be protected.

“In this case he needed protecting from you.

“He was two months of age and was therefore incredibly vulnerable.

“The suggestion made is (the baby) had the appearance he had been in a fight.

“He had bruising and swelling to the nose which suggested he had been punched hard in the face and may have been shaken as well.

“You suggested in the pre-sentence report there was a single headbutt. I make it clear, I do not accept there was a single event that caused the injuries. There was more than one blow that caused these injuries.

“As a result of your behaviour and refusal to accept responsibility, (the child’s mother) had her child taken away from her as well. That must have had an appalling impact on her.”

The court heard Rudsdale, who worked at a pub called The Falcon as a chef, had only been left with the baby briefly when he carried out the attack.

He initially lied that they had just clashed heads but the child’s mum later noticed injuries and took him to see a doctor.

The GP was so concerned the youngster was taken to the accident and emergency department of the RVI in an ambulance.

When he was examined, nine sites of injury were revealed.

There was a bruise to the right eyebrow, discolouration inside his nostrils, swelling in the eye, which was purple and tender, swelling to the bridge of the nose, blue bruising under the left eye, pin-point bruising inside the lip, the skin on the floor of the mouth was white and there was dry blood in the nostril.

An MRI scan revealed blood on both sides of the brain, which later resolved.

Referring to one doctor who examined the child, prosecutor Deborah Smithies said: “He described the appearance of (the baby) as if he had been in a fight and suggested he had been punched hard in the face and may have been shaken as well.”

In a victim impact statement, the baby’s mum spoke of the trauma of coming under suspicion herself.

“This caused me great distress because I knew I had not and never would hurt my son,” she said.

“Any time I had with him I had to be supervised in hospital and I couldn’t even give him cuddles without being watched over by strangers and made to feel like a criminal.

“On Christmas Day I was told he could leave hospital but he couldn’t come home, he had to go to a foster home.”

Miss Smithies said: “She described the period as akin to torture.”

Rudsdale, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to child cruelty and was jailed for 17 months.