February 2017

Sunderland man who left four-month-old baby disabled for life with ‘catastrophic’ injuries is jailed

A man who caused “catastrophic” injuries that left a four-month-old baby disabled for life has been put behind bars.

Andrew Ross, 30, shook the tot, who had fallen from his knee and appeared to be unconscious after jerking his head, in a bid to “snap him out of it”.

As a result, the baby suffered a severe brain injury that has left him with lifelong learning disabilities, developmental delay, sight problems and the inability to ever lead in independent life.

At Newcastle Crown Court Ross, of Cheltenham Road, Hylton Castle, Sunderland, admitted causing grievous bodily harm and has been jailed for 21 months. 

Judge Sloan said he accepted what happened was not premeditated but involved a “high degree of recklessness”.

The court heard Ross had been giving the baby a bottle when he kicked out and slipped off his knee 

Ross initially claimed the baby’s injured state was entirely down to the fall, when his head and neck jerked. But two weeks later he confessed he had shaken him.

Ross said the baby was limp after his head jerked violently in the fall and “in panic” he decided to shake him “to see if he could snap him out of it”.

When detectives asked him why he would shake a baby who he feared may be badly injured, he said he “wasn’t thinking logically”.