A man who threw a two-month-old baby in the air but failed to catch him properly before shaking the “completely lifeless” looking tot has been jailed.
Jay Bell also failed to seek medical attention for the child despite later filming him having a seizure on his mobile phone.
The High Court in Edinburgh heard that the little boy is now registered blind and suffers from cerebral palsy after sustaining brain injury.
Bell, 23, of Mayfield, Dalkeith, admitted culpable and reckless conduct towards the youngster to his severe injury, permanent impairment and to the danger of his life.
He threw the child repeatedly in the air, but the baby struck his head on a wall, hit a Moses basket and fell to the floor and was repeatedly shaken.
Bell’s defence solicitor advocate, John Keenan, sought to have him remain on bail ahead of sentencing next month but a judge rejected the move.
Judge Paul Arthurson QC said there had been “catastrophic medical sequelae” for the child and told Bell: “These offences are likely to attract a substantial custodial sentence.”
The court heard that Bell, a joiner, had been looking after the baby on 26 July, 2013 at a house in Midlothian.
Advocate depute Andrew Brown QC said Bell had lay on a bed and begun to throw the child up and down, catching him.
“On one occasion he failed to catch him properly and he fell, first striking his head on the wall behind the bed, then striking the Moses basket and finally the floor, landing on his side,” said the prosecutor.
“The accused looked at the child who was staring at him vacantly. The accused picked him up and shook him repeatedly until he began to cry. He then tried to settle the child but without success,” he said.
Bell had later babysat the child again when the youngster suffered fits but did not seek medical help, although at one stage he filmed him in the process of a seizure.
The child was later taken to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh. He was found to have swelling and bleeding on the brain, retinal haemorrhaging and a fractured rib and ankle – what medical professionals term the “triad” of injuries associated with “shaken baby syndrome”.
Mr Brown said that at age two-and-a-half the child is unable to sit unaided and a consultant had indicated that if he does really well he may be able to walk with the use of a walker.