Edinburgh man cleared of attempting to kill six-week-old baby at Gorgie flat

The High Court in Edinburgh.
The High Court in Edinburgh.
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A man has been acquitted of attacking a six-week-old baby girl who suffered 19 rib fractures.

Nathan Elliot had faced a charge of attempting to murder the child at a flat in the Gorgie area of Edinburgh on March 15 or 16 last year.

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It was alleged that he seized the baby by the body, pushed and pulled her about, forcefully compressed her body and inflicted injury on her "by means to the prosecutor unknown".

Elliot, 20, was also alleged to have assaulted the child to her injury on March 13 last year by striking or seizing her by the body.

Elliot had denied the charges and lodged a special defence of incrimination at his trial at the High Court in Edinburgh, maintaining that if the assaults were committed it was not by him but by the child's mother.

The trial was halted after two days of evidence and the judge, Lady Scott, acquitted kitchen porter Elliot, from Edinburgh.

The mother, aged 20, earlier told the court that everything was fine following the birth of her daughter. She said she attended hospital with her daughter in March and a check was done on her reflexes but a doctor let her go and she fell. She thought that was the cause of an initial bruise on the baby.

She said that on March 15 Elliot arrived at her flat about midnight and took her daughter, who was not settling, into the living room but she heard her crying.

She told the court that he said he picked her up by the wrists and she was bruised. She said: "I checked her whole body. There wasn't any there."

The mother said that when she got up in the morning the child was "really distressed" and she noticed she was covered in bruises. She heard the child's ribs were "clicking".

She said she ran a bath for her daughter, adding: "She could breathe in, but she couldn't breathe out." A support worker later visited her home but she did not tell about the baby. Her mother later arrived and took the child to hospital.

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She was asked about Google searches found on her phone for "how to get bruises away on a baby", but denied that she put that in a search engine. She said Elliot knew her password and could have done it.

The mother told the court that her daughter was found to have sustained 19 rib fractures.

Defence counsel John Scullion QC said that when Elliot arrived at the flat and picked up the child she cried out because she was already hurt, but the woman denied it.

Mr Scullion said to the mother: "You knew she was injured." But the woman replied: "No."