A MAN who repeatedly threw a nine-week-old boy in the air and shook him, resulting in “truly catastrophic” consequences for the child, has been jailed for four years.
Jay Bell’s actions in 2013 led to the baby sustaining bleeding on the brain, retinal haemorrhages and a fractured rib and ankle.
As a result of the brain injury, the child suffers from cerebral palsy, is registered blind and has difficulty using his limbs.
The baby did not receive hospital treatment for about two weeks and Bell took about five months to reveal what had happened to the child when he was in his care.
Bell, 23, last month pleaded guilty to two charges - one of culpable and reckless conduct towards the child to his severe injury, permanent impairment and to the danger of his life; and a second of wilfully neglecting the baby and failing to seek medical attention for him.
Passing sentence at the High Court in Edinburgh yesterday, judge Paul Arthurson QC described the offences as “extremely serious”.
The court heard that on 26 July 2013, Bell threw the child in the air repeatedly but the baby struck his head on the wall, then hit a Moses basket and fell on the floor.
Bell - of Dougall Place, Mayfield, Dalkeith, Midlothian - then picked him up and shook him repeatedly until he began to cry.
The court heard the child was eventually admitted to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children on 10 August 2013 and it took Bell until December that year to disclose fully what had happened to the baby.
The judge told Bell: “Through your conduct, a nine-week-old child who was in your care sustained bleeding on the brain, retinal haemorrhages and skeletal fractures - namely a fractured rib and a fractured ankle.
“As a result of the brain injury, the child suffers from cerebral palsy and is registered blind. He cannot sit unaided, he has difficulty in using his limbs.
“These medical consequences, all caused as a result of your conduct, are and will continue to be devastating for the child and for his mother who cares for him.”
Had the child gone to hospital straight after suffering the brain injury, medical intervention may have limited the impact of that injury, the judge said.
The court heard that Bell has a criminal record - four groups of convictions incorporating nine offences in total, all dated after the offences being dealt with by the judge.