A MAN who shook and struck a four-week-old baby, leaving her blind and with catastrophic injuries, was found guilty of attempted murder yesterday.
Ross Dunn shook the little girl and struck her off a surface when he was supposed to be looking after her and her sister.
She is a good little girl but has severe, lifelong disabilitiesVictim’s mother
His victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, suffered a fractured skull, broken leg, eye damage, bleeding and bruising following the attack at her home in Edinburgh. She is now registered blind.
The child’s mother told the High Court in Edinburgh: “She is a good little girl, but she has been left with very severe, lifelong disabilities. She is not mobile. She is very floppy like a small baby. She will likely never stand, walk, even sit by herself.”
Dunn, 28, denied attempting to murder the child at a flat in Edinburgh in November 2013, but jurors found him guilty yesterday.
He was convicted of assaulting her to her severe injury and permanent impairment by seizing her by the body, shaking her, and striking her against a surface or by means unknown to the prosecutor.
He was also found guilty of failing to seek timely medical aid for the child knowing she was unwell and failing to tell doctors treating her the way in which she was injured.
Following his conviction, advocate depute Bruce Erroch told the judge that two victim impact statements had been completed on behalf of the child by her mother.
Lord Malcolm deferred sentence on Dunn, who has a previous conviction for assault, for the preparation of a background report with a risk assessment.
Defence lawyers asked for Dunn’s bail to be continued ahead of sentencing but the judge said that given the nature of the crime it would be revoked and he would be remanded in custody.
The trial heard the child was taken to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh after the assault where it was noted that her heart rate was very high and there were signs her brain was not working properly.
A consultant in paediatric and emergency medicine said she was taking occasional pauses in her breathing and he had documented “a high pitched scream”.
A pattern of bruising was found above the child’s ankle which was suggestive of being caused by “gripped fingers”.
Dunn told his defence counsel, Donald Findlay QC, that he had not intentionally harmed the child. He said he was holding her in his right arm when she fell. He told the court: “From what I remember, at that point I tried to pull her in towards me. I knew I was going to hit the floor.”
Dunn, of Wester Drylaw Place, Edinburgh, said it was a “really heavy” fall. When the girl’s mother came home, Dunn told her he had fallen with her, but she was “okay”.