Man shook baby so hard she can’t eat or speak

Glasgow High Court. Steven Davidson would not explain his actions Picture: John Devlin
Glasgow High Court. Steven Davidson would not explain his actions Picture: John Devlin
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A MAN has admitted shaking a six-week-old baby so violently that she was left catastrophically brain-damaged.

The High Court in Glasgow heard 23-year-old Steven Davidson had been looking after the baby while her mother, who had been up all night with the child, got some sleep.

“She is cared for in a loving family environment”

Paul Kearney

Despite admitting he carried out the attack, he has never given an explanation to the child’s mother, to doctors or to police that would account for the injuries the girl sustained.

But medical evidence shows she was shaken and may have also been hit against something.

The child, now aged two, is unable to sit up or communicate and requires round-the-clock care.

The court heard that at 8am on 13 October, 2012, the mother asked Davidson, from Bontine Avenue, Dumbarton, to care for the baby, who was awake and crying and wriggling. By 9:30am, the little girl was unresponsive and her eyes were closed.

Advocate depute Paul ­Kearney, prosecuting, said: “She was breathing but seemed unconscious and did not respond to having her limbs moved or to her name.”

The baby’s mother, who had been roused from sleep by Davidson, noticed her soft spot on her head felt firm and, realising this was not normal, phoned the emergency services.

The child was taken to the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley and given a CT scan that showed bleeding inside her skull. The next day, she was transferred to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow.

Mr Kearney said: “A second CT scan was carried out there. This appeared to show the child had extensive damage to the brain caused by a lack of oxygen being supplied to the brain.”

The child is now cared for by her mother and other family members. Mr Kearney said: “She has an acquired brain injury which has left her with a severe physical disability. She is not able to sit unaided, has restricted movement in her upper limbs.

“Although aged two, she functions at the level of a child of four or five months. She can make sounds, but cannot speak. She is described as an engaging child and can smile, laugh and cry and use facial expressions, but is otherwise unable to ­communicate, even though she clearly wants to.

“The child cannot take solid food and will need a wheelchair. She does, however, benefit from being cared for in a loving family environment.”

Davidson admitted shaking the baby, throwing her against a surface to her severe injury, permanent impairment and to the danger of her life.

He was originally charged with attempted murder, but the Crown accepted his plea to a ­reduced charge.

Judge Lady Scott deferred sentence on him until next month for background reports and allowed him bail.


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