Dad broke four-month-old's leg 'trying to make baby poo'
AS A father, he was meant to protect his vulnerable four-month-old child from harm - but he was the one who caused it.
A man pleaded guilty to one charge of grievous bodily harm in the Bundaberg District Court yesterday after he caused a spiral fracture to his baby's leg and then waited two hours before taking her to hospital.
Between 6 and 6.30am on July 7 last year, the child was solely in the care of the father while his wife was in the bathroom.
In that time, the man began moving his infant child's legs in a bike pedal motion as he was told it would assist in opening their bowels.
Crown prosecutor Jacqueline Ball said when the man was doing the exercises he heard a crack before the infant became distressed.
The court heard during the time before taking the child to hospital, the man had called both the maternal and paternal grandparents and the child nurse they had contact with.
The man gave the paediatrician more of a detailed account of what happened saying he had the child sitting facing away from him when he performed the motion.
Ms Ball said the doctor did not accept the man's story of what happened and "would not expect that injury from what was described".
The court heard the child had no underlying brittle bone condition.
The injury was treated using a splint and didn't require surgical intervention.
The defendant's barrister Callan Cassidy told the court his client accepted responsibility for the injury from the outset.
Mr Cassidy said his client said that he "must've done it too hard" and sometimes he "didn't know his own strength".
He said the man was the carer for his wife who has an intellectual disability.
After the incident, the child was taken into care and both the man and his wife have supervised visits.
Mr Cassidy said his client had completed courses and was taking steps to one day be reunited with her.
Judge Anthony Rafter took into account the man's guilty plea and the fact he had no criminal history.
Judge Rafter said the grievous bodily harm charge carried a maximum prison term of 14 years.
"The injury was very serious, fortunately for the child there are no ongoing issues," he said.
The father was sentenced to three years imprisonment with an immediate parole release.
*For 24-hour domestic violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.