A Queensland father who snapped and hurled his newborn baby into her cot to stop her crying has been jailed for 18 months.
A Queensland father has been jailed for hurling his newborn baby into her cot during a fit of rage to stop her crying.
The infant’s mother sobbed in the Brisbane Supreme Court as her 40-year-old estranged husband was sentenced to five years imprisonment, to be suspended after 18 months.
He pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm.
Their five-week-old daughter and her twin, born prematurely using IVF technology, had been home from hospital for just five days when their father snapped in May 2013.
The court heard his wife was asleep in their North Lakes home, north of Brisbane, when the man became disturbed by the crying of one of the twins.
He picked the child up by its throat and threw her “as hard as he could” into the cot, crown prosecutor Gary Churchill said.
The infant somersaulted and hit her head on the back of the cot, before her father gently picked her up again and settled her.
When his wife checked on the child shortly after, she noticed something was wrong and the baby was taken to hospital.
Doctors found the newborn had suffered significant brain injuries and called police.
The man initially denied responsibility, but after four days admitted his actions.
He told police he had not been coping with parenting when he “lost it” because he “just wanted her to shut up”, Mr Churchill said.
Doctors’ reports said at 12 months the child had the developmental age of a four-month-old and she would be permanently brain damaged, with the possibility of an early death.
“An attack such as this resulting in such catastrophic consequences to his own daughter who was only five weeks old … is beyond comprehension by most,” Mr Churchill said.
The man’s barrister, Jeff Hunter QC, said his client had been suffering anxiety and financial stress and had been unprepared for the challenges of raising twins born prematurely.
Justice Michael Noud called the crime abhorrent and noted its catastrophic consequences, but took into account the man’s remorse and lack of criminal history in suspending his prison term after 18 months.