Dad’s ‘appalling’ action leaves baby a quadriplegic

A GOLD Coast man who shook his baby daughter so violently she was left a quadriplegic has been jailed for six years.

The father’s actions left the baby with severe spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy.
The father’s actions left the baby with severe spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy.

The 41-year-old - who cannot be named for legal reasons - pleaded guilty in Southport District Court today to causing grievous bodily harm to the four-month-old.

The case was to go to trial but the man admitted to the shocking crime.

Crown prosecutor Michael Hines told the court the man shook the baby so forcefully in 2016 her heart stopped and her brain started to atrophy.

The man took the infant to a neighbour to ring Triple 0 and started CPR.

Mr Hines said the baby was left with severe spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy and now needed full-time care.

"She will never get better," he told the court.

"She does not move by herself. She can't eat by herself. She has no quality of life."

The father gave police different versions of what caused the catastrophic injuries to his daughter, including that she had choked or fallen.

The father, who cannot be identified, will be eligible for parole in two years.
The father, who cannot be identified, will be eligible for parole in two years.

Judge Julie Dick said this was typical of baby-shaking cases where offenders panicked and provided different stories until medical evidence proved otherwise.

Mr Hines said: "I have no idea what happened in that house."

He said the child's mother was in "a state of dreamland" that the daughter would "miraculously get better".

"That's not going to happen," he said.

"This is extremely serious offending … it's hard to imagine a more serious consequence," he said.

Defence barrister Chris Wilson said the father had given immediate first-aid to the child and was "immediately upset and remorseful".

Mr Wilson said the father still saw his baby three days a week and also lived in hope that she would recover.

He said the man, a New Zealand national with two other children, also faced deportation at the end of his sentence.

Judge Dick told the sobbing father it was an "appalling" case of baby-shaking which had left his daughter with "a life not worth living".

She said the man had lost control and used "what must have been very excessive force".

Judge Dick sentenced the father to six years' jail but ordered he be eligible for parole in two years.