Leeds dad jailed for burn attacks on son aged 3

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A DAD left his three-year-old son scarred for life after deliberately burning him with a naked flame while high on drugs.

A court heard yesterday how social services placed the vulnerable youngster and his brother with him despite knowing of his chronic heroin addiction and lengthy criminal record.

The father was also recovering from tuberculosis at the time the children were placed with him in 2011.

The father, who cannot be named, was jailed for eight years after pleading guilty to wounding with intent and child cruelty.

The injuries were inflicted after the youngster had been allowed to live with him at his flat in Leeds

Leeds Crown Court heard the youngster needed plastic surgery after suffering burns to his hands and his armpits.

The boy was also found to have bruising to his head and face and he had further scratches to his body and genitals.

The court heard the boy suffered for 20 hours before being taken to hospital

After his arrest, the father claimed he did not know how he had suffered the injuries.

The prosecution said the father coached the boy’s brother to tell authorities he had caused the injuries to his sibling.

Nicholas Askins, prosecuting, said: “The prosecution’s case is that, under the pressure of the childcare responsibilities, the defendant relapsed into drug misuse and became aggressive.”

He added: “The Crown cannot say every injury on the boy was as a result of assault, but at least on some occasions he must have assaulted him while the boy was in his care. They were acts of excessive or extreme physical chastisement.

“He did not take him to hospital when it must have been obvious that urgent medical intervention was required.”

James Keeley, mitigating, said the father was full of remorse now that he was no longer abusing drugs.

He said: “He is finding it extremely hard not to hate himself for what he has done.”

The barrister added: “It has to be asked that a man with a history of drug abuse, criminal convictions, recovering from TB - instructions all known to the social services - how he was put in that situation.

“Not trying to minimise his criminality at all, but a man of his difficulties being placed to care for vulnerable children must raise questions.”

Jailing him, judge Sally Cahill, QC, said: “In my view this was the most appalling treatment of a very young and vulnerable child.

“You had been entrusted with the care of your son and you decided to treat him most horribly.

“You were using drugs at the time and you caused very serious and painful injuries, some of which have left him with lifelong scars.”

Tony Burdin, chief executive of Sheffield Mutual Friendly Society

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