Leeds father repeatedly punched baby daughter

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A LEEDS father who repeatedly punched his baby daughter in the ribs after he “lost it” has been handed a suspended prison sentence.

The baby, who was less than four-months-old, suffered bruising to her rib cage during the attack last year, Leeds Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Carmel Pearson, said the father, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had been caring for the baby for a short time while the child’s mother went to a shop.

Miss Pearson said the mother witnessed the incident after returning from the shop, adding: “She saw the defendant punch the baby. He was holding her with one hand and he punched her three times with the other hand.”

The court heard the baby was taken to hospital where a doctor confirmed she had suffered bruising to her upper rib cage.

The man went to a police station and told officers what he had done.

Mitigating, Kara Firth said: “He told police ‘I’m disgusted with myself. I’m the lowest of the low and I need help.’ He doesn’t seek to justify his behaviour in any respect.”

The man admitted assault causing actual bodily harm.

Judge Christopher Batty handed the man a 24 week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, plus 18 months supervision and 75 hours of unpaid work. Judge Batty told him: “I have read your document, which is articulate and gives an indication that you appreciate the enormity of what you did... Babies of that age can most frustrating, upsetting, difficult children. But there can never be an excuse to punch them. You are her father, there to protect her, not to assault her.” Judge Batty added: “What you recognise is that you lost it and what you have tried to do is everything you can to ensure you don’t lose it again.”