A DAD who fractured his baby’s arm because he “couldn’t cope” has been spared jail.
Ross Tansey also forced a dummy into the youngster’s mouth so roughly that it caused bleeding on the gums.
The 33-year-old later told police that he had been suffering from stress because of his partner’s depression.
The child, who was crying, was taken to A&E at Sunderland Royal Hospital for treatment, Newcastle Crown Court heard.
Tansey, of Holly Court, Millfield, admitted causing grievous bodily harm and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
Prosecutor Alexander Burns said the child’s mother had been in bed as she was physically and mentally exhausted, and asked Tansey to take the baby for some breakfast. She awoke on hearing the child’s screams.
When she picked her child up out of the pram she noticed one arm was limp and fell to the side, and its mouth was bleeding.
Mr Burns said: “Before leaving the house to take the child to the hospital, she asked the defendant ‘if you couldn’t cope, why didn’t you just say?’
“He replied ‘I couldn’t cope’.”
Tansey told medics who questioned him about the injuries that he was “worried” he had held the baby too tightly, and pushed the dummy in too forcefully – but was unaware that he caused any harm.
Mr Burns added: “Dr Alan Spring, a consultant radiologist was asked to see the child.
“He said the fracture on the upper humorous bone was only a few hours old when the x-ray was taken.
“He said it appeared to be a severe squeezing injury or more likely caused by a grabbing the child by the left arm and yanking upwards.”
Mr Burn said that Tansey was notably tired and frustrated, but he handled the child in a way that was “wrong and harmful.”
Mitigating, Christopher Morrison, said: “The injuries have completely healed and there was no obstruction of medical treatment by the defendant.
“This was not a premeditated assault in any way and no weapon was used to inflict it.”
The court heard that Tansey did not have pre vious convictions for violence.
Judge Brian Forster told him: “You said ‘I can’t cope.’ But I’m afraid that was not a valid answer, because if you were having difficulties in coping you could have turned to your partner or indeed you could have sought expertise.
“Anyone who has a child or has been part of a family knows that having young children is not always an easy task. Life is difficult.
“I wish to make it known that anyone who intentionally causes injury to a child must serve an appropriate, immediate custodial sentence.”
However, Judge Forster said Tansey did not cause the injuries intentionally, and gave him a 40-week prison sentence suspended for two years, with a two-year supervision order for the GBH.
He was also given an eight-week custodial sentence, suspended for two years, for the ABH, with a two year supervision requirement and an electronic curfew for three months from 9pm to 7am.