Sunderland man broke baby’s collarbone during ‘vigorous game’

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A man who broke a four-month-old baby's collarbone when he threw him into the air during "play" has been spared jail.

Newcastle Crown Courty heard former factory worker Liam Scott, 22, hurled the child higher than the living room light fitting during a "vigorous" game and, despite realising the little boy was hurt, did nothing to get him help or ease his pain.

It was only when the tot's mother heard a strange "click" coming from his arm area when she bathed him later in the day that he was taken to hospital.

The horrified mum also noticed during the baby's bath time that he had a bruise inside his ear.

Scott was questioned when the baby's mum told the authorities he had been with the tot that day.

He initially denied wrongdoing.

Prosecutor Julie Clemitson told the court: "It was not until the third interview he then went on to say he had, in fact been playing, throwing him rather more vigorously than he had let on initially.

"He said he had been throwing him so he would have gone up above the light fitting in the sitting room. He said he had not said anything about this before because he was scared to do so."

Scott, of Hylton Road, Sunderland, pleaded guilty to cruelty.

Miss Clemitson added: "He threw him into the air to such a height and with such vigour it caused enough force, when he was coming down and being pulled into the defendant's chest, to fracture his collar bone and bruise his ear.

"Knowing the child was in considerable distress and pain afterwards, he covered it up so he did not get into trouble."

Judge Colin Burn said Scott had been "stupidly reckless" and it was a "few moments of stupidity" but accepted he did not deliberately hurt the baby.

Scott was sentenced to 18 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, with 150 hours unpaid work and programme requirements.

The judge told him: "You have come very close to going straight into the cells today."

Jamie Adams, defending, said Scott has been "beside himself" with remorse for what happened and was "choking on tears" when being questioned.

Mr Adams told the court: "This did not emanate from malice, it emanates from immaturity."