A MAN who dropped a baby, causing broken ribs and collarbone, covered up what he had done for three weeks.
Richard Dewar, from Thorney Close in Sunderland, was looking after the baby – who cannot be named for legal reasons – at the time of the accident.
The 31-year-old had the baby on one arm when he hit his toe and stumbled. He let go of the baby, which fell on to a settee, but then rolled on to the floor.
The baby, who is less than a year old, went on to cry “hysterically” for 90 minutes.
When questioned by the child’s mother what had happened, Dewar didn’t say anything about the accident and the extent of the injuries didn’t come to light until three weeks later when the baby was x-rayed.
Dewar was then arrested and pleaded guilty to child neglect when he appeared at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court.
Keith Laidlaw, prosecuting, told the court that Dewar tripped while holding the baby. He said: “He was holding a tumbler of juice in the other hand and was walking from the kitchen to the living room.
“He stubbed his toe, stumbled forward and the baby hit the arm of the chair.
“He let go of the baby, thinking they would fall on to the couch, but they then fell from the couch on to the floor.”
Mr Laidlaw told the court that the baby’s mother was in the same house and heard “hysterical” crying.
He added: “When the mother asked what had happened, Dewar did not tell her.
“He did not say anything until the outcome of the x-ray results.”
When the police arrested Dewar, the mother told them the baby had slept well on the night of the accident and took a feed without any problems.
Gavin Sword, defending, said that Dewar – who he said was sorry for what happened – had been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome aged 22, which affected the way he reacts to situations.
He said: “They can seem quite isolated and not to care about others. They find it difficult to see or imagine another point of view. That is how I think his condition impacts on these matters.”
He added that there was no suggestion Dewar injured the baby deliberately.
Mr Sword said: “His wrongdoing and the offence he pleads guilty to is that he does not tell the mother what had happened and does not tell anyone else what has happened.
“We know from the medical evidence the baby had suffered quite significant injuries. I think it was right that he was aware that the baby had been hurt, but was not aware of the seriousness of the injuries.”
Magistrates ruled the case was too serious for them to deal with.
Dewar, of Townsend Square, will be sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court on August 8.