Sunderland woman who waited two days to seek treatment for baby’s broken leg is spared jail

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A woman who failed to get help for a young baby’s badly broken leg has walked free from court.

Sharon Hutchinson waited two days to get medical attention for the five-month-old, who she had been looking after.

You should have got help straight away. You didn’t.

Judge Penny Moreland

Newcastle Crown Court heard the injury was “extremely serious” and would have caused great pain.

The court heard it remains a mystery how exactly the injury was caused.

Prosecutor Paul Currer told the court the injury was discovered after Hutchinson called an NHS helpline, saying the leg appeared to be “dangling and was floppy”.

The 45-year-old took the baby to A&E at Sunderland Royal hospital, where an X-ray confirmed she had a displaced fracture of the femur.

Mr Currer said: “The baby had a number of bruises about the body and an obviously swollen left thigh. The leg was obviously causing great discomfort.”

Hutchinson, of Eglington Street, Sunderland, was interviewed and said she had not noticed anything wrong until she was changing the baby’s nappy, just before she called the NHS helpline.

She pleaded guilty to child cruelty, on the basis that the injury was caused when two other children fell on top of the baby two days earlier.

Mr Currer added: “The Crown cannot say how the injuries were caused, but the seriousness is the fact the injuries were extremely serious, causing the child great pain and no steps were taken for a couple of days to provide medical attention.”

Judge Penny Moreland sentenced Hutchinson to 13 months’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, with supervision.

The judge said: “The child was found to have a broken femur.

“It is apparent there was a delay of about 48 hours in you seeking help.

“You pleaded guilty on the basis the baby was injured in an incident involving other small children.

“You should have got help straight away. You didn’t.”

The judge said Hutchinson was of previous good character and was under “great pressure” at the time.

Jamie Adams, defending, said Hutchinson has been in the “depths of depression” and what happened to the baby was a “traumatic event”.