Suspended sentence for autistic man who dropped baby, pretended nothing happened – then went off to play on his PlayStation

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A MAN who dropped a newborn, causing fractures to the baby’s collarbone and ribs, cried as he was sentenced at court.

Richard Dewars, who suffers from Asperger’s syndrome, didn’t tell anyone that he had dropped the baby until three weeks after it happened.

The 31-year-old was at Newcastle Crown Court yesterday, where he was given a three-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, after pleading guilty to child cruelty.

Dewars, 31, of Townsend Square, Sunderland, had been holding the baby when he tripped and fell onto the sofa in February last year.

Bridie Smurthwaite, prosecuting, told the court that the baby hit the arm of the chair and then toppled onto the laminate wooden floor.

When the baby’s mother heard crying, she returned to the room and asked what was wrong.

The court heard that Dewars insisted the crying started because the mum had left the room, and did not say that the baby had been dropped.

Miss Smurthwaite called Dewars’s actions “sustained neglect”.

Lee Fish, defending, said: “No-one who came into contact with them had any reason to believe that the baby had sustained injuries.”

Judge Paul Sloan, sentencing Dewars, said: “You were asked why the baby was crying and you said that you didn’t know, when in fact you knew exactly what had happened.

“You had been carrying the baby when you stumbled and fell forwards onto the couch.

“You were pressing against the baby as she struck the arm rest. You let go of the baby and she tumbled onto the floor.

“You failed to tell her mother what had happened.

“You simply went off and played on a PlayStation.”

The judge added: “Some three weeks later, on March 6, a health worker noticed some abdominal bruising and advised the baby’s mother to take her to hospital, where they were kept in overnight.

“It was discovered that the baby had three fractured ribs and a fractured collarbone.

“When you were questioned by police, you made full and frank admissions.

“I accept that you are genuinely remorseful for failing to reveal what had happened.”