Baby basher jailed 48 hours after sentencing

Author
Anna Leask, NZ Herald,
Section
National,
Publish Date
Thursday, 22 March 2018, 6:19p.m.
The injured baby with his grandfather shortly after the assault that left him hospitalised for a week. (Photo / Supplied)
The injured baby with his grandfather shortly after the assault that left him hospitalised for a week. (Photo / Supplied)

THIS STORY CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES AND DESCRIPTIONS OF VIOLENT CHILD AND DOMESTIC ABUSE.

The man sentenced to home detention after he bashed his 9-month-old son and partner is back behind bars.

The Herald can reveal that the 20-year-old Waikato man has allegedly breached the conditions of his home detention and is back behind bars.

READ MORE: Home detention for dad who bashed baby

Two sources confirmed that the alleged breach came after the man went to a pub "to celebrate" not being sent to prison.

The Herald cannot name the man.

Under the Criminal Procedure Act, no young victim can be named or identified.

READ MORE: Baby bashing: Crown urged to appeal sentence

That means the man's name and image cannot legally be published anywhere.

He was sentenced on Tuesday evening by Judge Denise Clark in the Hamilton District Court.

But less than 48 hours into that sentence, which included 160 hours of community work, he was arrested and charged with breaching his conditions.

The same night he was sentenced the man posted a selfie on Facebook with the caption: "Last day at court sweet. Now I can live my life."

The caption also included a word associated with the Mongrel Mob.

The maternal grandfather of the injured boy, now almost 2 years old, spoke to the Heraldsoon after learning of the arrest.

He was shocked, but not surprised - given the man breached bail twice after his arrest for the assault on the baby.

"That judge will have egg on her face now," the grandfather told the Herald.

"This is unreal."

The man was facing a starting point of around three years in prison.

But Judge Clark gave him a discount for his guilty pleas, remorse and a promise of employment.

"It does seem to me with right environment you are able to behave in quite unobstructive ways," she told him in court on Tuesday.

"This is a long sentence for you, but it is a sentence that allows you to address the needs you do have."

According to the Department of Corrections, non-compliance with home detention conditions is treated "very seriously".

Anyone guilty of a breach could face three consequences:

• an internal sanction, for example a warning or increasing reporting requirements;
• a formal breach action which may result in a further conviction, another sentence, such as community work, a fine, or imprisonment;
• an application to the court to cancel the sentence and replace it with a more restrictive sentence.

The arrest came the same day as police confirmed they were considering whether to appeal Judge Clark's sentence.

"He's got to go to prison now," said the baby's grandfather, whose daughter was also repeatedly assaulted by the man during their relationship.

This morning the Herald revealed that the 20-year-old had received a sentence of nine months home detention and 160 hours of community service after the brutal beating in February last year.

The 9-month-old was hospitalised with lacerations around his mouth, welts on both sides of his head, multiple cheekbone fractures, a torn bottom lip and tongue and facial grazes.

His eyelids were so swollen that the baby could barely open them.

Court documents stated that the attack happened at a house in the Waikato area on February 19 last year.

The man's then-partner was cooking breakfast and he took the baby into the bedroom after becoming frustrated with his continual grizzling - the result of teething.

Alone in the room, the man struck the baby repeatedly on his face and head and grabbed him by the chin and mouth to stifle his cries.

He then forced something solid in the infant's mouth causing a tear between his tongue and base of his mouth.

From the next room the baby's mother could hear her partner say: "f*** up, shut up you little c***".

She threatened to call the police as the attack on the baby continued.

Her partner then turned on her, threatening to burn her with a hot pan before pushing her towards the ground and kicking her legs, hip and shoulder.

As she lay on the ground, he then fetched the baby and demanded she feed him.

In November last year the man pleaded guilty to a charge of wounding with reckless disregard for the attack on his baby son.

He also admitted a charge of assaulting the baby's mother with a weapon, and six further charges of male assaults female relating to her and another woman.

The sentence upset the baby's maternal family, with his grandfather saying it was "a huge joke".

It has also sparked outrage in the community.

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