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Thursday, 17 May 2018

Judge rules baby suffered brain damage after anxious father shook him

Written by Brian Farmer

A baby suffered brain damage after choking while feeding and being shaken by his anxious father, a family court judge has concluded.

The little boy, who is now approaching his second birthday, had been left with "significant disabilities", Judge Alan Booth heard.

He had been injured in late 2016 when three months old, the judge heard.

Detail of the case has emerged in a ruling by Judge Booth, who had analysed evidence at a private family court hearing in Blackburn, Lancashire.

Social services bosses with welfare responsibilities for the little boy had asked the judge to decide how injuries had been caused.

Judge Booth heard that the little boy had choked while being given bottle-fed milk by his father.

The man said he had panicked and dialled 999.

"At some point I am satisfied his father picked him up and shook him and turned him over so that he produced some milky substance that had been choking him," said the judge.

"The likelihood is that it was during those movements that the damage was done to (his) brain."

Judge Booth added: "His father may or may not have overreacted, it matters not.

"I find that this was an example of an anxious shake.

"I am satisfied his father was trying to revive him after he had choked and struggled to breathe."

The judge said the family involved could not be identified.

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