childhoodA County Londonderry man who denied child cruelty against his son has been sentenced to four years in prison.

Robert Anderson, 27, shook the baby so violently that he was left permanently blind; brains damaged and can only respond to noises.

The Judge also counted another charge of child neglect, imposing upon him a sentence of two years. He was found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm. He was also found unanimously guilty of cruelty to his baby son by neglect and ordered to spend 12 months on probation when he is released from prison.

The child now suffers from cerebral palsy and epilepsy and will need care and attention for the rest of his life. Anderson admitted dropping the baby accidently and shaking him vigorously when he stopped breathing. However, he said that when the baby started breathing properly again, he did not call for help as he “had no credit limit on his mobile”.

Judge Phillip Babington told Anderson he had caused catastrophic injuries to a totally defenceless child. He said that “As you are a human being and he is your son, it was your responsibility to call for help at the time when you failed”.

One of the relative of the baby responded to the media stating that the condition of the baby was miserable and that the child could respond only to noises as a result of the injuries sustained and was unable to speak and had multiple disability and mobility problems.

Mr. Anderson, head of NSPCC in Northern Ireland, said the child’s “horrendous injuries” were consistent with Shaken Baby Syndrome. He also said that it was clear that an indefinite-long term care programme was necessary for the child on an ongoing basis.


Report by Alka