Man, 23, jailed for shaking baby

Paul Anthony Howarth
Paul Anthony Howarth
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“Your actions were deliberate, you knew this was a young and vulnerable victim.”

So said a judge as he jailed a man who left a baby with multiple fractures and bleeding on the brain.

Paul Anthony Howarth, 23, of Brackenbury Road, Plungington, Preston, is starting an eight year jail term after pleading guilty to two counts of section 20 wounding and a charge of section 18 wounding with intent relating to the tot.

During his sentencing at Preston Crown Court the Recorder of Preston, Judge Anthony Russell QC, said: “The offences came to light after his third admission to hospital when the history was reviewed.

“This time the child was suffering convulsions.

“There is in my judgement no mitigation.”

Two of the charges relate to an incident on August 23, 2012 when it is understood Howarth shook the crying infant.

The third count relates to an incident between August 25 and September 19 the same year when, knowing he had previously injured the youngster, he shook him again, causing further serious injuries.

Paul Cummings, prosecuting, said: “The tot’s mother had gone out when she received a call saying the baby was bleeding from the mouth and vomiting blood. The baby was taken to hospital.”

The court heard the baby was initially discharged but was then taken to Royal Preston Hospital where doctors carried out scans to reveal the extent of the injuries.

The youngster had multiple fractures, some healed, to the legs and ribs and a subdural haemorrhage, causing bleeding to his brain. He also had retinal haemorrhages.

Medical staff feared the child’s injuries may have been “non-accidental” and Howarth was later arrested.

Defending, David Ryan said: “His explanation which is not an excuse, is at the time of the commission of these offences he was under an enormous amount of pressure, and had just lost his job. He was depressed and lost his self control. It was totally out of character for this normally calm reasonable individual.

“Thankfully there were no lasting physical injuries.”