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Man hit three-month-old baby’s head against post after cries disturbed video game

Andy Wells
·Freelance Writer
·2-min read
Andrew Woodhall shook the child backwards and forwards for around 90 seconds. (Reach)
Andrew Woodhall shook the child backwards and forwards for around 90 seconds. (Reach)

A man who violently shook a baby so hard that it left the youngster with catastrophic life-changing injuries has been jailed.

Andrew Woodhall smashed the three-month-old baby's head on a stair post after its cries disturbed him from playing his video game.

Woodhall, who was 21 at the time of the incident, shook the child backwards and forwards for around 90 seconds as a result of his “frustration and anger”.

Teesside Crown Court heard a victim statement from the child's mother, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, which outlined the child's complex medical needs as a result of the incident.

Jolyon Perks, prosecuting, told how the victim's mother said her "world came crashing down when Andrew admitted what he had done".

The baby was admitted to University Hospital of North Tees in Stockton. (Reach)
The baby was admitted to University Hospital of North Tees in Stockton. (Reach)

She said: "[The baby] has had [X] life taken away from [X], the life [X] was supposed to lead, while he lives his.”

She added that the child may never walk, talk or play like other children.

The child is now reliant on medication for epilepsy and requires 24-hour care.

Perks said that Woodhall, of Vincent Street, Hartlepool, picked the baby up from the cot and walked onto the landing.

He added: “He stopped shaking the child when he heard a thud which he believed was [the youngster's] head hitting the post at the top of the stairs.”

As the baby became unresponsive, Woodhall attempted CPR then rang the emergency services.

Paramedics who arrived at the scene described the baby as being “pale, unresponsive and had significantly reduced breathing".

The baby was admitted to University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, with fitting, haemorrhages and multiple rib fractures.

Andrew Woodhall was sentenced to 27 months in prison at Teesside Crown Court. (Wikipedia)
Andrew Woodhall was sentenced to 27 months in prison at Teesside Crown Court. (Wikipedia)

The youngster was then transferred to a hospital in Newcastle, where a doctor in charge of the care said it had sustained a severe brain injury, with multiple bleeds around the brain.

In interview, Woodhall said the baby was crying so he carried it downstairs to give it some milk, maintaining this account until January 2017 when the case was brought to the family court.

Woodhall then admitted lying to the police because he was “scared" saying he "lost his patience and became angry".

The 24-year-old pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm.

Andrew Turton, mitigating, described Woodhall as "immature" at the time of the devastating incident, adding: "He shook the child in frustration and anger.

"His immaturity played a part in his initial denial but fortunately to his credit the matters were admitted.”

Judge Paul Watson QC sentenced Woodhall to 27 months in prison.

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