Father who ‘couldn’t cope with parenting’ bit daughter’s face

Court
Court

A man who bit his baby daughter’s face and broke her arm in two separate incidents in the family home presents a “substantial risk” to any other child in his care, a court has heard.

Both the child’s mother and father appeared at Belfast Crown Court on charges arising from injuries sustained to the youngster, who was aged nine months when the first incident occurred in July 2013.

The 30-year-old man, who was recently diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, later confessed he couldn’t cope with parenting, saying the more his daughter cried, the more stressed he became.

He admitted a charge of cruelty to a child by biting his daughter, and also admitted a charge of causing his daughter grievous bodily harm by fracturing her upper arm. This injury occurred in October 2013 when the youngster was 13-months-old.

A doctor concluded that the spiral fracture to her left arm would have caused the tot “excruciating pain”.

The child’s mother, who is 28, also admitted a charge of cruelty to a child in that she exposed her daughter to a risk of harm. The pair, who cannot be named in order to protect the identity of their victim, are due to be sentenced next month.

The youngster is now living with a family member, has no lasting physical or psychological injuries and is “thriving” and “doing very well”.

Adele O’Grady QC, representing the child’s father, said he was a man of low intelligence who had Asperger’s and who could barely read or write.

Revealing it was the father’s case that he bit his daughter “out of frustration”, Ms O’Grady told the court he accepted blame and “recognises that he failed to cope with the task of parenting and that he reacted aggressively towards his daughter”.