A dad who broke his two-month-old baby’s leg and left her covered in blood when she wouldn’t stop crying has been jailed for a year.
Daniel Baker, 24, violently dragged his daughter across the sofa, twisting her leg and fracturing her shin in two places while her mum was out making funeral arrangements for her father in March 2018.
He then shoved a dummy into her mouth with such force, it snapped her frenulum, a small fold of tissue connecting the mouth and tongue.
The little girl, now 3, is still unable to speak properly and has been signed up for speech therapy.
Mum Poppy Hirst, 23, took the child to a doctor after Baker told her the injury was caused when he took her dummy out.
But a full body scan at EQM Hospital in Margate revealed fractures to the baby’s left tibia and fibula.
Baker continued lying to his partner, even when social services took their daughter and her 13-month-old brother into temporary care.
He also refused to own up to what he’d done in a police interview, despite medics confirming the injuries were consistent with severe ‘torsional twisting’.
Miss Hirst, who was forced to take supervised visits with her children, said: ‘I would have never dreamed he could have done that to our baby – I believed what he said.
‘When social services took the kids away I just fell to the floor in the hospital. I couldn’t believe what was happening.
‘I’d just lost my dad and now my children. It was a nightmare. Some of my friends didn’t even know. I didn’t want people scrutinising me when I’d done nothing wrong. It was horrendous.
‘Not having the kids at home with me was horrible. I missed the first stages of my daughter’s life and my son’s first proper step.’
The truth finally came out when Miss Hirst convinced her boyfriend that whatever he told her would remain between them.
She said ‘We were on the train back from court and Dan just started crying, which he hadn’t done before.
‘I said “do you know something?” and he carried on crying. I promised him I’d stay with him and wouldn’t say anything, just so he’d tell me what had happened.
‘Eventually he told me he’d been annoyed with her crying so grabbed her leg on the sofa and yanked her towards him. He then picked her up and pushed the dummy really hard into her mouth.
‘I wanted to kill him but had to try to stay calm. It was the hardest thing, but I was worried about what he might do.’
The devastated mum – who had been told her kids may not be returned by Christmas – called the police as her partner fell asleep that night.
She was reunited with her two children, as Baker moved out of the family home and was charged with wounding and actual bodily harm.
Baker’s lawyer Phil Rowley said he was ‘devastated and ashamed’ of his actions following his guilty plea at a hearing in front of Folkestone magistrates.
Mr Rowley argued his client should receive a suspended prison sentence as he has autism, a ‘limited intellectual capacity’ and an ‘extremely low IQ’ – all of which ‘impaired his decision making skills and ability to understand the impact of his actions at the time’.
But Judge Mark Weekes rejected this suggestion, saying Baker’s attempt to conceal his actions, along with repeated assault, serious injury and breach of trust, were all aggravating factors.
Baker, who has since fathered another baby and has another one on the way, was jailed for one year at a hearing at Canterbury Crown Court.
Detective Constable Jeff Brunger said the ‘extremely troubling case’ demonstrated that Kent Police will examine every piece of evidence to bring those who harm others before the courts’.
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