Mother revealed desire to assault baby before incident

A mother who admitted assaulting her infant daughter had confessed earlier that she had the urge to do so.

The mother, who cannot be named, was before Cork Circuit Criminal Court for sentence yesterday after previously pleading guilty to the charge of assault causing harm to the child.

Sgt Miriam McGuire said the child was admitted to hospital in May last year and later found to have sustained fractures to her ribs, femur, tibia, and humerus.

The injuries were inflicted by grabbing the girl from her stroller and squeezing her. She was only three and a half months old.

Sgt McGuire said the child spent a period living with her grandparents following the incident but was now back living with her mother and father, with the continuing involvement from health services.

Defence barrister Sinead Behan said the mother had difficulty bonding with her baby and had felt the urge to press the baby before the assault occurred.

“It would have been documented that she said, prior to this happening, that she had an urge to squeeze the baby,” said Ms Behan. “She had gone looking for help.”

Ms Behan said the mother had co-operated fully with the investigation, had received psychiatric care, and had engaged in an intensive parenting course.

She said the supervision of her parenting was being reduced over time.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin described it as a highly complex and unusual case.

He said he was trying to deal with a problem that was not even there yet — the possible birth of another child to the defendant.

“If she is put in the same situation again, is the problem going to happen again?” the judge asked.

Ms Behan said the mother and father were both anxious to do the right thing, and said they were not planning to have another child.

The judge adjourned sentencing for a year.


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