Man inflicted ‘catastrophic' injuries by shaking baby before trying to blame mother

·3-min read
Joshua Moody spent more than three years claiming he was not behind the violent assaults on the seven-week-old baby. (SWNS)
Joshua Moody spent more than three years claiming he was not behind the violent assaults on the seven-week-old baby. (SWNS)

A man has been jailed after shaking a newborn baby boy so violently he caused "catastrophic" injuries, leaving the infant permanently brain damaged. 

Joshua Moody, 25, persistently denied causing the injuries to the baby while members of the baby boy's family were arrested.

Moody's violent assaults on the seven-week-old child left him needing round-the-clock care for the rest of his life, Leeds Crown Court heard. 

The 25-year-old claimed he was unaware he caused the injuries, adding they were caused by "rough handling" of the baby and a "flash loss of temper," which he now regrets. 

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Craig Hassall, prosecuting told the court an ambulance had been called to a house in Wakefield, West Yorkshire in the summer of 2017 after the the baby was reported unresponsive.

The boy then stopped breathing and Moody and other adults in the property were asked to perform CPR until the paramedics arrived.

It was found he had suffered a cardiac arrest and was taken to Pinderfields Hospital, then later transferred to the paediatric intensive care unit at Leeds General Infirmary.

He was also found to have six broken ribs, one of which was beginning to heal, suggesting it had been damaged during a previous assault.

He was jailed in May after he eventually admitted two counts of causing grievous bodily harm without intent, and it can now be reported after a court order was lifted.

The boy, who cannot be identified, was found to have multiple injuries including haemorrhaging in various parts of his body, including his spine, and behind both eyes.

It was not thought that he would live, and his family were told to prepare for the worst.

But he began to improve over the weeks and was eventually able to breathe on his own, although he has been left with severe injuries.

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His vision and hearing is impaired, he is unable to speak, is not mobile, suffers from epilepsy and has cerebral palsy.

The court heard he is likely to need 24/7 care for the rest of his life.

Moody was charged with grievous bodily harm with intent and was due to stand trial, but earlier this year admitted to grievous bodily harm without intent.

Judge Penelope Belcher said he could have saved the youngster's family years of heartbreak if only he "had the guts" to admit his crimes.

The court was told that Moody's persistent attempts to absolve himself from blame led to the baby's mum and grandmother being arrested.

The baby's mother, who also cannot be named for legal reasons, described it as a "nightmare journey" that lasted almost four years.

Mitigating, Christopher Dunn, described Moody - who was 22 at the time - as a "painfully inadequate man".

He said: "One of the most shameful acts is to hurt a child, whether deliberate or accidental. He absolutely accepts that he caused the injuries.

"He is absolutely heartbroken that he could do this. That may not resonate with the family, but he has to live with this for the rest of his life."

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