Dad jealous of mums night out shakes baby leaving him brain damaged and blind
A baby boy was left permanently brain damaged, blind and unable to use his legs after being shaken by his father – who was jealous of his girlfriend’s night out.
Mehmet Tufan, 24, attacked the five-week-old infant in “frustration or anger” after rowing with the boy’s mum in text messages, a court heard.
Doctors found that the boy had most likely been shaken with “considerable force” and had suffered “catastrophic” injuries at the family’s home in Kirkby, Merseyside, in April last year.
The court heard Tufan inflicted the injuries as he became “increasingly frustrated and anxious” with his partner being out with friends, the Liverpool Echo reports.
He became jealous after his partner, 22, sent him a text saying: “Some lad come over trying to get me up to dance.”
After seeing something about that on Snapchat he sent a message to a friend to find out what was going on.
Tufan told police he was upset and added: “Once I start worrying, I can’t really control it.”
He denied being “wound up” by the baby, but admitted he was wound up by the man approaching his partner, and his anxiety “always gets the better of me”.
Tufan was jailed for two years after he admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm in “a momentary loss of control”.
He was due to stand trial at Liverpool Crown Court after denying inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent, but prosecutors accepted a guilty plea to the lesser offence.
The court heard Tufan called for an ambulance at 1.40am claiming his son had a hair stuck in his throat, had been choking and sweating, and wasn’t breathing.
The newborn was blue and appeared lifeless when paramedics arrived eight minutes later, said Zillah Williams, prosecuting.
The child was in cardiac arrest but was resuscitated by paramedics and taken to intensive care at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.
The boy’s breathing incubator was turned off but he survived.
Tufan claimed to officers he had removed a hair after the boy started making a choking noise, and the baby went quiet and didn’t appear to be breathing.
He claimed he slapped the infant’s back, then panicked and shook the boy, and threw him on the bed so he could call an ambulance.
Ms Williams said police checked text messages between Tufan and his partner that night, adding: “It appeared that the defendant was becoming increasingly frustrated and anxious with his partner being out with her friends.”
About 90 minutes before he called for an ambulance he sent a text to his partner saying he was going to call 999 because the baby was having “major fits”.
He admitted to police he had exaggerated his intention to call 999 to try to get his partner to come home, adding: “She was just dancing away. She didn’t seem that bothered that I was upset.”
Using a doll, Tufan was asked to demonstrate how he shook his son, which he did for three to four seconds, on video.
The video was shown to paediatrician Dr Jonathon Chahal, who said it would have been enough to cause the brain injury.
The paediatrician disputed that a hair could have blocked the infant’s airway.
Blood tests suggested the 999 call was not made immediately after the boy stopped breathing and early during resuscitation, he had not had effective circulation for at least 20 minutes.
The mother told police she had told Tufan to be careful after he was a bit rough picking up the baby – a warning that made him angry – but she had no concerns about leaving the boy alone with him.
The devastated young woman, who has stopped working to care for her son, told the court he is effectively blind, with no reaction to light, and he has a special wheelchair because he cannot move his legs, which now require surgery.
He is unable to sit up as he cannot support his head, has to be fed through a tube and has daily physiotherapy, nebulisers for breathing, and morphine.
Judge Robert Warnock told Tufan: “While in sole charge of your son you became jealous at the absence of the mother and treated and handled your son wholly inappropriately so as significantly to injure him.”