Man, 21, smashed baby’s head against post after cries disturbed his video game

A man smashed a three-month-old baby’s head against a post because the crying child disturbed his video game, a court heard.

Andrew Woodhall also violently shook the vulnerable newborn so hard that the baby has been left with catastrophic life-changing injuries.

Teesside Crown Court has heard how the man, who was 21 at the time, shook the child backwards and forwards for around 90 seconds.

Woodhall, from Hartlepool, finally faced justice three years after the incident and will face more than two years in prison.

He caused a “catalogue of injuries” caused through his “frustration and anger”, report TeessideLive.

The child, who legally cannot be identified, is now reliant on medication for epilepsy and requires 24-hour care.

The court heard a heartbreaking victim statement from the mother, who also cannot be identified to protect the child.

Jolyon Perks, prosecuting, told how the victim’s mother said her “world came crashing down when Andrew admitted what he had done”.

She added that the child may never walk, talk or play like other children.

Mr Perks said that Woodhall picked the child up from the cot and walked onto the landing.

“He stopped shaking the child when he heard a thud which he believed was [the youngster’s] head hitting the post at the top of the stairs,” he told the court.

As the baby became unresponsive, Woodhall attempted CPR then rang the emergency services.

As emergency services arrived at the scene, the baby was “pale, unresponsive and had significantly reduced breathing”.

The baby was admitted to hospital with fitting, hemorrhages and multiple rib fractures.

The tiny youngster was then transferred to another hospital in Newcastle.

The doctor in charge of the care said the child had sustained a severe brain injury, with multiple bleeds around the brain.

In interview, Woodhall said the baby was crying so he carried the child downstairs to give some milk.

Woodhall maintained his account until January 2017, when the case was brought to the family court.

He then admitted lying to police saying he was “scared” adding that he “lost his patience and became angry”.

The 24-year-old pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm.

Andrew Turton, mitigating, described Woodhall as “immature”.

He said: “He was playing on video games at the same time as having the sole responsibility of a young and premature child. He shook the child in frustration and anger.

“His immaturity played a part in his initial denial but fortunately to his credit the matters were admitted.”

Before sentencing, Judge Paul Watson QC said: “This case serves as a tough reminder of the fragility and vulnerability of small children.

“The enormous responsibility, which is placed on those caring for them, a responsibility which you betrayed. The impact your assault on the baby has had but also on the mother’s life is true to say you blighted both.”

Judge Watson sentenced Woodhall to 27 months in prison.