Harpenden man jailed for shaking baby violently

12 June 2019, 19:09 | Updated: 12 June 2019, 19:16

Judge's Gavel

A man who caused grievous bodily harm (GBH) to a 7 week-old baby boy by shaking him with such force he sustained life changing injuries has been jailed for three years.

Daniel Gilbert, 23, of Hyde View Road, Harpenden was sentenced today (Wednesday 12th June) after he was found guilty of Section 20 GBH on 22 May, following a 3 week trial at Luton Crown Court.

The court heard how the baby was in the care of Gilbert on the evening of 9 August 2017 when the baby became floppy, started bleeding from the nose and mouth and went into cardiac arrest.

Emergency services were called to reports of an unresponsive baby and paramedics were able to resuscitate him before he was taken to Luton and Dunstable Hospital.

Scans revealed that he had suffered a bleed to the brain, which included damage to the cardiac control centres in the brain stem, and caused his heart to stop working.

He was also suffering from bleeding to the retina of both his eyes and was transferred to Great Ormond Street Hospital in London for specialist intensive care.

During the trial, evidence emerged that Gilbert’s accounts of what had happened that night were inconsistent.

Medical experts ruled out that the baby’s injuries could have been caused naturally and concluded that he had been forcefully shaken.

Gilbert was subsequently arrested and charged with Section 20 GBH.

Detective Inspector Justine Jenkins, investigating, said:

“It was concluded that this was not a gentle shake, but a forcible, severe shake, causing the child to suffer permanent brain damage and partial vision. The quality and length of his life is likely to be very limited, and it is extremely unlikely that he will ever be able to walk or feed himself without the use of a tube.

The fact that Gilbert was inconsistent in his accounts of what had happened that night proves that he wasn’t telling the complete truth, and his defensive nature rightly rang alarm bells.

Gilbert’s actions left this poor defenceless baby with such appalling injuries, which have changed his life forever. I am pleased that he has received a custodial sentence for this.”