A mother who left a 6-month-old baby with brain damage and several fractures was spared jail time during a court hearing this week.
BBC reports that a judge at the High Court in Glasgow, England, sentenced 23-year-old Shannon Soutter to do 300 hours of community service, claiming that jail time was “neither appropriate or necessary.”
“She punishes herself daily and will continue to do so,” the judge said. “I think there is little the court can do by way of punishment that is greater than what she has imposed on herself.”
In April 2018, Soutter called her daughter’s father and asked him for help after the baby stopped breathing properly. The man called 999, then arrived at Soutter’s home to find the infant “silent, limp and lifeless.”
The baby was taken to a hospital, where doctors determined that she had brain damage, as well as fractures to her skull, ankle, and ribs. Doctors noted that the baby’s eyesight was likely damaged and that she may end up blind.
Shannon Soutter attacked the six-month-old girl while she was supposed to be looking after her and medics say the child is now disabled and may have permanent blindness.https://t.co/Af7HXttJDq
— The Daily Record (@Daily_Record) September 26, 2019
At first, Soutter claimed that the baby may have bumped her head while being rocked. However, medical testimony indicated that the infant had been physically abused. In court earlier this week, Soutter admitted to hurting the child. Prosecutors said the abuse took place over the span of three months.
Prosecutors said after the baby was taken to the hospital, Soutter acted like nothing had happened and later complained about missing a hair appointment. She also once claimed that the baby “hated her.”
Prior to her arrest, Soutten searched online for “what happens if a baby is hit” and told a friend that the infant was doing “her head in.”
“Blood samples confirmed that there were no medical explanation that would account for her presentation and injuries,” Prosecutor Ashley Edwards QC added, according to the Daily Record.
The judge acknowledged that Stouffer suffered from mental health issues and had a history of depression.
“In light of factors and the clearly vouched mental health difficulties, I am satisfied the public duty does not require me to pass a sentence which would incarcerate Miss Soutter,” the judge added.
In addition to community service, Soutter was ordered to have no unsupervised contact with children and to undergo mental health treatment.
The baby is in the custody of her father.
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[Feature Photo: Pixabay]