An Australian father has been found guilty of causing “life-threatening brain injuries” to his infant son by shaking him and jailed for nearly four years, local media reported on Tuesday.
A court jury in Perth ruled that Lochlan Stuart Rankine, 28, caused “grievous bodily harm” to his son Bam, who was seven weeks old at the time, in August 2018, ABC News reported.
Medical experts told the court that the child’s injuries, including bleeding in his brain and eyes, were consistent with him being “violently shaken.”
Rankine denied hurting the baby, saying he had found Bam “unresponsive” in his rocker and immediately called for help.
Bam, now aged two-and-a-half, required two surgeries after the incident and is now “progressing normally and meeting all his developmental milestones,” the court was told.
Describing the case as “very sad,” Judge Gary Massey said the degree of force Rankine “must have used on a very vulnerable baby was significant.”
The court, however, accepted that the father’s offence was “not premeditated,” and was a “spur-of-the-moment action, most likely borne out of frustration.”
Rankine has been sentenced to three years and eight months in jail, and must serve at least half of the term before he can be released on parole.
His partner was in court for the sentencing, where she yelled at the public prosecutor to “stop telling lies about my family.”
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