A recovering alcoholic, whose two-week-old daughter suffered a serious head injury, has admitted he should have sought medical help sooner.
As reported in the Northern Echo, the man from Newton Aycliffe, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to child neglect at the town’s magistrates court yesterday (Tuesday 23rd October 23).
John Garside, prosecuting, said the baby was taken from her home in Coundon, near Bishop Auckland, County Durham, to the Durham University Hospital at about 3pm on January 8.
She was suffering from an unexplained head injury and projectile vomiting and was transferred to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.
Hospital staff diagnosed a subdural haemorrhage, which causes blood to gather between the brain and skull.
Mr Garside said the consultant was concerned over the amount of time it took to seek medical attention for the baby.
“The incident was alleged to have occurred on the night yet medical attention was not sought until 2.30pm the following day,” he said.
“[The baby] started vomiting early that morning and was more drowsy than normal and had bruising to the head. The consultant said any parent looking after a small baby that had concerns over a head injury would have sought help much sooner.”
Jonathan Harley, mitigating, said action had not been taken sooner because there were fears the baby might be taken away. He said the man, who was an alcoholic at the time, did not know how injury had occurred as he had been drinking.
Magistrates committed the case to Durham Crown Court for sentence on November 20. The man received unconditional bail.