Page last updated at 15:21 GMT, Thursday, 4 June 2009 16:21 UK

Abused baby left blind and deaf

A West Yorkshire couple who abused their six-week-old daughter and failed to get medical help for her broken bones and meningitis have been jailed.

Rizwan Patel, 27, and Alliah Bradshaw, 29, of Hebden Bridge, pleaded guilty to child cruelty at an earlier hearing at Bradford Crown Court.

The court heard the baby was left brain-damaged, blind and deaf due to a lack of medical attention.

Patel was jailed for four-and-a-half years and Bradshaw for three years.

Patel had also pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm after admitting shaking his daughter so hard "in a fit of temper" he broke nine of her ribs and her collar bone.

'Obvious pain'

The judge who jailed the couple described their actions as "inexplicable, deplorable and indefensible".

The court heard the baby was placed on the Child Protection Register after Bradshaw, a drug addict, had two other children in her care taken from her for neglect and ill-treatment.

The girl, known as Baby H for legal reasons, was born addicted to drugs because of her mother's drug problem and suffered withdrawal symptoms in the days following her birth.

The court heard social services from Calderdale Council were "determined to keep a watchful eye" on the child but it was deemed "appropriate" for her to remain with the couple on her release from hospital.

She is condemned to a future of suffering, she will need constant and indefinite care
Judge Jonathan Rose on the victim

Health and support workers visited regularly and advised Patel and Bradshaw to take their daughter to hospital for an X-ray on her legs when she was in "obvious and demonstrable pain".

But the couple failed to take her and lied to the professionals about booking an appointment.

Patel admitted shaking Baby H one evening when Bradshaw went out to buy drugs and did not come home until the following morning.

He said he was anxious about Bradshaw and became angry when his daughter would not stop crying.

The couple did not initially seek medical attention for these injuries or when Baby H became increasingly unwell, vomiting and passing blood. Patel eventually took her to the doctor.

Cerebral palsy

Baby H was immediately rushed to hospital in an ambulance, where she was diagnosed with septicaemia and meningitis, as well as fractures to her legs, ribs and collar bone.

Sentencing the couple, Judge Jonathan Rose said: "These actions were inexplicable, deplorable and indefensible.

"The consequences of her untreated illnesses was that this baby suffered brain damage, she has blindness, she has deafness, she has required surgical intervention, she has cerebral palsy.

"The real suffering is to come for a long time in the future because her life has been effectively ruined. She is condemned to a future of suffering, she will need constant and indefinite care."

A serious case review is currently being carried out into the neglect of Baby H and is due to be published later this year.



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