Three years of penitentiary for a father who abused his 11-week-old baby

Lucas * slapped his 11-week-old baby. Then, three months later, banged the baby’s head on an island and shook it violently. The father, without a judicial record, was sentenced to three years in prison for these acts of violence against a fragile baby.

Little Nathan * was born on October 2, 2016. When he was born, his mother was declared unfit to look after her because of serious psychological problems.

The father, Lucas, 28 years old, therefore assumed all the care and responsibilities, under the supervision of the Directorate of Youth Protection.

On December 22, 2016, a social worker visits the father. She notices that Nathan has many bruises on his face. The father immediately admits to slapping his child. He claims to be in depression.

The baby is immediately entrusted to the care of his grandmother. Lucas will be arrested two months later and charged with assault.

In mid-March 2017, the father and the son live at the grandmother’s home in Lévis. Lucas does not have the right to be alone with his son. The grandmother goes out for a few minutes to clear her patio. She sees her son giving Nathan a bottle.

When she returns to the house, the grandmother is surprised to see that drinking is already determined. Lucas briefly explains that his son was not thirsty. Later in the night, Nathan is inconsolable, feverish and crying while holding his head.

Lucas does nothing to help him and lets his mother heal the baby.

The next day, during a medical appointment already planned, the doctor detects lesions that can not be accidental. The baby is transferred to the CHUL where doctors find a skull fracture.

Lucas admits that, exhausted, he dropped his baby on the island of the kitchen. A few hours later, while the child was crying in his bunk, the father grabbed him and shook him a few times.

Lucas pleaded guilty in March 2018 to aggravated assault and assault injuries.

The defense argued for a three-month jail term while the Crown was demanding a severe sentence of between three and five years in penitentiary.

Justice Hélène Bouillon of the Court of Quebec felt that it was necessary to insist on the denunciation and the deterrence in the face of such serious violence against such a young child. She therefore imposed a sentence of three years in penitentiary.

The father went to the detention box without showing any emotion.

Little Nathan was placed with a foster family until he became of age. Today two and a half years old, it presents slight delays of development. However, it is difficult to predict, experts say, the long-term consequences of head trauma.

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