Man guilty of shaking baby leaving her with life-long brain injuries

Man, 29, is found guilty of shaking 10-month-old baby leaving the child with life-changing brain injuries after staying up all night smoking cannabis

  • The baby was found ‘floppy and motionless’ when her mother returned home
  • Joshua Morris had been up the night before smoking cannabis until 5am
  • He initially claimed he found the child ‘mangled’ after she fell from her cot

A 10-month-old baby was left with life-changing brain injuries after being found ‘floppy and motionless’ as a result of being shaken by a man in a ‘momentary loss of temper.’

Joshua Morris, 29, of Ffordd Elias in Old Colwyn, north Wales, was looking after the tot while her mother, who can’t be named for legal reasons, went shopping on January 9, 2018.

But when she returned home, she found her daughter ‘floppy and motionless’.

Throughout the trial, Morris denied  any involvement in the baby’s injuries but he was found guilty at Mold Crown Court.

Morris, who had been up all night smoking cannabis, denied causing her injuries and claimed he found her ‘mangled’ on the floor and that she had fallen after bouncing in her cot.

The child was taken to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital to be treated for her injuries, which included bleeding on the brain, oxygen deprivation and bleeding of the retinas in both eyes.

The court heard that Morris was up all night smoking cannabis before the incident which left the tot with serious brain injuries

Morris later said that he lied and changed his story to say he had found the baby ‘lifeless in the cot’ after hearing a thud upstairs.

However, he added that the lie had not been ‘deliberate,’ adding he’d ‘put two and two together’ by assuming the baby had fallen from the cot.

But the prosecution at Mold Crown Court argued the baby’s injuries came after being shaken ‘forcibly,’ Morris having ‘lost his temper’ after being woken up to discover he was alone in the house with her.

The court also heard he had been smoking cannabis the night before and hadn’t gone to bed until around 5am, which wasn’t unusual for him.

Detailed examinations found the baby, who is now three, had suffered ‘non-accidental injuries’ likely to have been caused by being shaken by someone, rather than by falling.

Morris will be sentenced at Mold Crown Court on Wednesday, December 9, and was told that custody was inevitable

In addition, any underlying medical conditions were ruled out.

Upon being admitted to hospital the baby, who will have ongoing issues for the rest of her life, was also discovered to have small unexplained bruises on her head, along with an old fracture to her left leg.

The mother’s suggestion that these had been the result of her baby hitting herself with a toy were discounted by one medical expert.

Eventually, despite the defence counsel arguing that there was no evidence to pinpoint Morris as responsible for what had happened, the jury took less than two hours to find him guilty of GBH, but acquitted him on a second charge of causing GBH with intent.

Following the verdict, Judge Rhys Rowlands, said: ‘You are convicted on overwhelming evidence having caused very serious injury to an innocent child.

‘You did it in a momentary loss of temper which has had awful, awful, consequences for this child – sadly that she will have to live with for the rest of her life.’

Morris will be sentenced at Mold Crown Court on Wednesday, December 9, and was told that custody was inevitable.

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