Couple who shook son googled: 'What happens when u strangle a baby'
Father, 21, who inflicted ‘catastrophic’ injuries after shaking his four-month-old son then left him for 30 hours as the infant’s mother Googled, ‘What happens when u strangle a baby’ is jailed for nine years
- Ben Welsh, 21, of Walkden, Manchester, admitted to causing GBH at court
- He ‘violently’ shook his four-month-old son and left him for 30 hours without aid
- The boy made miraculous recovery but is now likely to require lifelong aid
- His partner, Elisha Wilson, 21, Googled: ‘What happens when u strangle a baby’
- Abusive father Welsh was jailed for nine years at Manchester Crown Court
An abusive father who left his baby son with brain damage after vigorously shaking him and failing to seek medical help for more than 24 hours has been jailed.
Ben Welsh, 21, of Walkden, Greater Manchester, admitted to causing grievous bodily harm when he grabbed his four-month-old son and shook him because he ‘wouldn’t stop crying’.
Despite Googling ‘what happens when u strangle a baby’, Welsh failed to alert an ambulance for 30 hours after the horrific attack, leaving his powerless son suffering.
The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was not expected to live after suffering a ‘catastrophic’ brain injury, but made a miraculous recovery.
His vision is impaired and doctors fear his other senses may also be permanently affected. He also cannot crawl, stand, walk or sit.
Manchester Crown Court previously heard he is likely to need lifelong care as a result of Welsh’s actions.
Ben Welsh, 21, of Walkden, Greater Manchester, admitted to causing grievous bodily harm when he grabbed his four-month-old son and shook him because he ‘wouldn’t stop crying’
Welsh and his partner, Elisha Wilson, 21, both pleaded guilty to child cruelty charges at Manchester Crown Court.
The pair turned up at Royal Bolton Hospital with their ‘pale, floppy and unresponsive’ son at around midday on August 9, 2020.
Welsh initially tried claiming that he gave his son ‘CPR’ and that the bruises on his body were caused by his ‘brutal’ resuscitation efforts.
But phone records showed his partner had desperately trawled the Internet for answers to questions including: ‘Can throwing n shaking a baby cause brain damage,’ and ‘What happens when u strangle a baby?’
Suspicious doctors raised concerns with the police, who investigated and found that Welsh had actually assaulted his son the day before on August 8.
Welsh later admitted he had been ‘struggling to cope’ with his newborn baby, having been woken up by his crying the previous day.
He had shouted at the infant to ‘shut up’, before hitting the baby, grabbing him and ‘slamming him to the floor with force’, the court previously heard.
Elisha Wilson, 21, trawled the Internet for answers to questions including: ‘Can throwing n shaking a baby cause brain damage,’ and ‘What happens when u strangle a baby?’
Speaking at court, Judge Patrick Field QC told him: ‘On August 8 2020, you viciously attacked him, your four-month-old son.
‘A baby who was utterly dependent upon his parents for all his daily needs and reliant upon those same parents to protect him from harm.
‘You couldn’t bear to hear him crying so you took hold of him and shook him violently.
‘You attacked him because he would not stop crying and you couldn’t cope with that. I have to say that is an inadequate and selfish explanation.’
In all, the boy suffered a fractured rib, ruptured liver and multiple bruises, alongside a permanent brain injury.
Welsh was jailed for nine years at Manchester Crown Court (above) by Judge Field, while his partner Wilson was handed 22 months behind bars as well as 30 days of rehabilitation
Welsh was jailed for nine years by Judge Field, while his partner Wilson was handed 22 months behind bars as well as 30 days of rehabilitation.
A statement released by the boy’s carers read: ‘This wonderful little boy who amazes us all every day will tragically never live a life that is anywhere near what we can consider as normal.
‘He will require a high level of continuous care throughout his life, and he will never get to enjoy the things that children do, like playing with friends, run, play football, ride a bike and climb trees.
‘We do not know his life expectancy, but the social work and medical teams working with him, along with the foster carers are doing their absolute best to make life as pain free and as pleasurable as possible for him, and showing him that he is loved and safe.
‘It is only due to the skill and care of the medical professionals that he is still with us today.’
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