Violence against an infant: the judge must decide between a suspended sentence and 18 months’ imprisonment

A father found guilty of assault causing injuries to his young baby, barely four months old, risks spending the next 15 to 18 months behind bars if the judge complies with the Crown’s request.

Last April, Judge Stéphane Poulin of the Court of Quebec accepted the circumstantial evidence presented by the prosecutor, Mr.e Louis-Philippe Desjardins at the trial of the 33-year-old father whose identity cannot be revealed to protect the child.

In February 2016, the mother of little Maxime (fictitious first name) left the apartment she shared with the accused to drive the baby’s grandmother back.

An hour later, on his return, the accused greeted him in the doorway, telling him that there had been “a serious accident in the bath”. He added, however, that “everything was fine” and that the child was now in his room.

Faced with the mother’s insistent questions, the father had explained that the baby had “slipped” in the bath, that he had “caught up strongly” and that “frightened”, he had to “console” her. child.

When the mother went to fetch little Maxime to feed him, she noticed “redness on his forehead, as if he had had a skin reaction following prolonged exposure to the sun and red dots under the eyes”, perhaps. we read in the decision.

“Strong” tightening of the thorax

After confronting the accused again and consulting 811, the mother took Maxime to the hospital. Following various expertises, it was established that the child’s redness “testified to a strong constriction of the thorax and the abdomen”.

In addition, the specialists noted that the baby presented “extensive hemorrhages on each side of the brain” which “also crossed to the back at the level of the cerebellum”.

During her testimony, the attending physician also added that Maxime’s overall portrait was “really worrying when she assessed him and that the parents’ version did not explain the injuries” observed in the infant who does not keep today. ‘hui, no after-effects.

The testimony of the father – who at the time consumed alcohol and marijuana daily – was qualified by the judge as “improbable, unreasonable, full of contradictions, inconsistencies and imprecisions”.

In defense, Me Valérie Gionet asked that her client receive a suspended sentence and that he be able to perform 240 hours of community service. She also suggested that he could benefit from a “tight” therapeutic follow-up.

The judge will render his decision on October 20.

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