June 2022

Teacher left 43-day-old baby brain damaged by shaking

A babysitter who admitted shaking a 43-day old baby, leaving the tot brain damaged, has been jailed.

Teacher Jonathan Sinfield was caring for the baby when the incident occurred in Bath, Bristol Crown Court heard.

Initially he reported that the child become ill and knocked its head against a sofa.

He later went on to claim he had dropped the tot from around a metre.

Due to the baby’s injuries, though, medical experts diagnosed the baby had been gripped forcefully and shaken.

Ultimately Sinfield, 30, whose address was given as Cradley in Herefordshire, pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm and assault occasioning actual bodily harm. The court heard his career as a teacher is finished.

Judge William Hart jailed him for three years – giving Sinfield a 25 percent discount on the five-year maximum jail term for guilty pleas. He told Sinfield: “I cannot ignore the delay in telling the hospital the mechanism of the baby’s injury.

“They took many hours to diagnose what happened. If you had the courage to come clean things could have been different.”

Richard Posner, prosecuting, said medical experts concurred the baby sustained bleeding behind its eyes and brain damage as a result of violent shaking.

Sinfield initially told police he may have been heavy-handed with the child before the child fell to the floor.