December 2022

Scottish man who left baby in ICU moaned about his ‘ordeal’ in Facebook post

A Scottish man who left a baby in ICU with a serious brain injury has been complaining about the ‘hardest months of his life’ and his ‘ordeal’ while out on bail for the attack.

Former soldier Declan Walton caused the 10-week-old infant to be unable to breath on their own, with the youngster now diagnosed with cerebral palsy and expected to never live independently.

Taking place at a property in Glenrothes in June 2020, the 31-year-old was originally charged with attempted murder but pled guilty to a reduced charge of assault to severe injury, permanent impairment and to the danger of his life last week by shaking him or otherwise means.

Now facing a jail term when he appears for sentencing in January, Walton had moaned about his ‘ordeal’ on social media.

In a Facebook post, which has since been deleted, he wrote: “It’s been 4 months since seeing or hearing anything about (the baby). This has been the hardest 4 months of my entire life but it won’t be much longer.”

The child’s mother, who also cannot be named, branded Walton “a monster” after learning that the youngster will likely never live an independent life as a result of his injuries.

She said: “He won’t be able to eat again. He will have to get a tube put into his stomach to feed him because the tube going down his nose is not practical for a long time.

“They also said he will not be able to walk either. I would like to thank the horrible monster that done this to him.

“Well this man is still trying to tell people this was a medical reason which it was not. I’ve been shown all his scans and all the tests that they have done on him to find out if it was but what they can see wasn’t medical.

“This was done to him by this monster. I hope everyone names and shames this monster to get him to tell the truth and to put an end to all this.”

On November 29, the High Court in Edinburgh was told that the boy was “a happy baby” for the first 10 weeks of his life with a health visitor having no cause for concern during an earlier visit.

But moments after the attack Walton began shouting: “He’s not responding. He’s not breathing.” The child’s mother then found her son’s body was floppy and emergency services were alerted.

Paramedics who arrived at the scene were unable to locate a pulse on any part of the baby’s body. The attack victim was taken to Victoria Hospital, in Kirkcaldy, in Fife, where a medical team was awaiting his arrival.

Advocate depute Leanne Cross said: “On arrival he was noted to be pale and floppy. He was not breathing on his own and required extensive resuscitation.”

A CT scan showed haemorrhaging within the head and the child was transferred to an intensive care unit at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh. The baby was slowly weaned off ventilation and began to breathe on his own but required oxygen and regular suction.

He was later admitted to theatre to drain blood and relieve pressure on his brain. He was later transferred to a normal ward. Experts who examined the child and medical findings came to the conclusion that his condition was “highly suggestive of abusive head trauma”.

A further expert opinion was sought from a consultant neuroradiologist who concluded that the findings can all be explained by an episode of non-accidental head trauma. Walton denied ever shaking the child in a fit of anger when he spoke to police.

The prosecutor said the child now has a diagnosis of cerebral palsy and remains in hospital. All areas of motor function are limited, he is fed through a tube and requires two to one care.

The consultant in charge of his care said that although brain injuries are very unpredictable she considers it highly unlikely he will ever be able to live independently.

The judge, Lord Weir, said that he required a background report on Walton ahead of sentencing as he has never previously received a custodial sentence.

He said: “The offence to which you have plead guilty is clearly of the first order of seriousness.” The case was continued to the High Court in Inverness on January 9. The judge agreed to continue bail for Walton.