Man who injured infant daughter sentenced to 12 months in jail

Colin MacLean
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Prince County Court House

SUMMERSIDE – A Prince County man who pleaded guilty to negligence causing bodily harm to his three-month-old daughter was sentenced Wednesday.

The 21-year-old, who cannot be named without identifying his daughter, was ordered to serve 12 months in jail, followed by two years of probation.

He had been charged in August 2013 after a lengthy RCMP investigation and pleaded guilty in December.

The maximum sentence for negligence causing bodily harm is 14 years in jail.

The accused’s defence council had asked for a sentence in the range of two to 12 months while the Crown had asked for 15 to 18 months.

In handing down his sentence Judge Jeff Lantz said that while the facts before him pointed to the man being a good case for rehabilitation, he had to balance that with sending a message of condemnation to the public.

 “His prospects for rehabilitation are very good, I believe. But I do have to balance rehabilitation with denunciation and deterrence … which are paramount in situations such as this,” said Lantz.

“The accused appears to be a good person, but unfortunately sometimes good people make mistakes – and they need to answer for them,” he added.

This incident happened in late June of 2013.

The man was alone looking after his baby daughter one night, when he handled her in a rough manner while changing her diaper.

The court heard that at the time he’d suspected he may have injured her, but because she showed no obvious signs of discomfort or bruising he didn’t seek medical help.

It wasn't until several days later when a family member noticed something was off with the child that she was brought to Prince County Hospital in Summerside.

Doctors found that she had a broken femur and collarbone and various other fractures.

She was eventually transferred to the IWK Hospital in Halifax for treatment.

RCMP interviewed several family members in relation to the case, including the accused.

He originally denied causing the injuries but eventually confessed to RCMP that he may have caused them inadvertently.

He told police that the day before the incident he'd been informed suddenly that he was being laid off - compounding the family's already precarious financial situation. He also had much of the responsibility of looking after the baby and was suffering from lack of sleep.

He said he'd been angry and distracted and that he may have been too rough with her.

The child has since made a full recovery and is back with her mother.

Lantz noted that it’s fortunate that she will remember nothing of her injuries – but added that the accused will ultimately have to answer to her when she’s older.

“Someday the accused will have to try and explain what happened to her, what he did and why. That’ll be very hard on both of them, I’m sure.”


Geographic location: Prince

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Recent comments

  • Barb
    March 14, 2014 - 07:25

    Three Months old ....shame on you ,what 3 mnth old moves that much too get you fustrated?! You didn't get a harsh enough sentence from my point of view! Shame on you, your NO Father!

  • Regular Joe
    Regular Joe
    March 13, 2014 - 12:57

    Seriously folks 12 months why not just give the guy a pat on the back and say now be a good boy and behave yourself . A while back some local boys got carried away and killed some seals ,odd everyone wanted to lock them up for years for what they did . Now this bum breaks bones on his infant daughter and doesn't report it to avoid punishment and they get 12 months and probation . Priorities are some messed up in these island court systems . More justice for animals then children is not justice in my books . I sure would like to meet the bum and show him justice .

  • wow
    March 13, 2014 - 07:39

    to Summerside Resident: this is more than just a mistake. He seriously injured a helpless little 3 month old infant! This was not an accident by any means - it took a lot of intentional force to do this. I was a single mother to a very colicky infant, at the same time when I lost my marriage, my job, my home and I was chronically ill. We didn't know where we were going to live or where we would find food. I most assuredly never, ever raised a hand to that child, and I never will. He thinks his issue was rough and he thinks it justified beating up his infant?? Give me a break!!! There is absolutely no reason or excuse to hurt a helpless child! He's playing "poor little me" after doing something heinous, and you're dumb enough to buy into it! give your head a shake!

  • Sharyn Mitchell
    March 13, 2014 - 06:26

    Twelve months for breaking bones in a three year old? He will probably be out in a few months too. Where is the justice in our laws that an adult can break several bones in a three month old child and get off with such a light sentence. Some poor person who stole food because of hunger would get more time than that.

  • Jeff
    March 13, 2014 - 05:30

    @summerside resident Shame on you for you ignorant comments!! An accident doesn't break 2 bones and fracture others... This sad excuse of a father got overwhelmed and acted like a lunatic. And in response to the "take a walk in his shoes", give me a break... EVERYONE who has children has been there... Funny we don't hear about this type of incident everyday... Shake your head

  • MaryJane
    March 12, 2014 - 20:05

    Why get upset about being laid off? Lay off the child and apply for EI, all will be good. Too late, tho.

  • Kenny Dixon
    March 12, 2014 - 18:56

    I just wonder if Judge Lantz , would give the same sentence , if it was his baby ??

  • Wow.
    March 12, 2014 - 16:44

    12 months for breaking multiple bones of a baby. That's it? Let's hope he doesn't bite a cop, he'd have to serve real time. I hope he gets his bones broken in jail and isn't treated for 5 days.

  • sickened
    March 12, 2014 - 15:00

    it takes a lot of force to break bones... and it hurts like heck. He "thought he may have hurt her" but "she wasn't in obvious pain." Disgusting lies. Sick individual. I hope this child never has to be in that man's presence ever again. He doesn't deserve the precious gift of a child.

  • Binnie Profit
    March 12, 2014 - 13:51

    This is horrific I am so upset to hear this and I sure hope our system makes sure he is never alone with this child again. Or other children. Unfortunately I rarely see real justice here in PEI when it comes to child physical or sexual abuse. Hope things change.

    • summerside resident
      March 12, 2014 - 17:11

      I would not consider this child abuse, its more or less, negligence and carlessness. He did not harm his daughter for spite, it was an accident, he was a new, first time father that was frustrated and unaware of the harm he could cause. Take a walk in his shoes before you judge him, if it was you who made this simple mistake im sure you wouldnt want everyone judging your mistake.

    • Jeff
      March 12, 2014 - 22:55

      -- @ summerside resident -- Shame on you for your ignorant comments!! I can assure you that the majority of people reading this article HAVE taken "a walk in his shoes". He is being judged here because one year is a joke of a sentence. A mistake MIGHT be the wrong formula, or putting a diaper on backwards, NOT breaking at least two bones and fracturing multiple others. This "guy" is a coward and one year defiantly doesn't fit the crime... that's right, I said crime not mistake.

    • Drew
      March 13, 2014 - 07:08

      To Summerside resident: You are joking, right?

    • disgusted with the system
      June 30, 2014 - 16:19

      Why is it that the person comitting the crime gets less time than it takes the victim to heal... Disgusted once again with the system

  • Stan Hope
    March 12, 2014 - 13:23

    I hope no harms come to this young man while serving his time. After all it's no secret that those who harm/abuse children are on the low end of the pecking scale in lock up.Don't want any jailhouse justice.

    • Sure Do
      March 12, 2014 - 15:12

      Jailhouse justice would be a very good thing for this "young man". He is no man. He is an animal and should be treated as such while he is doing his time.

  • Smitty
    March 12, 2014 - 12:11

    Is this a joke 12 months