A Cambridgeshire dad attacked his own daughter, punching her repeatedly in the face, filmed it, then tried to use the video to blackmail money from his mother, saying he’d kill the girl if she didn’t comply.
The attack, which caused “immeasurable suffering”, took place on September 28 last year, though doctors suspect further abuse may have taken place in the preceding months after an examination found broken ribs, a fractured clavicle, and a broken leg, suggesting she may have been picked up by the leg.
The girl was not even 18 months old at the time.
The father, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was today (February 9) sentenced to 17 years in prison having pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and blackmail offences.
Cambridge Crown court heard how he became angry when his mother refused to give him money to buy petrol, and that he then repeatedly punched his daughter, causing her “severe” injuries.
She had a black eye and her nasal bones were “distorted”. The girl was in such pain when she was taken to hospital, that she required morphine.
The father recorded a video of the attack, which he then sent to his mother, saying he would kill the girl if she did not give him the money.
The court heard the man was “dangerous” and “self-centred”. Judge Gareth Hawkesworth said the offences were “extremely grave” and warranted an extended jail sentence.
“I have had the misfortune of watching a film of you doing it which you took yourself and sent to your own mother,” said Judge Hawkesworth. “It is difficult to comprehend a father doing such things to his daughter and mother.”
Sentencing, Judge Hawkesworth said the attack would have caused “immeasurable suffering” to his young daughter.
“Having assaulted her, you sent this to your mum,” he said. “You threatened that you would kill your own daughter if she didn’t pay you the money.
“The child, having been admitted to hospital, showed numerous signs of extensive injuries. She had a fractured clavicle, forearm and femur, as well as numerous rib fractures.
"Very significant force must have been used. The injuries to the ribs were caused almost certainly by squeezing. Whether it happened once, or many times, it must have caused immeasurable suffering to your own child.
“I can think of nothing more upsetting to the grandmother than to see a film of her own son punching her granddaughter in the face in a demand for money.”
In mitigation, Charles Falk told the court the man now felt “deeply disgusted” by his own behaviour, and that showed real remorse.
Mr Falk said many of the girl’s injuries had now healed, and she is now “flourishing”. He said suggestions by the prosecution that the man had also strangled and even “burned” his daughter, were not true.
The man was handed a 13-year prison sentence, as well as a further four years which he will spend on licence.
“I have concluded you are dangerous, and will be dangerous for an uncertain period of time,” said Judge Hawkesworth.
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