A BABY girl just nine months old suffered a cardiac arrest after receiving blunt force trauma to the chest possibly from a punch by her father, a District Court judge was told yesterday.
The Griffith girl was limp and had stopped breathing when her father rang an ambulance about 4.30pm on September 23 last year.
When the ambulance arrived, the child was blue and emergency treatment with CPR was administered in a frantic effort to save her.
The child had no pulse, was rushed to the Griffith Base Hospital and resuscitation efforts continued for 30 minutes until the girl’s heart rhythm returned to normal.
The father gave police two different versions of what happened to the child, claiming she had vomited after having food and stopped breathing.
But thorough investigations by medical staff after she was transferred to the Sydney Children’s Hospital intensive care unit revealed horrendous abuse had been inflicted on the child.
She had in the past suffered a total of 23 separate rib fractures, a fractured skull on the left side and fractured right hand.
A doctor believed the rib fractures had been caused by blunt force trauma or encirclement of the chest with squeezing, causing forceful compression of the chest wall on multiple occasions.
The father, now 33, appeared in the District Court at Albury yesterday and pleaded guilty to four counts of recklessly causing grievous bodily harm.
Judge David Freeman was told police set up covert electronically recorded surveillance between the man and his partner in October.
He had in late September been interviewed by detectives and denied assaulting his daughter.
But on November 1, police attached to the State Crime Command child abuse squad went to the family’s home and advised the father of their covert surveillance.
He was arrested and took part in an electronic interview with his remarks throughout it being: “No comment”.
The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has been remanded in custody since being charged.
Melbourne barrister Ian Crisp claimed yesterday the man’s actions have had significant impact and he is prepared to reform himself both in custody and when released.
Prosecutor Max Pincott said the true impact on the child will not be known for several years.
Judge Freeman adjourned the man’s sentencing until next week. – The Border Mail