May 2018

Jail after baby’s skull broken in drop from second floor

A 21-year-old man who dropped a baby over 20 feet out of the window of a second-floor flat in Enniskillen, fracturing its skull, has been sentenced to 15 months in jail.

Timuras Kozlov, of Derrychara Drive, Enniskillen, had denied attempting to murder the infant, then aged six months old, on Saturday, May 6, 2017.

Kozlov has been in custody since his arrest soon after the incident just over a year ago.

He insisted what had happened was an accident and had been due to stand trial on the charge at Dungannon Crown Court last month.

However, the need for a trial was avoided after the Lithuanian national entered a guilty plea to the lesser charge of unlawfully inflicting grievous bodily harm (GBH) on the baby.

The charge of attempted murder was then “left on the books” and not proceeded with by the Public Prosecution Service (PPS).

The court heard that the defendant had been visiting the Castlecoole Road flat with his cousin, where they were drinking along with the child’s mother.

Kozlov had been left in charge of the baby and an older sibling while the mother and his cousin went to one of the bedrooms.

Prosecuting QC Jackie Orr told the court that Kozlov later told police he had never looked after children before, and was unsure what to do when the infant began crying.

Ms. Orr said that Kozlov went and lifted the crying youngster from his baby chair on the floor.

“This was the first time the defendant had ever lifted or held a young baby”, and was standing by the opened window nursing him, but was “distracted” by the youngster’s sibling.

As he turned to look at, or for him, the baby “fell from his arms out of the window”.

The youngster tumbled 23 feet, or around seven metres, to the ground.

Ms. Orr said it was “miraculous” the baby did not sustain even more serious injuries than occurred.

Kozlov was captured on CCTV running down stairs into the street to retrieve the fallen child. When he returned him to the flat, he said nothing of what had happened before running off.

Judge Fowler said this could have had serious consequences for the baby, as medical staff at the South West Acute Hospital were not told what had occurred and instead believed that the child had fallen from his cot.

The judge said that “fortunately” the baby did not suffer life-changing, catastrophic injuries which could easily have happened.

While he told the court that Kozlov’s culpability was high, the judge added that, in mitigation, there was his guilty plea, youth, clear record and inexperience in relation to babies or children.

Judge Fowler sentenced the defendant to 15 months in jail, with a further 15-month period to be served on licence.

Kozlov has also been disqualified from working with children, under the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults (Northern Ireland) Order 2003, and was ordered to pay a £50 offender levy.

With time already served, Kozlov of Derrychara Drive, Enniskillen, who has been in custody since the incident on May 6 last year, should be free to return to his native Lithuania within the next three months.