February 2014: Connors had his three-year sentence increased to the maximum of seven years following a successful appeal by the Director of Public Prosecutions

February 2012

‘Psychotic boyfriend kicked, punched and threw my baby around like he was a toy’

A psychotic young man has been jailed after he “slapped, kicked, punched and threw” a 10-month-old baby around an apartment “like he was a toy”.

The child was taken to A&E with injuries including two broken forearms, a dislocated right elbow, a significant brain bleed, a bite mark to his right cheek, a burn mark from an iron to his calf and multiple bruising across his body, a court heard yesterday.

Larry Connors, who subjected the child of his then partner to the shocking series of injuries, was jailed for three years yesterday.

Judge Carroll Moran said that Connors (20), of Cronan Lawn, Shannon, Co Clare, could be identified although the mother and baby could not be named for legal reasons. Connors is not the child’s father.

The woman said: “My child wakes up in the middle of the night screaming and shouting. I believe that this is the result of flashbacks of the abuse that he suffered at the hands of Larry Connors.”

At Ennis Circuit Court, Judge Moran jailed Connors for three years after he pleaded guilty to the cruelty on dates between December 15, 2010 and January 3, 2011.

The baby’s 19-year-old mother told the court that at the height of the abuse, her then partner “became psychotic and he would lock himself into the room with the child and he would start to scream and roar at the child”.

She said: “It was the most incredible difficult thing to go through as I knew that Larry was hurting the child and I couldn’t do anything about it.

“Larry Connors abused my child for a three-week period and there was nothing I could do about it.”

Detective Garda David Laing said that the baby was brought to A&E at the Midwest Regional Hospital Limerick on January 3, 2011, with a series of injuries.

He said that the mother had earlier heard the boy crying in the next room at their home.

Det Gda Laing said: “She thought the child was hungry. She was making his bottle in the kitchen and when she went to him, she saw Larry Connors with the child in his arms and wiping blood from the baby’s mouth. She reported that the child seemed to be going in and out of consciousness.”

Connors told the woman that he thought the baby had fallen. But a report by consultant paediatrician Siobhan Gallagher found that the multiple injuries suffered by the baby were not consistent with a fall.

The baby was taken into care in January of last year for six months and returned to his mother in July 2011. The two now live in the UK.

The mother said that her baby now “is doing fine”.

However, she said that her baby requires speech therapy because of a tear injury to his mouth, while he will also require to have his dislocated elbow broken later this year in order to have it reset.

She added: “I want justice for my child so that I can move on with my life.”

Defence lawyer Brian McInerney said: “Connors has a very poor level of education. He comes from a very dysfunctional family background. . .

“It is not an excuse for this kind of conduct.”

He added: “He realises that he is going to prison and hopes that this will be the first step on the road to recovery for him.”

Judge Moran said that the case was “fairly shocking” and the injuries were suffered by “a defenceless baby”.

The judge said that if Connors had not pleaded guilty, he would have been sentenced to near the maximum seven years in jail for the offence.