April 2019

Blackburn dad shook his baby son into a coma

A father who shook his baby so hard he fell into a coma has been jailed

The fourteen-week-old baby was left limp after the assault at a house in Blackburn when Zeeshan Younis was left looking after him.

The infant was rushed to hospital and found to be suffering from a bleed on the brain.

He also had widespread haemorrhages in his eyes and an irregular heartbeat.

Younis was found guilty of grievous bodily harm with intent by a jury at Preston Crown Court in March and was sentenced to a six-year spell in prison after appearing at Sessions House.

Younis, a Pakistani national, now has illegal immigrant status having ‘overstayed’ the period of his UK visa.

Sentencing the 38-year-old, Judge Graham Knowles QC said the baby ‘could have been killed’.

He said: “He was your only child and he was well cared for until February 5, 2016, the second time you had been left alone to look after him.

“The health visitor had called to your home at 11.30am and all was well – he was asleep.

“But by quarter to two you had assaulted him. This was an isolated case of abuse during a momentary loss of control. As the jury found, in those moments you acted with intent to do your son grievous bodily harm.”

Younis, recently of Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, made a 999 call after he shook his son, but at no point told anyone the circumstances surrounding the baby’s condition.

When paramedics arrived, the baby was in a coma and was pale and floppy. He developed a ‘fixed stare’ en route to the hospital and became rigid.

Emergency treatment was issued and an investigation was launched which led to Younis being arrested.

Reports from more than one doctor outlined the fact that the baby’s injuries were consistent with an episode of abuse, either by a minor head trauma or shaking.

Judge Knowles QC added: “In my view, with all the evidence, what you did was shake your son.

“What you did to your son could have killed him or could have led to grave brain damage with appalling consequences for his life. Mercifully that is not the outcome.

“The Crown opened the trial to the jury by telling them all he had made a good recovery.”

Now three years on from the incident, social workers have described the boy, who was adopted, as a ‘happy healthy child who is meeting all his milestones’.

Doctors did however add that there is a small chances difficulties could develop throughout his life as a result of the assault.

Judge Knowles QC said: “One day the child will have to learn what was done to him by his own father – and that his own father denies it.