Father jailed after breaking baby's arm

Edward Booker

Sharon Keitch

First published in News The Oxford Times: Photograph of the Author by , Crime Reporter, also covering Barton and Wood Farm. Call me on (01865) 425427

A YOUNG dad whose newborn baby was found riddled with bone fractures was yesterday jailed for nearly three years.

Edward Booker admitted fracturing the three-month-old boy’s right arm and also failing to seek medical care in the first few months of his life.

He was sentenced to 33 months in prison at Oxford Crown Court. Booker, 26, said he accidentally hurt his son but neither he or mum Sharon Keitch took their baby to hospital until more than 12 hours later.

When doctors examined the baby, they discovered fractures to both collar bones, ribs, legs, both forearms, and both feet.

And they said the injuries were unlikely to have been accidental.

Wayne Cranson-Morris, prosecuting, said the baby also had bruising on his face.

Booker, of Samphire Road, Blackbird Leys, admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm in November 2009.

He also admitted child cruelty in failing to get any medical help between the day after the baby was born in August to the incident in late November 2009.

Keitch, of Bayswater Road, Barton, admitted child cruelty through failing to get medical help immediately after noticing her son had a swollen arm.

The court heard the couple lived in an “overcrowded” and “chaotic” council house in Fettiplace Close, Barton.

Richard Benson, defending Booker, added: “He still denies vehemently that he was responsible for any of the other injuries.

“There was a lot of alcohol being consumed. It’s not for us to speculate about those other injuries.”

Lauren Soertsz, defending Keitch, said she had noticed her son’s arm was swollen. But added: “She did not get seek medical attention and she gave him Calpol.”

But the court heard Keitch called the doctors at about 8pm that evening, November 23, after realising something was wrong.

Recorder Patrick Hamlin, sentencing, said: “It is unclear who, in this chaotic household, caused these injuries which were not accidental.

“But you were his primary carers and both of you were responsible for bringing him up in a loving way.

“Instead of loving and cherishing him both of you let him down in the most appalling way. His life up until November must have been miserable.”

Addressing Booker, he said: “It was reckless rather than cruel, and caused by rough handling doubtless in your frustration of dealing with a young child.”

He handed 28-year-old Keitch a two-year community order with a supervision requirement.

He told her: “I am taking the view you are in need of help rather than punishment.”

Booker and Keitch have since broken up and their son has been adopted.

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