Courier Mail, The (Brisbane), 16/01/2007, pg. 11

POLICE have charged a Forest Hill man with the torture of a 15-month-old baby boy who was found unconscious in his cot with burns and injuries to his face and body.

The baby was flown to Brisbane’s Mater Hospital on Sunday afternoon with serious injuries and was in a stable condition yesterday.

Police allege the baby was slapped in the face and punched causing bruises to his forehead, left eye and left armpit and was burned on his stomach.

The man, 34, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the child, appeared in Toowoomba Magistrate’s Court yesterday charged with grievous bodily harm and torture.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Mike Robinson told the court the baby’s mother left her son in his cot in the care of her de facto on Sunday afternoon while she visited a neighbour for 15 minutes.

When she returned to the couple’s home, west of Brisbane, her de facto was vomiting in the shower and told her the baby had been whingeing.

Sgt Robinson told the court the mother assumed the baby had gone to sleep and returned to the neighbour’s house for 15 minutes. On her return at 5.30pm she smelled faeces.

She went to change the baby and found he had a swollen left eye.

She said when she picked him up the baby vomited. When she removed his clothing to bathe him, she saw a large red burn on his stomach.

The baby was taken to Laidley Hospital and then flown to Brisbane.

Police said that if the baby had not been found, there was a real possibility he would have died.

In a police interview the man said he had not entered the baby’s room and told police the child must have caused the damage to himself in the cot but he had not heard anything.

A duty solicitor told the court the accused would deny the charges.

Magistrate Greg McIntyre refused bail and remanded the man in custody to January 29.

Copyright 2007 / Courier Mail