The family of a baby who suffered ‘distressing injuries’ when he was attacked by a young man have described the prison sentence given to the offender as ‘abysmal’.
At Warwick Crown Court last week, Samuel Robbins (pictured left), 21, of Fallow Hill, Leamington, was sentenced to two-and-a half years for three offences of which one of child cruelty accounted for six months of the consecutive term.
But the baby’s great grandfather and legal guardian, who has not been named for the purpose of protecting the child’s identity, said: “With good behaviour that comes to three months which for me means he has got away with it.
“It’s an abysmal sentence - he probably would have gotten more if he had kicked a dog.
“The disruption we have had as a family over the last three years has been very difficult and in the end all he has got is a slap on the wrist.”
Robbins had denied the charge of cruelty but he was found guilty by a jury following a trial last month.
He had also pleaded guilty to a separate charge of assault and was also convicted of robbery following an earlier trial.
Robbins was in the dock with his brother Reece, 20, also of Fallow Hill and Ashley Owen, 21, from St Albans, who were jailed for their parts in the robbery for which they were also found guilty.
And Jamie Debney, 22, of Willes Road, Leamington and Craig Herlihy, 20, of Tachbrook Road, Leamington, were sentenced to six months in jail suspended for 12 months for the assault charge, which they had admitted.
The jury heard that in May 2010, Robbins, who was living in Warwick at the time, was looking after a six-month-old baby while its mother, who also lived in Warwick, was out.
Prosecutor Matthew Barnes said Robbins assaulted the child in a temper, causing very unpleasant facial injuries including severe bruising to both cheeks and a torn upper frenulum - the membrane between the upper lip and the gum.
It came to light when Robbins called 999 saying that the baby was bleeding from his mouth, his eyes were rolling and he was floppy.
But Robbins, who told an emergency services operator he had been asleep with the baby and had caught him in the face accidently, was reluctant to take him to hospital.
When he finally did so the boy was seen by a consultant paediatrician who was later told of Robbin’s explanation and how the injuries were caused.
And Mr Barnes told the jury: “The doctor’s opinion is that that was unlikely because the bruising to both cheeks was bilateral, yet there was no injury to the nose.”
Following an adjournment for all the defendants to appear in court together, Mr Barnes said that in March 2011 while Robbins was on bail, he, Debney and Herlihy were involved in an assault on a young man at an address in Leamington after they had been told their victim had sexually assaulted a girl one of them knew and they decided to take the law into their own hands.
And in April Robbins, his brother and Owen robbed Christopher Howes in a remote and dark cut-through, kicking and punching their victim and stealing £150 from his wallet.
Robbins was given six-months for child cruelty, six months for assault and 18 months for the robbery,
Describing the child cruelty as an ‘isolated incident’, Recorder Marcus Tregilgas-Davey told Robbins: “The photographs are distressing. The baby was defenceless in your sole charge and you did not have the sense of duty or moral conviction to plead guilty.”