A short trip out to grab some lunch ended in tragedy for a mother who returned home to find her baby girl bruised and beaten.
The man who assaulted the eight-month-old was sentenced on Monday for a crime which may lead to long-term physical and cognitive impairments for the girl.
On August 26, 2021 the man and the victim's mother were no longer a couple but spent time together with the child at a western Sydney home.
The woman, after going out to get lunch, returned to find her child injured.
The couple, who both cannot be named, then lied to police about the cause of the injuries with the mother saying that a PlayStation controller had fallen from a shelf onto the child.
On Monday at Parramatta District Court, Judge Stephen Hanley sentenced the man for shaking and choking the baby, and hitting her with the controller.
The child suffered serious injuries to the face, head, neck and brain.
While she had improved since the assault, medical experts were unable to tell whether she would suffer any long-term mental, physical or developmental effects.
The judge sentenced the 26-year-old to a maximum sentence of six years and three months, expiring on January 7, 2028.
Nothing other than full-time imprisonment was warranted, the judge added, because the victim was vulnerable and the former partner had abused the trust placed in him by the child and her mother.
However, he imposed a shorter non-parole period of three years and two months, expiring on December 7 next year, after finding that the man had a deprived upbringing.
Suffering physical, verbal and sexual abuse within the family home, the man had grown up addicted to drugs early on and had been diagnosed with a slew of mental conditions including ADHD and autism.
The man had shown remorse, embarrassment and shame for what he had done, Judge Hanley said.
A discount to the sentence was added for the man's pre-trial plea of guilty to one count of assault intending grievous bodily harm and one count of acting to pervert the course of justice.
These offences carry maximum jail terms of 25 and 14 years respectively.
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