York Social Workers Praised For Alerting Police To Injuries To Boy
A “SCARED and frightened” baby boy was subjected to a nightmare of cruel abuse at the hands of this violent York thug.
Gavin Lee Barker attacked the child, who was only 17 months old when Barker started hitting him on the head and body. York Crown Court heard that at times, the child’s mother left the little boy in Barker’s care.
On one occasion, a hospital doctor noticed 15 separate bruises on the tot’s body and an area of “extensive bruising”. On another occasion, staff at the child’s crèche called in social services when they found marks on the child’s thighs as they were changing his nappy.
Barker, 23, of Hewley Avenue, Tang Hall, who tried to blame the boy’s father, pleaded guilty to three serious charges and was jailed for two years.
Baby abuse thug jailed
A THUG who subjected a baby to a nightmare ordeal of cruel abuse lasting three months has been jailed.
Social workers have won a judge’s praise for stopping Gavin Lee Barker’s attacks on the terrified tot.
The court heard the baby boy was only 17 months old when Barker started hitting it on the head and body when the child’s mother left him in Barker’s care.
Tom Storey, prosecuting, said Barker allowed the child’s innocent father to take the blame for the injuries, but an emergency meeting of social services and other childcare authorities finally saved the youngster from further attacks. Months later, Barker finally confessed in a letter to lawyers.
“I lashed out without thinking and it has happened a few times,” he wrote. “I regret what I have done. I cannot cope with the guilt any more.”
“The child was scared and frightened and was crying for help,” Recorder Tom Bayliss QC told Barker at York Crown Court.
“It was not an isolated incident. This was a very long series of cruel injuries caused to a vulnerable child on a vulnerable part of its body.”
Mr Storey said that three times, the baby’s GP sent him to York Hospital for specialist paediatric care when his mother sought medical help. On one occasion, a hospital doctor noticed 15 separate bruises on the tot’s body and an area of “extensive bruising”.
On another occasion, staff at the child’s crèche called in social services when they found marks on the child’s thighs as they were changing his nappy.
Barker, 23, of Hewley Avenue, Tang Hall, pleaded guilty to three serious charges involving the child committed over three months last year and he was jailed for two years. He was also disqualified from working with children.
For Barker, Simon Hickey said his client had suffered abuse himself as a child and his actions were out of character.
Judge’s praise for social workers
WHILE national headlines have focussed on the tragic case of Baby P, the judge in this baby abuse case was quick to praise the work of social workers and others in York involved in child care.
“In this case, social services cannot be criticised in any way for the action they took. It seems to me they took prompt action when the situation became plain to see,” he said.
He also said: “Social services and the police acted with speed.”