Tennant Creek Northern Territory: Baby’s skull fractured on first birthday with a glass bottle

WARNING DISTURBING CONTENT: Outrage as convicted domestic violence offender fractures a baby’s skull with a glass bottle on her first birthday after being spared jail

  • Man charged for fracturing baby’s skull with glass bottle
  • He was on a suspended sentence for domestic violence
  • Both parents were drinking at child’s birthday when it occurred

A convicted domestic violence offender who was free on a suspended sentence allegedly struck a baby with a glass bottle during her first birthday party, fracturing her skull.

The one-year-old from the outback town of Tennant Creek, in the Northern Territory, remains in hospital after undergoing surgery following the attack 12 days ago.

Just before 9pm on May 28, it is alleged a 26-year-old man threw a glass bottle which struck the baby’s head.

A baby girl was rushed to hospital with a fractured skull after being struck in the head with a glass bottle by a convicted domestic violence offender during her first birthday party on May 28 (pictured: Tennant Creek Police Station)

The Royal Flying Doctor Service was called to fly the infant to the Adelaide Women’s and Children’s Hospital, accompanied by her grandmother, as her parents were declared unfit to fly due to being intoxicated.

On Thursday NT Police confirmed the child remained in hospital in Adelaide receiving ongoing medical treatment but is in a stable condition. 

The day after the attack, police charged the 26-year-old man with aggravated assault, unlawfully causing serious harm and recklessly ­endangering serious harm.

Police will allege he was intoxicated when he struck the child with a ‘blunt weapon’ at the remote community, 500km north of Alice Springs.

The case was briefly mentioned at Alice Springs Local Court last week where it was revealed the alleged offence put him in breach of his suspended sentence.

Court documents state the man was serving a suspended sentence for breaking his partner’s jaw in a drunken assault in May, 2021, after a night of downing rum and Jim Beam, The Australian reported.

The documents stated he punched the mother of his ­children with a closed fist in a ‘backhand swing’ while in bed.

In February, 2022 he pleaded guilty to unlawfully causing serious harm and was handed a wholly suspended sentence of two years and three months.

During sentencing, Justice ­Stephen Southwood relayed that the offence carried a maximum penalty of 14 years but decided to wholly suspend his sentence due to his relative youth, guilty plea and because he was participating in counselling.

Police will allege the 26-year-old was intoxicated when he struck the child with a 'blunt weapon' at the remote community, 500km north of Alice Springs.

Police will allege the 26-year-old was intoxicated when he struck the child with a ‘blunt weapon’ at the remote community, 500km north of Alice Springs. 

‘It is apparent that the offender is genuinely remorseful and this is the first violent offence he has ever committed,’ Justice Southwood said.

‘He does not have a ­predisposition to engage in domestic violence… In my opinion, given what the court has been told, he has good prospects of rehabilitation.’

At the time his partner was expecting a child and the judge noted it would be hard for her to visit him in jail due to the Covid restrictions in place at the time.

At his sentencing Justice Southwood acknowledged the man had issues with alcohol and therefore conditions of his suspended sentence included him abstaining from alcohol.

‘If you commit another domestic violence offence, in addition to any sentence that is imposed on you for that offence, I will restore the whole of the two years and three months and you will serve that time in prison,’ Justice Southwood said during his sentencing.

The 26-year-old will remain in custody. He will next appear before court on July 20.

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