Jailed for neglect

PUBLISHED: 15:49 10 October 2009 | UPDATED: 12:04 10 June 2010

A children s entertainer who failed to take a four month old girl for emergency treatment after the tot sustained a fractured skull has been jailed for six months.

A children's entertainer who failed to take a four month old girl for emergency treatment after the tot sustained a fractured skull has been jailed for six months.

Exeter Crown Court that, while 45-year-old Brett Webber was aware that something was wrong with the little girl, he neglected to get her medical treatment.

In passing sentence, Judge Graham Cottle told Webber: "The jury convicted you of this offence and you failed to seek medical attention for this obviously injured child.

"You are obviously aggrieved by your conviction and do not see what all the fuss is about. You were obviously complicit in telling lies and the other person involved was given a suspended sentence after pleading guilty.

"The judge at that hearing said that had there not been a guilty plea, he would not have suspended the prison term. You contested this matter so there is no credit due to you for a plea of guilty."

At the trial, the court heard from Dr Samuel Wallace, a paediatrics registrar, that while the victim had sustained a skull fracture, there had not been bleeding into the brain.

The doctor said that, if that had been the case, then catastrophic consequences could have resulted.

The little girl was eventually taken to the Royal Devon and Exeter accident and emergency department by her mother, who told a number of conflicting stories about how her daughter had come by the head injury.

Dr Wallace said when the injury actually occurred, the child would have shown some signs of distress, but soon afterwards could have appeared normal.

He said by the time he examined the four-month old there was a nine and a half by six centimetre boggy swelling on the right side of the head.

He said significant force would have been needed to cause that injury.

The doctor told the jury that, while the injury might not have been clearly visible for hours and possibly days after it happened, by the time he saw the child, it was clearly visible.

Prosecutor Martin Kenny said the Crown's case against Webber was that he neglected to obtain medical attention for the victim.

Webber, of Polsloe Road, Exeter, had pleaded not guilty to a charge of child neglect but was convicted by the jury.


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