Ex-soldier left baby with brain injury after 'violently shaking' him

Declan Walton attacked the ten-week-old child in June 2020 and the youngster remains in hospital almost three years later.

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A former soldier who violently shook a baby boy leaving him with devastating injuries has been jailed for seven and a half years.

Declan Walton, 31, attacked the ten-week-old child at house in Glenrothes, Fife on June 5, 2020.

A judge heard how the boy remains in hospital more than two years later.

The youngster has cerebral palsy, has to be fed through a tube and it is unlikely he will ever live independently.

He had previously pled guilty to assaulting the boy to his severe injury, permanent impairment and to the danger of his life by shaking him or inflicting trauma to his head by means unknown.

Lord Weir told Walton: “Although you accept sole responsibility for the devastating brain injury, you appear from (pre-sentencing) report to be unable to account for what occurred.”

The judge said he had read a “moving” victim impact statement from the child’s mother about her son’s ordeal.

The jail term was cut from eight and a half years due to the guilty plea.

The earlier hearing in Edinburgh was told how the boy had been a “happy baby” before Walton struck.

Moments after the attack, the ex-squaddie yelled: “He’s not responding. He’s not breathing.”

The child’s mum went on to discover her son’s body was limp and a 999 call was made.

The tiny victim was rushed to hospital. He was found not to be breathing on his own and extensive resuscitation was needed.

The boy ended up in intensive care having suffered haemorrhaging in his head.

He required surgery to drain blood and ease pressure on his brain.

Experts who examined the child and medical findings came to the conclusion that his condition was “highly suggestive of abusive head trauma”.

Prosecutor Leanne Cross told the earlier hearing: “All the medical evidence points to the child having suffered a traumatic event, most likely from shaking.”

Walton, of Glenrothes, denied ever shaking the child in a fit of anger when later quizzed by police.

His lawyer said Walton had previously been in the army for eight years serving two tours of duty in Afghanistan.

Gareth Jones KC, defending, added, on leaving in 2018, he “struggled to adjust to civilian life”.

Regarding the baby attack, Mr Jones told the court: “This was a loss of control in a single moment of time which caused devastating consequences.”

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