Woman who fractured baby boy's skull and burned him with hairdryer jailed

Lyndsay Lawrence carried out the violent assault while she was supposed to be looking after the nine-month-old boy.

Lyndsay Lawrence who fractured baby boy’s skull and burned him with hairdryer jailed iStock

A woman who burned a baby with a hairdryer and fractured the child’s skull has been jailed for four years.

Lyndsay Lawrence, 29, carried out the violent assault while she was supposed to be looking after the nine-month-old boy.

A judge at the High Court in Edinburgh told Lawrence that he assessed her culpability for head injuries sustained by the nine-month-old boy as “high”.

Lord Tyre said there could be no excuse whatsoever for the infliction of such injuries on “a small and vulnerable child”.

The judge said: “To make matters worse they were committed when you were in a position of trust to the child.”

Lawrence, formerly of Camelon, Falkirk, was originally charged with attempting to murder the baby on December 4 in 2020 at an address in the town.

A jury at her earlier trial acquitted her of that charge but found her guilty of assaulting the child to his severe injury and to the danger of his life.

Lawrence was convicted of inflicting trauma to the head of the baby by means to the prosecutor unknown and by shaking him.

She was also found guilty of wilfully exposing the child in a way likely to cause him unnecessary suffering or injury by burning his body with a hairdryer.

She was acquitted of a further allegation that she exposed the child to cocaine and amphetamine and caused him to ingest the drugs.

Lawrence had denied the offences at the trial and the court heard that she continues to deny causing injuries to the child. 

Lawrence told the court in her evidence that the child suddenly became unwell and made “like a weird noise”. “His full body went tense and then it was like he went weak,” she said.

She contacted her mother and a neighbour, who was a nurse, and a 999 call was made to summon emergency help. Lawrence denied that she hit or dropped the child.  

At the end of the trial Lord Tyre told jurors that it was “a rather distressing and unpleasant case”. The judge said among his papers was a report from a consultant paediatrician who saw the infant months after he was injured.

The baby boy attended his clinic with a foster parent who reported he was a happy and alert child. The consultant said it was his opinion that the child had made a good recovery.

Advocate depute Lynsey Rodger told the court that the evidence suggested that the baby was normal until he was left alone with Lawrence, who was supposed to be looking after him for his mother.

She said up until then he was not suffering from a fractured skull, bleeding on the brain and significant burns to his bottom.

The prosecutor said: “(The baby) had been normal and then all of a sudden, for no reason the accused can explain, there was a change in his demanour.”  

“There was a high pitch shriek, a grunt or a noise. His eyes went back. He was rigid and then he was floppy. He wasn’t normal at that point,” she said.

She said: “There is only one person that knows what happened to the baby on December 4. That person is the person who caused the injuries.”

“The evidence, when you put it together, tells you that the person who caused the injuries is the accused. We know the injuries were non-accidental. They were deliberate. They were an assault upon him.”

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