A support worker who left a baby with a fractured skull after repeatedly assaulting her from the day she was born has been banned from returning to work as a carer once he is freed from prison.
Michael Finlay, who once stated “s*** happens” in reference to one of his attacks, targeted the girl between October and December 2017 at a house in Lenzie, East Dunbartonshire.
One of the attacks, in which he shook the baby “uncontrollably”, occurred on Christmas Day.
At Glasgow Sheriff Court in June 2019, Finlay was convicted of repeatedly assaulting the child to her severe injury and danger of life. The following month he was sentenced to five years in jail.
At his trial the court heard how Finlay, of Johnstone, Renfrewshire, would “lose control” and yell at the baby to “shut up” when she cried.
Jurors were also told how he had previously been warned about his handling of the child when the baby’s mum sent him a text message, saying: “You need to be careful, so she does not have any knocks like last time.”
He replied: “I know.”
The court heard that Finlay inflicted “blunt force trauma” to cause the skull fracture and that he could not explain where a lump on her head had come from when later questioned.
Sheriff Norman Ritchie QC told Finlay: “Your rage has cost you your home, your employment and your liberty.
“No one who heard the evidence could fail to be moved by the plight of the child who suffered at your hands.”
Finlay’s lawyer, Gary Allan QC, told the court that he loved his job as a carer.
He said: “Not only was he good at caring for vulnerable people but he enjoyed it.”
However, the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) found his fitness to practise impaired and removed him from the care register following an impairment hearing on April 2 this year.
In a written ruling, the watchdog branded Finlay’s conviction “extremely serious” and stated that his “violent behaviour” fell “well below the standards expected of a social services worker”.
The panel stated: “You have shown no evidence of remediation and the panel could take no comfort that you would not pose a risk to the public and service users were you to work in the profession in the near future.
“The panel, given the seriousness of your actions, the fact that you have not engaged with the SSSC or demonstrated that you have changed your behaviour and the public interest in maintaining confidence in the profession, have decided that your fitness to practise is currently impaired.”
The SSSC acknowledged that a removal order was the “most serious sanction”, but concluded that it was “proportionate”, balancing Finlay’s interest against the “public interest and public protection”.