Friday, 4 March 2011

SBS: Northern Ireland: Robert John Anderson

26th Feb 11 Adam Richards

A man from County Londonderry has been found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm by baby-shaking his 18-week-old son.
It is thought to be one of the only ever convictions of its type in a court in Northern Ireland. Robert John Anderson whose baby cannot be named and address cannot be made known by court order, was found guilty by a majority verdict. The baby has now been left permanently brain-damaged and blind among other injuries.
The 26-year-old guilty verdict came after a trial which lasted five-and-a-half weeks held with no media present. He was also convicted of cruelty to his son by neglect. No media was permitted to be present at either of the verdicts.
As a result of the injuries which the baby sustained in the shaking, on 16 December 2008, he can now only respond to noise, has multiple mobility and disability problems, and is unable to speak.
After the guilty verdict was returned by the jury, Anderson and his family members – including his partner, the mother of the child – wept. The judge refused him bail and he is due to be sentenced on 24 March.

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