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Albany father admits breaking baby’s ribs
8th June 2009, 11:15 WST
A 34-year-old Albany man has admitted assaulting his three-month-old son, leaving the baby with 38 fractures.
Jonathan Stephen Lowe had been due to face trial today but instead pleaded guilty to the aggravated assault of his infant son between March 1 and April 3, 2008, and causing him grievous bodily harm.
Prosecutor Anthony Eyers told the District Court “numerous severe fractures” were found on the baby when he was x-rayed in hospital on April 3, 2008.
“The ribs were fractured at 33 sites…(and) occurred on at least two separate occasions, probably more,” Mr Eyers told the court.
Doctors estimated the injuries were caused 10 to 14 days before the x-ray, the prosecutor said.
“Some may have been up to 21 days old,” Mr Eyers told the court.
The abuse was described by a police prosecutor at an earlier court appearance for Lowe as “the worst case of child abuse seen at the hospital”.
Medical evidence submitted at the earlier proceeding said the injuries were consistent with the baby being squeezed or pulled.
Today, Mr Eyers said the State was alleging the injuries were the result of deliberate and non-accidental handling by Lowe.
The injuries were discovered after the baby’s mother, who was in court this morning, took the child to Albany Regional Hospital.
The child was then taken to Princess Margaret Hospital and x-rayed.
Outside court, the 38-year-old woman, who has at least one other child, said she felt government departments were now treating her as though she was the one who had done something wrong.
Lowe, who has a hearing disability and was experiencing trouble with his hearing aid in court today, was remanded in custody and is due to be sentenced in August.