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A MAN charged with hitting a baby boy with a mobile phone and pricking him with a safety pin on a Central Coast train was on parole for six previous assaults, a court has heard.
The 22-year-old had only been released from prison in March after serving 10 months.
He faced Gosford Local Court today charged with one count of a domestic violence-related assault occasioning actual bodily harm and one count of common assault after being arrested at Woy Woy Railway Station.
The 22-year-old man will front Gosford Local Court today.Police patrolling the platform at 8.25pm were alerted by a woman who raised concerns about the treatment of the baby boy on the northbound train.
The baby was taken by NSW Ambulance paramedics to Gosford Hospital suffering head injuries and remained in a stable condition.
A police statement of facts alleged the man tried to prick the baby around the ears with a safety pin and hit him on the head with his mobile phone.
“Between Central and Woy Woy the accused was seen to utilise a safety pin to repeatedly prick the child around the ear and neck region, in an attempt to pierce the ear of the child,” the police facts read.
“Throughout the journey the accused was also seen to hit the child in the head multiple times with his mobile phone. During the trip the child was dropped on the ground of the train, landing on his head. As a result the child had a minor laceration to his right eyebrow.
“The child appeared distressed and was crying hysterically and the accused and (the child’s mother) told the child to ‘shut up’.”
The facts alleged that when police boarded the train officers “immediately noted that the child (appeared) to be visibly distressed and crying hysterically”.
The mother of th 10-month-old leaves Gosford Court with the aid of ambulance officers. Picture: Peter Lorimer.“In addition police observed three small abrasions to the right hand side of the child’s face above his eyebrow as well as redness and swelling,” the facts read.
In applying for bail, the man’s Legal Aid solicitor Samantha McKensey told the court it was a weak prosecution case because there was only one police witness and “the child was not deliberately dropped, the child fell”.
“The victim’s mother is in court today and supports his version,” she said.
She said the man did not live with the child’s mother but was the primary carer of his disabled, wheelchair-bound sister, aged 23.
“What did she do when he was in prison?” asked Magistrate Andrew George.
Ms McKensey said his sister had “some” other care but the man had assumed the full time duties since his release in March.
The court heard the man was on parole until November after serving 10 months for six assaults.
Ms McKensey said the man still wanted to continue his relationship with the boy’s mother and would agree to any orders not to have any contact with the child.
In opposing bail Sergeant Richard Taylor said it was not “a weak case” with an eye witness and the child’s injuries were “direct evidence”.
“The child had injuries, it was quite a severe assault in my submission,” he said.
“The accused seems to be a person who cannot control himself. In my submission it is not a weak case at all.”
Concerned passengers alerted police at Woy Woy and the man was arrested.The magistrate said given the man was still on parole he had to “show cause” as to why he deserved bail and despite taking his disabled sister into consideration it “doesn’t make you a contender for bail”.
Bail was refused and the matter was adjourned to Woy Woy Local Court on September 6.
The man called out to the child’s mother as he was being led into custody: “I love you, I will call you as soon as I can.”
The boy’s mother called an ambulance to pick her up from the courthouse.
Police said the child was placed in care and they were working with the Department of Family and Community Services.
The woman who raised the alarm posted on Facebook saying she didn’t directly intervene in fear for her safety.
“Was very hard to watch it continue for over an hour on the train,” she said. “Glad they are getting the little boy the care he needs. I was (a) 21-year-old woman sitting near a violent male on a public train.
“So no, I didn’t do anything out of fear for my own safety.
“I got in contact with police, which seemed like the most sensible option.”
This article first appeared on www.dailytelegraph.com.au
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