David Hardy, 64 has been found guilty of punching a five-day-old baby in the face.
On 5th September Amy Duker took her baby Elsie Rose on her first trip out with the family.
The family were shopping in a Tesco Store on Altrincham Road in Baguley when Hardy punched the baby in the head, mistaking her for a doll.
Elsie Rose was in a car seat placed in a shopping trolley next to her older sister when she was attacked.
Her mother told the court she was left “absolutely distraught” by the incident, which happened after she had bumped into a neighbour who worked at the supermarket.
The neighbour had called her colleague, Hardy’s wife, over to look at the “beautiful baby”, she said.
She told the court that Hardy had then approached and, without saying a word to her, punched the baby in the head.
Hardy told the court he had been “messing around to lighten the mood” and thought the “doll” belonged to Elsie Rose’s older sister.
He said the seven-year-old “looked bored” and he had asked her: “Is that your baby?”
“She didn’t reply and I said ‘I’m going to wake your baby up’,” he said.
He claimed he then tapped the child with a “loose fist” to “wind up” the girl.
He added that in hindsight, he could see there was nothing playful about his “wholly inappropriate” actions.
Baby Elsie was taken to hospital and monitored overnight but was later discharged.
Finding Hardy guilty, District Judge Sam Goozee dismissed Hardy’s claim that he thought the child was a doll as “implausible”. Hardy was fined £900, ordered to pay £500 costs & £100 compensation,
Speaking after the hearing, John and Linda Duckers, the grandparents of Elsie Rose, said Hardy should have been given a custodial sentence. What do you think? How would you have reacted if someone punched your newborn child?
If Mr Hardy thought this baby was a doll (and some do look realistic) then this is an extremely unfortunate incident!