A jealous man who bit the cheek of a 15-month-old girl as she sat in her pushchair has been jailed.
James George, of Cartmel Avenue, Accrington, leant into the push chair as the baby was ‘restless and crying’ and bit her on the right cheek, leaving a ‘clear and distinctive mark’.
Burnley Crown Court heard how his the incident happened when his then girlfriend had visited George and brought the baby along.
The court was told that George became ‘jealous’ and ‘frustrated’ and wanted to spend time alone with his partner.
The 27-year-old later told police how it was a ‘spur of the moment of madness’ and said ‘I just blacked out and saw red a little bit’
He pleaded guilty to ABH and was jailed for 24 weeks.
Francis McEntee, prosecuting, told the court how the mother took the baby to hospital after discovering the bite marks and, when she couldn’t explain how they happened, hospital staff informed the police.
The court heard how George initially denied the offence when he was arrested.
But when challenged with the bite mark evidence he ‘immediately relented’ and confessed.
Mr McEntee said the baby had been ‘restless and crying’ on the afternoon of the offence in February and when George leant in to push her properly back into the push chair he bit her.
The court heard how he couldn’t explain why he bit the baby and said ‘it was a mistake and would never happen again’.
Mr McEntee said George described it as a ‘flick of a switch’ in his head.
Jane Dagnall, defending, said it was an ‘astonishing case’ and the pictures of the injuries are ‘quite graphic’.
She told the court how George has been diagnosed with an ‘emotionally unstable personality disorder’ and he was not taking his medication at the time of the offence.
She said: “He’s quite disgusted with himself.
“It’s a difficult case in some ways because straight away the heart says it is horrific injuries to a child and how could anyone do this?
“But then you look at his personal circumstances and he has some issues and clearly has some personal mental health issues.
“Mr George’s problem is that when he’s in a relationship he can’t cope emotionally.”
Miss Dagnall said that he is receiving family support.
Judge Beverley Lunt said she had ‘grave concerns’ over James George’s actions.
Sentencing, she said: “This is an inexplicable assault by you by a large mouthed bite when this child was restrained in a push chair.
“Even if she realised what was going to happen she couldn’t have escaped you in any way.
“The bite, as it developed, showed with clear enough detail an impression that could be matched to you.
“That’s how deep the bite was and how serious the bite was.
“Apparently on this occasion you appeared to have been frustrated as you wanted to have time with your girlfriend and she brought the baby with her.
“It would appear that you are so self-involved that you regarded the child as something of a rival to the attention or affections you thought were deserving of you.
“It wasn’t the mother you turned on but that child and that causes me grave concerns. Your response was irrational and potentially dangerous.
“You still show very limited remorse and show a total lack of empathy with the child.
“There aren’t any permanent injuries and hopefully any memory will fade in due course.”