Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Man found guilty of punching five-day-old baby in the face

David Hardy denied assault, claiming he had thought the infant was a doll

Harry Cockburn
Wednesday 23 November 2016 18:26 GMT
Comments
David Hardy leaves Manchester and Salford Magistrates' Court where he was convicted for assault
David Hardy leaves Manchester and Salford Magistrates' Court where he was convicted for assault (PA)

A man has been found guilty of punching a five-day-old baby girl in the face.

The baby, Elsie Rose, was hit in the face at a Tesco supermarket in Baguley, south of Manchester, on 5 September.

She was in a baby seat in a supermarket trolley next to her older sister when the attack happened.

Her attacker, David Hardy, 64, denied assault and told Salford Magistrates' Court he had thought the baby was a doll.

“I thought I was just going to make the girl laugh. I don’t know why I thought that,” he told the court.

“I thought it was a little girl’s dolly.”

Hardy said he was “wracked with guilt” over the incident and said it was “a stupid instant decision” and that he had intended to “have a joke and a bit of a laugh”.

Elsie was taken directly to hospital and was kept overnight for checks before being discharged the next day.

She suffered a red mark to the face, but was not seriously harmed.

Hardy was fined £900, ordered to pay £500 in court costs and £100 in compensation, the Manchester Evening News reports.

District Judge Sam Goozee said he found Hardy’s claim he thought the baby was a doll “implausible”.

“At the point you struck out you did so with the intention and knowing Elsie was a baby, not a doll.”

Elsie’s grandfather stormed out of the court after the sentence was read, branding the punishment “a f*****g joke mate”.

Outside the court the two families were subsequently involved in angry exchanges and security guards were called to break up a tussle.

The baby’s uncle, Luke Temple, said of Hardy: “He should have got a custodial sentence for him to think about what he did.”

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in