Newmarket man jailed for shaking 5-month old baby girl

Mark Spike
Mark Spike
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A 24-year-old man who was found guilty of grievous bodily harm after shaking a baby, causing her life-long injuries including partial blindness, has been jailed for two years.

Mark Spike was found guilty of grievous bodily harm at Ipswich Crown court today, Thursday 13 August.

Spike was charged in April 2014 following police enquiries into the injuries sustained by a baby girl in October 2013.

Paramedics had been called to an address in Newmarket on 23 October 2013 to reports that the five-month-old girl was having breathing problems and vomiting.

While the paramedics were there she had a seizure and was taken to Addenbrookes hospital where she was found to have a brain injury and retinal haemorrhages. After examination by specialist doctors and surgeons this was determined to be a non-accidental injury – either an inflicted head trauma or a shaking-type injury.

The little girl is now registered blind and it is uncertain how the brain injury will affect her future development.

Police began an investigation, interviewing the child’s parents and looking into the circumstances of what had happened.

Mark Spike later made admissions, in a separate county court hearing, to shaking the baby after she had refused to take her bottle and began crying. He was subsequently charged with wounding/ GBH.

Detective Inspector Adrian Randall, lead on child abuse investigations in the west of the county, said the case had involved the gathering of expert testimony.

“This trial has taken some time to get to court, with the police and the Crown Prosecution Service gathering evidence from national experts around the UK. One Consultant Paediatric Ophthalmologist concluded the appearance of the injury was highly suggestive of acceleration-deceleration that could occur with forceful shaking, and that the force required to produce these injuries would be far more than would be expected during normal play or rousing manoeuvres. The consultant concluded that these were the worst injuries seen in their career.

“The jury also heard evidence from a Paediatric Neuroradiologist and a Consultant Neurosurgeon who gave their expert opinion on the causation of injuries.

“Sadly the little girl may never fully recover from the injuries she sustained, and it isn’t clear how the brain injury will affect her in future. Our thoughts remain with her and her family.”