Newmarket man jailed in baby shaking case

Mark Spike ANL-150813-171547001
Mark Spike ANL-150813-171547001

A 24-year-old man who was found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm to a five-month-old baby girl leaving her with life-long injuries including partial blindness, has been jailed for two years.

Mark Spike was charged in April last year following police enquiries into the injuries sustained by the child in October 2013.

Paramedics had been called to an address in Newmarket following reports that the baby was having breathing problems and vomiting.

While the paramedics were there she had a seizure and was taken to Addenbrooke’s 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.

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 admitted shaking the baby after she had refused to take her bottle and began crying.

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,” said Mr Randall.