A MAN who caused a potentially life-threatening injury by sticking his little finger down a young baby’s throat has been jailed.
Edward Keenan, 28, has been locked up for more than two years after he could have killed the tot by causing a tear to the back of their throat.
Teesside Crown Court heard he clumsily inserted his little finger into the baby’s mouth when he mistakenly thought there was an obstruction.
The court was told the baby could have developed a blood clot due to the injury caused by Keenan.
Prosecutor Martin Towers said: “There was blood coming from the baby’s mouth and a patch of blood on the defendant’s chest.
“The baby’s face was red and it was gasping for air.”
An ambulance was called and the baby later underwent a thorough investigation under general anaesthetic when the tear in the baby’s throat was discovered.
Mr Towers added: “The doctor’s opinion was that it was a non-accidental injury and it was potentially life threatening.
“If a blood clot had developed it could have obstructed the baby’s airway resulting in death.
“The doctor’s opinion was it was caused by the use of substantial force.”
Keenan, of Catcote Road, Hartlepool, was not supposed to have unsupervised contact with any children because of a previous conviction he has for indecent exposure. He was placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register as a result.
He denied doing anything to the baby throughout the case despite eventually admitting causing grievous bodily harm.
Jim Withyman, mitigating, said Keenan put his little finger in the baby’s mouth after he heard the child coughing thinking there was something stuck in its mouth.
Mr Withyman said: “He greatly regrets that. He didn’t intend to cause any injuries and feels very guilty and remorseful about his stupidity in causing that.”
Keenan was jailed for two and a half years, including three months after he was caught with a butterfly knife in Hibernian Grove, Hartlepool, on October 15 last year.
He admitted possession of a blade in public.
Judge Michael Taylor said: “That baby suffered a life-threatening injury as a result of your handling of her.
“This was an extremely vulnerable victim who you callously man-handled to cause this injury and you tried to cover up from it.
“You have shown no remorse.”