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Man jailed for three years after baby suffers brain injuries

News / Fri 10th Jul 2015 am31 11:28am

Matthew ChallisA MAN has been jailed for three years for causing injuries to a child in his care.

The boy was four-months old when he was taken to Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow after a sudden fit and was found to have various injuries to his body and a CT scan revealed a bleed to the brain.

Matthew Challis, 34, of Kingsmead Road, Bishops Stortford, was arrested and later charged with causing serious physical harm to a child by means of an unlawful act.

He was sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court on Thursday, July 9.

The charge comes under Section 5 of the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004, a piece of legislation which received royal assent in 2012.

DCI Tracey Harman, head of Child Abuse Investigations at Essex Police said: “We believe this is one of the first successful convictions in England under this relatively new piece of legislation.

“The investigation leading up to this conviction has taken two years of dedicated by work by Dc Ian Forsith from the west team as well as positive liaison with partners including social care.”

Challis was found guilty following a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court on Wednesday, June 10. He had claimed the injuries to the child, who was alone in his care at the time, were accidental.

Dc Forsith said: “Matthew Challis has continued to maintain his innocence and disputed medical evidence which concluded that the baby had been shaken and the injuries he sustained were not accidental.

“The boy is being monitored and we will have to wait and see whether the injuries he sustained at the hands of Matthew Challis have any lasting impact on his life moving forward.

“It is an incredibly cowardly act to hurt a child who cannot defend themselves. I hope the sentence passed today gives Matthew Challis time to think about what he has done.”

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