A 19-year-old man who injured his baby son, leaving him with fractured ribs and head injuries, was ‘distracted by his phone’ at the time, a court heard.
The teenager had been caring for his baby at a specialist residential unit after the baby’s mother was ruled out as a carer.
Social services bosses passed on the case to the family court to work out who had hurt the baby after he was found with the injuries to his ribs and head.
Evidence showed that the boy, who was less than two-months-old, had been hurt during the early hours and the Judge concluded that the teenager caused the injuries after ‘momentarily’ losing control.
Mr Keehan said: ‘(One staff member) spoke warmly of the father’s care of (his son) but was concerned about the extent of mobile phone contact between him and the mother which distracted him from interacting as much as he could have done with (the baby).
‘In his first month the father incurred a phone bill in excess of £2,400. This reveals a staggeringly high degree of usage.’
The judge added that the teenager ‘plainly found’ being separated from his girlfriend ‘very hard to bear’.
Records showed text messages passing between them ‘at all hours of the day and night’.
Mr Justice Keehan said the man was ‘struggling to cope’ with sleepless nights and caring for the baby.
The 19-year-old denied harming his son and blamed a member of staff at the unit but the judge dismissed the allegation and said evidence showed the teenager was the ‘perpetrator’.