Man broke baby’s leg shaking it ‘like drumstick’ before it went ‘floppy’

A man broke a six-week-old baby’s leg while “playing drums” with it, causing the child to cry out in agony.

Lee Walker, 22, was looking after the boy in the town of Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, Scotland, in November 2019.

He shook the child’s legs “like drumsticks” before the baby “gave a sharp cry”, Hamilton Sheriff Court heard.

The mum struggled to feed him and the child’s leg “felt floppy”.

He was eventually taken to hospital, where an X-ray revealed a fractured right femur, the Daily Record reports.

Having failed to initially mention the incident, Walker then made a tearful confession to authorities.

He admitted culpably and recklessly causing an injury to the boy by means unknown in court.

Depute fiscal Mairi-Clare McMillan said: "The child was left in the care of the accused and it was noted by another individual in the house that the boy was crying which was unusual and he continued to cry while the accused had care of him.

"The accused and the baby's mother went to bed when again the baby was crying loudly.

"The mother struggled to feed the baby who was crying throughout but she finally managed to settle him and put him in his cot next to her.

"A while later she tried to feed him again but was struggling and the accused took the child to the nursery.

"He began to cry and this was overheard by the mother who then heard the accused shout 'there is something wrong with his leg'.

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"The accused sounded panicked and brought the child back into the bedroom and when his mother touched his right leg he began to scream and cry and the leg felt floppy.

"The baby was taken to hospital and an examination revealed swelling and it was apparent the baby was in pain.

"An X-ray revealed a fractured right femur."

Miss McMillan added: "Later when the child's mother spoke with the accused and said the baby may have to go into foster care, the accused broke down and said 'I hope I have not hurt him.

"'What if it has been when I've been playing with him, what if it has been when I've been playing drums with him?'

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"The mother did not make anyone aware of this.

"The accused then contacted social work in a distressed state and provided details of the game where he was pretending to play drums with the child's arms and legs.

"He said he took the child's legs and began shaking them up and down like drumsticks before the child gave a sharp cry and his face dropped, and was continuing to cry for two minutes after.

"The accused said he managed to settle him but did not tell anyone because he did not think the child was injured."

Walker had originally been charged with assaulting the boy to his severe injury but prosecutors accepted a guilty plea to the lesser charge.

Sheriff Thomas Millar deferred sentence on Walker until next month and continued his bail.

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