Thug who blamed his dog af­ter vi­o­lent mur­der bid on baby jailed

Evening Times - - NEWS -

A THUG who tried to blame his puppy dog for a hor­ror mur­der bid of a baby has been jailed for 12 years.

Paul Carl­ton vi­o­lently shook the eight-week old boy leav­ing him with life chang­ing brain in­juries in Au­gust 2017.

The 25-year-old was sup­pos­edly look­ing af­ter the child at Carl­ton’s home in Nit­shill, Glas­gow.

Carl­ton claimed he had been briefly tidy­ing his gar­den when he heard a cry from in­side.

He told how he had left the boy in the flat in his baby swing alone with his two dogs.

Carl­ton de­scribed one of the pets – a cross Amer­i­can Bull­dog-stafford­shire ter­rier puppy called Sap­phire – as “bois­ter­ous”.

He said he could “spec­u­late” Sap­phire se­ri­ously in­jured the baby as he did not.

But, ju­rors found Carl­ton him guilty of at­tempted mur­der and he was to­day/ yes­ter­day sen­tenced at the High Court in Glas­gow.

Lord Burns told him: “These cases are al­ways tragic. The boy has been ren­dered help­less by your ac­tions.

“He was as vul­ner­a­ble a child as could pos­si­bly be imag­ined.

“You have tried to de­flect re­spon­si­bil­ity by var­i­ous means but the jury found you guilty.

“He is now wholly de­pen­dent on his mother and oth­ers.”

The boy had been in and out of hos­pi­tal since he was 10 days old.

His last stay was the day be­fore he was at­tacked.

Carl­ton was look­ing af­ter the boy on Au­gust 9 2017 while the child’s mum went for a beauty ap­point­ment and lunch with her sis­ter.

The baby had been checked by a health vis­i­tor that morn­ing and found to be fine.

Carl­ton had ac­tu­ally sent the woman a video of her son while she was out. He was wav­ing and kick­ing his legs.

The mum left her son that day at 12.58pm – by 2.29pm Carl­ton was di­alling 999.

Carl­ton told ju­rors he had been out in the gar­den when he heard a “loud cry”.

He claimed he went back in­doors and re­alised some­thing was wrong.

Carl­ton: “He was not open­ing his eyes prop­erly.” Carl­ton’s grand­par­ents vis­ited and agreed the child needed med­i­cal help.

The baby was found to have suf­fered mas­sive brain dam­age.

Pro­fes­sor Robin Sel­lar – a neuro-ra­di­ol­o­gist – was asked in court how the in­juries could have oc­curred.

He told ju­rors: “In that time frame, some­thing very dra­matic has hap­pened. The in­juries are con­sis­tent with a shak­ing in­jury.”

Carl­ton de­nied re­spon­si­ble for hap­pened.

He said: “I would never hurt any child.”

Carl­ton claimed he was not “cov­er­ing up” the at­tack and had not wanted to “end the life” of the baby.

Asked about his dog Sap­phire, he then claimed she was a “very hy­per puppy” at the time who “did not know her own strength”.

He said the pet had pre­vi­ously “cut and bruised” a lit­tle girl.

His lawyer Dale Hughes asked him: “If there was an ex­am­ple of this dog be­ing po­ten­tially harm­ful, why let it near the boy?”

Carl­ton: “I thought be­cause I had an­other dog she would learn from him and calm down pos­si­bly.” be­ing what

Pros­e­cu­tor Alan Cameron went on to point out the boy had no bite marks or cuts as­so­ci­ated with a pos­si­ble dog at­tack.

He put to Carl­ton: “The dog would have to have picked the boy up, shaken him with such vigour and put him back where he was or col­lide with him with such force.”

Carl­ton: “I un­der­stand where the hos­pi­tal is com­ing from, but the only ex­pla­na­tion I have is the dog as I know I did not harm the child.”

Mr Cameron: “The dog is just spec­u­la­tion?” He replied: “Yes.”

Ju­rors were told the child – now aged two – can not crawl, walk or talk.

It emerged dur­ing the trial Carl­ton had pre­vi­ously been vi­o­lent to the boy’s mum.

This in­cluded head­but­ting her caus­ing her nose to bleed.

‘‘ You have tried to de­flect re­spon­si­bil­ity by var­i­ous means but the jury found you guilty

Pic­ture: Spin­drift

Paul Carl­ton was jailed for 12 years at Glas­gow’s High Court

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