Thug who blamed his dog after violent murder bid on baby jailed
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
Paul Carlton was jailed for 12 years at Glasgow’s High Court