THE man responsible for a baby girl's catastrophic head injuries has been jailed for seven years, with a non-parole period of four years.
Kenneth Andrew Krause, 31, of Lithgow, appeared this week before Bathurst District Court where he was sentenced for inflicting reckless grievous bodily harm on the 11-month-old child.
The baby, who had been reaching all her developmental milestones prior to the incident, has been significantly impaired by her injuries.
Krause, who pleaded not guilty to the charge, was convicted by Judge Graham Turnbull following a judge alone trial.
The court heard Krause had been living in Lithgow in 2016 when the baby girl came into his care in June.
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The court heard that on the day she was injured, the baby had slept twice, had dinner between 5pm and 6pm and had been put down by a female in the household with a bottle at about 7.30pm. She was uninjured at that time.
The female left the premises briefly but 45 minutes later got a call from Krause, the only adult in the house at the time, saying the baby "had fallen out of the cot".
She went home to find Krause cradling the baby "as if she were a newborn" and called Triple-0.
Paramedics immediately recognised the baby was critically injured and the need to get her to hospital. As a police officer drove the ambulance paramedics worked on the baby, performing CPR as her heart rate plummeted.
She was stablised at Lithgow Hospital before being flown to Westmead Children's Hospital where she was found to have suffered traumatic brain injury.
She underwent neurosurgery and remained in the intensive care ward for more than a month.
In an interview by police immediately after the incident, Krause said he was playing Playstation in bed when he heard "a thud" and heard the baby crying. He told police she "went straight onto the floor".
Krause said he "bounced" the baby until she feel asleep and put her on the bed. He realised she was limp and he called the female for help.
But Judge Turnbull rejected the explanation, saying it could not explain the extent of the baby girl's injuries.
"[The total of the injuries] were separate and unrelated," he said, indicating they were caused by the victim sustaining blows to both sides of her head.
He said the injuries had caused life-changing consequences for the baby.
Earlier, Krause's mother had given evidence that Judge Turnbull said was of being great assistance to the court, including her recollection of Krause's behavioural issues as a child.
The court also heard Krause had a history of marijuana abuse and a history of anger in response to stress. He was known to smash windows as a child.
In sentencing, Judge Turnbull said while he had guarded prospects concerning Krause's rehabilitation, he did not think he would "reoffend at this level".
He said a child had been severely maimed and Krause must "take accountability".
He accepted defence submissions that Krause had acted out of frustration and anger but was yet to see any tangible evidence of remorse.
"The carers who cared for [the baby] before the injury returned with a very different little girl," Judge Turnbull said, noting she needed ongoing medical care including injections with torturous regularity.
Judge Turnbull said every aspect of the young girl's life has been affected but, not withstanding all his problems, found Krause "knew the difference between right and wrong".
"The term of imprisonment cannot reflect the life-changing consequences of his actions for the victim and in no way equates to the future she faces or the future she lost," he said.
"I thank [counsel] for their professionalism and ensuring emotion did not cloud judgment."
Krause is first eligible for parole on June 24, 2024.
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