A Sheffield man has begun a three-year stretch behind bars after he all but killed an eight-week-old baby.
I’m reluctant to call this man the child’s father, nor the baby his son. I simply cannot understand how such a precious bond as the father-son one could end in the wee small life almost being cut short before having even begun, by the very person charged with protecting the child. What’s even more frustrating for me as an Editor is that the judge saw fit to prevent The Star and other media from naming and shaming this cowardly cruel individual. One of the roles of a good local newspaper is to play its part in the crime and punishment process. The fact that would-be criminals understand that their misdemeanours will be splashed all over the front of their morning paper for the entire community to see is a pretty powerful deterrent. Your Star tried to lift the reporting restriction, but in the end was unsuccessful. But please don’t think this is the law being an ass. Far from it. The ruling was enforced to protect the baby. The public have been denied their usual right to open justice because Judge Simon Lawler QC has a responsibility to do all he can to give that child a chance at living a normal life. I 100 per cent support that. As someone who is about to become a dad for the first time, I am naturally apprehensive about the weeks and months that lay ahead. I’ve no doubt that there will be moments where I get angry, frustrated, confused and upset. I will be completely out of my comfort zone, but I can tell you one thing for sure, the last living being on the planet that I will vent my frustrations upon will be that newborn child. There is absolutely no excuse for shaking a baby. Everybody knows it can kill. The scary thing is, when this man leaves jail, he’s free to ‘father’ more children. If he’d done this to a dog, he’d be banned from keeping them for life. by James Mitchinson, Editor