Ipswich Magistrates Court
Ipswich Magistrates Court Rob Williams

Sitter fined over baby's injury

A BABYSITTER who admitted using excessive force while cleaning and changing an infant, leaving the little girl with injuries, has been fined.

The 35-year-old woman faced Ipswich Magistrates Court yesterday to plead guilty to a negligent act causing bodily harm against the eight-month-old child.

The baby was left with bruising and abrasions, which her parents discovered when they saw blood in her nappy later that night.

On October 16 the child was transferred to the Mater Children's Hospital in Brisbane for treatment to her wounds.

Doctors diagnosed "blunt force trauma" to the area.

On October 17 the Ipswich Child Protection Unit was called in to investigate and the woman was charged.

The court was told on the day of October 15, the child was left in the woman's care by her parents.

The babysitter changed the infant's nappy three times throughout the day, and at one point used excessive force to clean the area with a wet wipe.

The court heard when police questioned the woman on what scale of force she would have used to clean the infant, the woman admitted to using about "7.5 out of 10".

Magistrate Michael Quinn said the woman's actions had not been sinister but her negligent behaviour had fallen short of the duty of care expected.

Mr Quinn said he was satisfied the woman had not deliberately hurt the baby.

"You should have been more careful - you fell short of showing the necessary care required in the circumstances," Mr Quinn told the defendant.

The woman, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the victim, pleaded guilty yesterday and was fined $750.

No conviction was recorded.

A defence lawyer for the woman said she loved the child and cared for her like she was her own, and she had only cleaned the area vigorously to prevent infection.

He said the woman, who had a daughter of her own, was persuaded to look after the child for free despite saying she didn't have time.

He further stated the families had remained friends, enjoying an outing to South Bank at the weekend, and had continued to use her as an unpaid babysitter after the incident occurred.



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