"She was breathing very heavily and was floppy."
Syeda Begum, aged 29, of Aberdeen, was found guilty at the High Court in Aberdeen on Friday, March 1, 2019, for shaking an infant in her care.
It left the eight-month-old child with bleeding on the brain, which could have consequences as she grows up.
Begum was employed by the family of the baby as a babysitter so they could continue running their business in Aberdeen.
Begum had called the child’s parents on the evening of New Year’s Day 2017, to tell them something was wrong.
The infant’s mother told the court that she found her child “floppy and blue” when she reached Begum’s flat in Headland Court.
She said: “She was breathing very heavily and was floppy. She never opened her eyes.”
The baby was taken to hospital in a critical condition and doctors found she had bleeding on her brain. She was also bleeding from her eyes.
Advocate depute Martin Richardson said prior to 9:10 pm on the evening of the incident, the baby was healthy and normal.
However, after 9:37 pm the baby was found to have “intracranial bleeding” and “both eyes had suffered from retinal haemorrhage.”
The child suffered seizures in the days afterwards and was not fit to return home for almost two weeks.
Doctors have said that the girl, now aged two, “potentially could” have problems with intelligence, learning, memory and concentration.
During the trial, medical professionals provided evidence suggesting the injuries could not have been a result of an everyday domestic accident.
They said the injuries were consistent with the baby being shaken. It is likely just once, but with some force.
Begum denied causing harm to the child.
Defence advocate Frances Connor said Begum was a mild-mannered individual who cared for the child and showed no signs of mental health issues.
Begum argued there was no evidence she had snapped under pressure.
Ms Connor added:
“There is no evidence that she is prone to violence or taking her temper out on tiny babies.”
Ms Connor had also argued that the injuries could have been the result of other conditions and stated that medical science does not understand everything about young brains.
Begum had denied the charge of assault to severe injury and danger of life. The jury found her guilty by a majority.
Judge Lord Uist said: “You have been convicted by the jury of assaulting a baby by shaking her by the body to her severe injury and to the danger of her life.”
The Judge took into consideration that Begum had no previous convictions.
He told a tearful Begum: “Nothing should be inferred from the fact that I am continuing bail about what the likely sentence if to be for this crime.”
The sentence has been deferred until April 9, 2019, at the High Court in Edinburgh.
Lord Uist told the jurors: “This can’t have been an easy case because of its distressing nature and the complex medical evidence.”