A mother from north-west Leicestershire has been sentenced to four years in prison after she was charged with child cruelty for branding a ‘smiley’ mark on her own baby’s cheek using the hot end of a cigarette lighter.
Reports said the 25-year-old mother, who cannot be named due to legal reasons, appeared emotionless when she showed up at the Leicester crown court on Friday as the judge sentenced her.
Judge Philip Head described her action as ‘wicked’; saying the 16-month-old child was gravely abused in the hands of her own mother.
“There’s only one word for that: branding. You branded your own daughter’s face in an area that will be visible for the rest of her life. You branded your child in a deliberate and premeditated act. It was wicked,” the judge said.
It was cited that the burn in the baby’s face was very visible, suggesting that the mother held her daughter with some force when she inflicted the burn.
The woman denied three counts of child cruelty because aside from branding her daughter, the court also cited that the mother failed to seek medical help for the burn in her daughter’s face, and failed to attend a hospital appointment when her daughter suffered a broken leg.
The judge said he’s still not sure what was behind the mother’s action towards her daughter, but he said she may have “acted out of curiosity and total indifference to the pain demonstrably being inflicted upon her”.
The woman’s lawyer, on the other hand, said his client was ‘naïve and immature’ but she still admitted that she had caused “deeply unpleasant injuries” to her daughter.
“These events all took place when she was an immature 22-year-old. She is unable to look after (her children) or act as their mother,” the mother’s lawyer, Atty. Justin McClintock said; adding that the woman had lost custody of her children.