A man who booted a seven-year-old boy with brittle bones disease – breaking the boy’s leg – was today spared jail.
Mark Taylor’s victim didn’t see a doctor for 10 days after the attack after being told by his mother to say he “didn’t know” what had happened to him – despite him being in pain and walking with a limp.
The boy’s father – who was separated from his mother – at one point noticed he was in pain but the boy didn’t reveal the cause and he put the pain down to his condition.
When he did eventually see a doctor no mention was made of the attack and no fracture was initially diagnosed.
But two days later the lad was left in such pain he could only crawl and was taken back to hospital.
There an x-ray confirmed an undisplaced fracture of the boy’s fibula and treatment was administered.
Fiscal depute Nicola Gillespie told Dundee Sheriff Court that the attack remained a secret for more than two years until the boy was interviewed by police and social workers investigating another allegation against Taylor, of which he was eventually cleared.
The boy told officers: “There is something you probably should know but my mum’s told no-one really to tell.”
The boy then told them that Taylor had caused the injury.
Taylor later phoned the boy’s father and said the incident had occurred after the boy had been refused permission to go outside and play, and had kicked his mother in the shins first.
He claimed it had simply been a “tap” on the leg that had caused the severe injury sustained by the lad.
Taylor, 43, of Abernethy Road, Dundee, pleaded guilty on indictment to a charge of assault to severe injury committed between April 26 and May 4 2015.
Defence solicitor Brian Bell said: “The child had brittle bones disease which on one view aggravates the matter.
“It is clear the accused shouldn’t have been kicking a child in the first place and knowing the medical history knew the potential consequences of the kick.
“It was a gross act of stupidity that has a significant impact on the child.”
Sheriff Lorna Drummond QC imposed a community payback order with 250 hours unpaid work.
She said: “In all the circumstances I have no doubt that this is a serious enough offence that would warrant custody, but my view is there is an alternative to that today.”