Baby plunged into scalding bath water suffered horrific burns: East Yorkshire couple face lengthy jail terms
A BABY girl suffered horrific burns after a man pushed her face into a scalding hot bath.
Babysitter John Ward, 19, submerged the six-month-old's face in the water after he had been drinking and smoking cannabis.
Her lips were the only part of her face spared injury because of the dummy in her mouth.
Ward woke his girlfriend Kelly Horner, who had also been drinking and smoking the drug, at 5pm to tell her the baby was injured. But the pair waited at least five hours before taking her to hospital.
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She was immediately transferred to a specialist burns unit.
Hull Crown Court heard Ward and Horner then lied to doctors, telling them a cup of tea had been spilt on the child at a property in Cherry Tree Lane, Beverley.
They have now both been warned they face lengthy prison sentences.
Judge Jeremy Richardson QC told them: "Five hours may not seem terribly long in ordinary life but for a baby who had been burned one can only imagine the pain and the agony the infant suffered.
"This is a very serious case and warrants substantial prison sentences for both of you.
"If this case doesn't call for a substantial prison sentence, I cannot conceive of one that does."
The court heard doctors also discovered bite marks on the baby's arms and fractures to her legs.
Her injuries prompted concerned hospital staff to call police and social services.
Forensic dental tests revealed the teeth marks came from Ward.
He and Horner both deny causing the injuries.
Prosecutor Rachael Harrison said evidence showed the burns to the baby's face were not caused by a cup of tea.
She said: "A plastic surgeon concluded it was highly unlikely a cup of tea had caused the injuries as there was no evidence of splash or drip marks. It was much more likely it was caused by hot liquid in very close contact and a degree of submersion in it.
"He said due to the uniformity of the injuries and the fact the scald injuries were to the head and body it was more likely the face had been held in hot water in relative isolation."
Ward, who now lives in Willerby, pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent.
In his police interview he told detectives: "I chucked her in the bath with the hot and cold taps running and when I came back she was under the hot water tap.
"I forgot about the bath as I was making a cup of tea. I was about ten minutes."
He said he did not believe there was "any risk" to the child.
Ward's barrister Nigel Clive said his client was of "low intellect" and a psychological report revealed there were fears he may develop paranoid schizophrenia in the future.
Mr Clive described him as a "gullible babysitter" who should not have been left in charge of a child.
He said: "It was a disaster waiting to happen."
Horner pleaded guilty to child neglect for failing to take the baby to hospital and for lying to doctors about the injuries.
The court heard the baby has made a "miraculous" recovery. It is hoped she will not be scarred for life.
Judge Richardson QC said: "She was a vulnerable victim.
"There has been an ongoing affect on her. She has had to undergo a lot of hospital treatment.
"It would seem alcohol and drugs had been consumed and the infant was placed by the male in an extremely hot bath and serious burns resulted.
"That baby was not taken to hospital for a period of over five hours. Thereafter, the baby was immediately transferred to a specialist burns unit."
Ward was due to be sentenced today. Horner will be sentenced next month when a report has been prepared on her by the Probation Service.