A SLEEP-DEPRIVED teenage father broke his baby's ribs by squeezing her too hard.

Levi Hudson, now 20, was 17 at the time of the incident — and his baby daughter was five weeks old.

He appeared at the Isle of Wight Crown Court on Friday, and admitted grievous bodily harm.

Prosecutor Rose Burns said: "On November 12, 2016, the mother of the baby had taken her to the paediatrician for a routine check when the doctor discovered signs of bruising around her shoulders.

"A scan revealed two of the child's ribs had been broken, so the paediatrician raised the issue to social services who interviewed both the parents.

"Hudson explained his daughter had been restless and wouldn't settle.

"He was tired and felt helpless, and so he just squeezed her in his arms as he cradled her.

"He said he didn't mean to hurt her, but as he squeezed her he admitted he heard two faint clicking sounds."

The court heard how Hudson, horrified at himself, broke off contact with his child entirely, declaring himself an 'an awful person.'

For Hudson, Oscar Vincent, said: "This was a momentary loss of control from a tired, unprepared, parent.

"This is an offence of some age, and I am happy to report that the child has made a full recovery and was of an age where there has been no lasting damage — physical or mental.

"He was 17 when that little girl was born. He had been sleep-deprived for several nights and he just lost control for a brief moment."

However, the mother of the little girl said she would never forgive her former partner.

Lauren Danaher said after the hearing: "I hate him for what he did to my daughter. She is ok now, but I will never get over it.

"For people in that court to say he was sleep deprived, as if that's an excuse, they should be ashamed.

"It's not ok. What he did was not ok. He has not been properly punished for what he has done." 

Judge Ian Hughes said: "I accept you in no way meant to cause any harm to your daughter and I will be sentencing you accordingly.

"This was a simple mistake you made, but you shouldn't lose the chance to be a father. You had been doing your best."

Hudson, of Longmead Road, Ryde, received an 18-month community order to include 25 rehabilitation days.

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