Dad acquitted in baby-shake case
A FATHER accused of violently shaking his four-month-old son has been found not guilty of causing grievous bodily harm to the baby.
The 27-year-old father of three said he was "extremely relieved" when the jury returned a not guilty verdict less than two hours after they were sent out to deliberate yesterday.
"It's been a really hard few years," he said.
"It's been really tough because everyone turned against us."
The man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his child, said while the experience had been tough, it had strengthened his family.
"I think it made us stick together," he said.
"It's made us stronger."
The Kepnock man was accused of shaking his young son so hard it caused subdural and retinal haemorrhaging.
And while medical witnesses in the trial said the baby was likely to have ongoing health issues including problems with his eyesight, his father said the boy, now three years old, was doing well.
"There's no way he's blind," he added.
About 20 witnesses were called in the six-day trial, including medical professionals and the family of the accused.
"The hardest part was (the baby) was taken away from us for 17 months," the father said.
"First he was with foster parents and then he ended up with his grandparents.
"That was the hardest part - (his older sister) was looking for him in the cupboards."
The 27-year-old said he would be celebrating the end of the tough times with a bottle of champagne.
"It will be good to put it behind us," he said.
Judge Marshall Irwin thanked the jury for their attention in what he called an "arduous trial".
"I know that none of these cases are easy to sit through," he said.