Father put photo of beaten baby on Facebook ‘for a laugh’

French police arrest man after being alerted over image of month-old child

French police were alerted after the child’s picture was seen on the father’s Facebook account. Photograph: PA Wire

French police were alerted after the child’s picture was seen on the father’s Facebook account. Photograph: PA Wire

Fri, Aug 1, 2014, 07:42

French police have charged a father with child abuse after he allegedly shook and beat his month-old baby because he could not bear the infant’s crying – and then posted a photo of the baby’s bruised face on Facebook “for a laugh”.

The man reportedly admitted being violent towards the infant.

Police in the town of Tergnier in the Aisne department in Picardy, northern France, were alerted on Monday by one of the couple’s friends who saw the child’s picture on the father’s Facebook account and was concerned at the baby’s “abnormal appearance” and bruised face.

Officers summoned the mother for questioning. When she arrived detectives noted the infant’s injuries were even worse than in the photograph and alerted the emergency services.

The mother allegedly told detectives she was afraid to contact police for fear her partner would leave her.

Both parents have been formally put under investigation, the equivalent of being charged, for “violence against a minor causing permanent incapacity”.

The baby is believed to have suffered bleeding on the brain.

Medics told Le Parisien they feared the child had suffered neurological damage though it was “too soon to say”.

A police officer said the father had explained that he hit the child because he could not bear its crying and that he had published the photograph on Facebook “pour s’amuser” (for a laugh).

Both parents were described as being in their early 20s and unemployed. They were released on police bail. The child remains in hospital. – (Guardian service)