Falkirk baby batterer has her prison sentence reduced

A woman who assaulted a baby so badly she fractured his ribs and toes, broke his wrist, detached his retina and caused bleeding on his brain will now be set free from prison three years earlier.

By Court Reporter
Tuesday, 7th July 2020, 2:30 pm
Updated Tuesday, 7th July 2020, 3:20 pm

Caroline Thomson (31), of Falkirk, will serve six years instead of nine years following a decision made at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh earlier today.

Judges Lord Turnbull and Lord Glennie decided to reduce Thomson’s sentence after hearing submissions from defence lawyer Wendy Hay.

Ms Hay told the court people who committed similar offences were not given sentences as long as the one given to her client.

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Thomson was sentenced to nine years in prison at the High Court in Glasgow back in February

The court heard Thomson should be given a jail term similar to the ones given to other offenders.

The judges agreed and quashed the nine year sentence given to Thomson by their colleague Lady Rae back in February and gave her the reduced term.

Lord Turnbull said: “It can been seen the sentence passed on the appellant in this case can be seen to be excessive.”

Thomson admitted assaulting the child to his permanent impairment, permanent disfigurement and to the danger of his life at the High Court in Glasgow in November 2019.

The offence was committed on various occasions between May 2 and June 16 in 2018, when the boy was aged between three weeks and nine weeks, at addresses in Larbert and Falkirk.

Prosecutor Kath Harper told jurors in her closing speech: “The accused told the police the injuries may have been caused when she dropped the baby and said some of the injuries could have been caused by a two-year-old child.”

Jurors earlier heard consultant ophthalmologist Jennifer Ann Gillen tell how she examined the boy's eyes.

She said she had never seen a detached retina in a young baby and such an injury would require some form of blunt force trauma.

Passing sentence in February this year, Lady Rae described Thomson's offence as “deplorable”.

She added: “As a result of what you did, this baby has been left with lifelong injuries. This is an appalling crime.”

At the court of appeal today it was stated Thomson was a victim of domestic abuse and had mental health problems.

The advocate told the virtual hearing she believed the judge failed to take Thomson’s background into account.

She added: “She is a very vulnerable individual.”

The court also heard when Thomson was interviewed about the offence by a court appointed social worker, she continued to deny any involvement in assaulting the infant.