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Man Who Punched Baby Avoids Jail Time, Walks Free

A British court slapped only a fine and an assault conviction on a man who punched a 5-day-old girl in the face at a supermarket -- he is allowed to walk free. 

David Hardy, 64, must pay a fine of $1,868 after hitting baby Elsie Temple as she lay asleep in a car seat inside a supermarket trolley, The Guardian reports. 

District Judge Sam Goozee deemed Hardy's claim of his thinking the baby was a doll "implausible" and found the attacker guilty.

The punching incident happened at a Tesco supermarket on Sept. 5 when mother Amy Duckers took the baby out for the first time in public. 

As was described to the court, while at the store, Duckers invited a neighbor she bumped into to look at her "beautiful baby." The neighbor, a Tesco employee, then called on work peer Elaine Hardy to take a look at Duckers' newborn daughter.  

Soon thereafter, Elaine's husband dashed over and punched the baby with a "clenched fist," Duckers informed the Manchester magistrates court.

"He came rushing up and as I looked over my shoulder he punched her in the face. I heard the slap of the punch as well. I said: 'You have hit my baby,' and he said: 'No, I didn’t,'" the mother told the court. 

"He didn’t even look in my [stroller]. It was actually the first thing that happened … It was really bizarre how he approached without saying a word.

"It was only when he saw he had marked her that he admitted he had done it but then he said he thought it was a doll," Duckers added, Yahoo! News reports.

Duckers' older daughter, Libby Brown, witnessed the event and reportedly went into hysterics. She was heard asking: "Is she going to die?"

In the court, David claimed he was "messing about" and thought the baby was a doll when he struck Elsie Temple with "a loose fist" to play and "wind up" Libby. 

Immediately after the punch, Duckers saw a red mark on the baby that was "the size of an egg." The child was taken to a hospital and spent the night there in observation before she was released, the court learned.

Sources: The Guardian, Yahoo! News / Photo credit: The Independent via ​Make Me Feed

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