A FATHER who broke his baby daughter’s leg, and her mother who helped him cover up the injury have been spared jail.

The parents from Middle Wallop, who cannot be named for legal reasons, waited eight days before they told doctors of their baby’s injury.

The couple, in their 30s, were both found guilty of child cruelty following a trial at Winchester Crown Court. The father was also convicted of inflicting grievous bodily harm. Today (Thursday) they appeared to be sentenced.

The court was told on the day of the incident, November 2, 2019, the parents took their daughter to hospital but did not tell doctors what had occurred. Over the next few days, the baby “gradually became more and more distressed”.

They searched on the internet for “how do you know if your leg is fractured” and information on swelling. On November 4 she was taken to the GP.

In sentencing, the Recorder of Winchester, Judge Angela Morris, said: “Again, you failed to tell the doctor what had occurred two days earlier and I can only conclude that by this stage your continued efforts to put your own interests before your child’s had placed you in an impossible position.”

It was not until November 10 that the baby was taken to hospital and disclosure was made about her injury. It was discovered that she had sustained a transverse fracture to the right femur.

“Only when the baby’s leg is so swollen you had nowhere else to hide do you ultimately take (the baby) to the hospital with the realisation the game is up,” the judge said.

The court heard how the parents have never disclosed how the injury was caused but have stuck to “an obvious and palpable lie”.

Following the discovery, the baby was removed from the parents and was taken into foster care. She has since been returned to the parents but remains under the protection of Hampshire County Council by way of an interim care order.

The couple are said to be engaging with agencies and no concerns have been raised.

The judge was told that the pair have undergone counselling, with the father attending anger management sessions.

In mitigation for the mother, Sarah Ellis said the family were amidst a “very stressful situation at the time of the incident”, with housing issues and job worries.

She added that “whatever she (the mother) did or failed to do on this occasion is holey out of character”.

While, in mitigation for the father, Rupert Hallowes said: “A combination of stressful events had built up to whatever occurred in the household that day, it was undoubtedly not his intention to hurt (the baby).”

He added that the incident was “short lived”.

The father was given a two-year prison sentence suspended for two years, 300 hours of unpaid work and 15 rehabilitation days. The mother was handed a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years.