A MOTHER from Kidderminster shook her baby so hard he suffered brain damage which will leave him unable to walk or talk and possibly unable to see.

The woman, who was suffering from undiagnosed post-natal depression, shook the seven-week-old baby for ‘a significant amount of time’, causing him extensive brain damage, a court has heard.

Speaking directly to the mother, Judge Nicolas Cartwright said: “This is a tragic case. You suffered an episode of severe post-natal depression after the birth of your son which went undiagnosed and untreated.

"On the day in question, when he was only seven weeks old and you were overcome with a mixture of feelings, you were led to shake him backwards and forwards for a significant amount of time

“He suffered an inevitable brain injury which is permanent and grave. His life will be limited.

“It’s unlikely he will be able to walk or talk. The indications are that he will not be able to see.”

The baby is now in the custody of his father and the defendant’s parents.

His mother admitted section 20 grievous bodily harm on July 6 this year - the same day that she shook the baby at her home in Kidderminster.

Robert Price, prosecuting, said the father of the boy became concerned about him after returning home from work and noticing that he appeared to be unwell. An ambulance was called and he was taken to hospital with bruising to his left arm and back.

Mr Price said the mother initially claimed the bruising might have been caused by her thumb as she held him, and the bruising to his back by the headrest in the baby bath.

A CT scan revealed extensive bleeds on his brain and swelling, as well as a haemorrhage in the left eye.

He was rushed to Birmingham Children’s Hospital, where medical experts said the injuries were consistent with a single episode of severe shaking.

When arrested, the mother, who was aged 26 at the time, denied being violent towards her son, claiming the injuries might have been caused when she tried to burp him and his head swung back.

However, she later confessed to her mother she had suffered ‘a mental block and shook the baby’.

She asked to be re-interviewed by police, telling them he had been ‘niggly and fidgety’ and she had experienced ‘a sudden urge to shake him’.

Mr Price said the child’s prognosis was ‘not particularly promising’ in light of ‘extensive brain damage’ but he had been receiving physiotherapy and was under the care of a consultant neurologist.

Siobhan Collins, defending, said the mother had severe post-natal depression and had experienced ‘thoughts of suicide’.

“She felt she was useless and her children were better off without her. She felt unable to seek help. This was a mental block. She did not know what came over her,” said Miss Collins.

Miss Collins said the shaking was not pre-meditated and was ‘an isolated incident’ and ‘out of character’.

“She has never offended before and, I submit, never will again. She still loves him and wants to do anything she can for him,” said Miss Collins.

Judge Cartwight sentenced the mother to 21 months in prison, suspended for two years.

The baby - and therefore his mother - cannot be named for legal reasons.