Court: Whittlesey father who broke new-born son’s arm and leg jailed

Alistair Nicholls. Photo: Cambs police
Alistair Nicholls. Photo: Cambs police
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A young father from Whittlesey who broke the arm and leg of his tiny five-week-old son in a fit of rage has been jailed.

Alistair Nicholls attacked his new-born baby in March last year, resulting in fractures to the helpless tot’s arm, thigh, knee, shin and ankle.

He then failed to take his son to hospital for a week, leaving the child in excruciating pain.

He even made up a story blaming the injuries on his three year-old son, who he said collided with the baby’s basket.

Nicholls (25) of Hansbury Close, Whittlesey, was jailed on Friday for two-and-a-half years, while Rebecca Flatley (23) of The Junction, March, the baby’s mum, was locked up for nine months after both parents admitted child cruelty.

Judge Sean Enright, sentencing Nicholls, said: “This is in all respects a most painful and difficult case.

“You caused really serious injuries to your infant son. It must have been a serious assault and no steps were taken to get medical attention.”

Hugh Vass, prosecuting told the court the baby was taken to hospital on March 18 last year.

Nicholls claimed the injuries to his son had been caused when his other son had knocked his basket onto the floor. However, an X-ray showed the arm break was a spiral fracture, caused by twisting or yanking.

Both children are now living with relatives, and ‘doing well.’

Mr Vass said Flatley, who is four months’ pregnant, should have acted on the signs her son had been injured.

Karen Robinson, defending Flatley, said: “This was not a deliberate failure to seek medical attention. But she should have done better at noticing the signs.

“It was a significant error of judgement which will stay with her forever.”

Mrs Robinson added social services were allowing Flatley to have daily contact with her children, and she would be allowed sole care of her new baby when it is born.

Tom Brown, defending Nicholls, said: “He now accepts this is an injury he has caused.

“It was on one occasion, and feels genuine remorse.”

A psychiatric report showed Nicholls had a ‘predisposition’ to lose his temper.


Court order overturned by Peterborough Telegraph

The Peterborough Telegraph can name Nicholls and Flatley after overturning an anonymity order in place at the court.

The order prevented any details identifying the baby in the case, which also prevented the identification of the parents. However, The Peterborough Telegraph showed the child was too young to be affected by any publicity, and the defendants should not be able to hide behind the anonymity of their victim, and Judge Sean Enright lifted the restrictions.

Speaking after the case, Detective Constable Amanda Sylvester, who investigated, said she was pleased with the sentence. She said: “This was a distressing case as the baby was let down by the two people who should have been protecting him.

“His father caused these terrible injuries after losing control of his temper then failed to take him to hospital for treatment.

“We will not tolerate abuse against children and will work tirelessly to ensure justice for such vulnerable victims.”