Man who admits assaulting babies jailed
A Tauranga man who admits to assaulting two babies, leaving one brain-damaged, has been sent to jail for almost seven years.
Shevron Oliver Alfred Lingman, 27, pleaded guilty in October 2020 to two charges of ill-treatment of a child and one charge of intending to cause grievous bodily harm to a three-week-old baby.
He was later sentenced, in the High Court at Tauranga, to six years and nine months in prison.
Court documents reveal that on December 29, 2018, Lingman took a three-week-old baby into the shower with him and violently assaulted him, targeting his head, ribs and internal organs.
Lingman’s explanation was that the little boy took on water in the shower and the injuries occurred during CPR.
The next day, the child was reported to be acting sleepy, dozy and eating less.
The boy's mother called Healthline, who told her to take him to Tauranga hospital immediately.
The baby was then rushed to Starship Hospital, where he was identified as having a head injury that could have proved fatal.
He also suffered severe brain damage, numerous rib fractures, abdominal issues and required a transfusion for his blood loss.
“The extent of [the baby's] neurodevelopmental disability will not become apparent until he is older, but he will likely require lifelong medical attention,” Justice Simon Moore’s sentencing report said.
“In other words, he is permanently disabled.”
Lingman also pleaded guilty to assaulting an infant girl during the first 16 months of her life.
Injuries included a series of bruises on her body and face which were explained as falls or disciplinary actions.
Justice Simon Moore said Lingman had maintained his innocence with court staff, despite pleading guilty to the offence.
“So much so… I had to get a message to confirm you were in fact maintaining your guilty pleas,” Moore’s sentencing notes read.
A cultural report identified Lingman had a difficult upbringing. At six-years-old his father died in his bed beside him and his mother died when he was 22.
He was diagnosed with ADHD and turned to drugs as a teenager.
The report identified Lingman had “no modelling on how to be a good man and you were groomed through gang association”.
Justice Moore set down a starting point, for the charge of causing grievous bodily harm, at nine years but provided a discount of 16 months for personal mitigating factors identified in the cultural report.
He also received a 10 per cent discount for an early guilty plea.
Lingman received a further sentence of three years for each of the two charges of ill-treatment of children.
The sentences are to be served concurrently.