Teenage Dad's Assault on Premature Son Cause Baby's Death in Western Australian Hospital

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By Reissa Su | February 25, 2014 3:20 PM EST

The premature baby boy who was bashed by his 15-year-old father has died in a hospital in Western Australia. According to authorities, the baby did not survive the injuries he sustained from his teenage father despite the hospital treatment.

REUTERS/Stringer
A nurse takes care of a premature newborn baby inside an incubator at a hospital in Changsha, Hunan province. Picture taken October 30, 2013.

On the night of February 15, Australian police claimed the one-month old baby was attacked while his teenage father visited him at Bunbury Regional Hospital. The baby had been on life support and was placed under the care of the Department of Child Protection which left chief executive Terry Murphy in-charge.

On February 24, a spokesperson for Mr Murphy told media that the baby died while his family was present. Mr Murphy expressed his condolences to the baby's family for the loss and requested the public and media to respect the privacy of family members.

The coroner and ombudsmand are tasked to investigate and determine the baby's cause of death.

The baby's father, a 15-year-old who was under state care, has been charged with aggravated grievous bodily harm. However, the gravity of the charges may be changed following the baby's death.

The premature baby boy was admitted to the Princess Margaret Hospital for critical head injuries after he was attacked by his own father. A spokesperson for the police department said that Crime Squad officers will continue to monitor the post mortem investigation. The findings could upgrade the initial charges filed against the father.

The teenage Australian father is scheduled to appear before the Perth Children's Court on Feb 28.

Western Australia Minister for Child Protection Helen Morton said the baby had been confined in the hospital since his early birth. Authorities reported that the attack on the baby happened when the mother left the baby's room to prepare and heat some food during a visit. It was the day before she was due to move in her family's home with her newborn.

Ms Morton said that the teenage father's records revealed he was abandoned by his mother when he was 12. He also attacked his partner and mother of the child. However, no restrictions were imposed since he still had access to his young son.

According to Ms Morton, the 15-year-old was a regular visitor since the day his baby was born. He was involved in the taking care of the baby and feeding him. It was agreed with the hospital staff, the Child Protection department and the family that the father can only see the baby during visiting hours without supervision.

The identities of both the baby and teenage dad are hidden to protect their families and privacy.

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(Photo: REUTERS/Stringer / )
A nurse takes care of a premature newborn baby inside an incubator at a hospital in Changsha, Hunan province. Picture taken October 30, 2013.
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