Man who put toddler in tumble dryer jailed for seven years

Dundee Sheriff Alistair Brown described the attack as “monstrous” and said he did not feel his sentencing powers were adequate and referred the case to the High Court. (PA)

A man who put a baby in a tumble dryer has been jailed for seven years.

Thomas Dunn, 25, claimed he had only "assisted" the 13-month-old, after seeing the child climbing into the machine herself in Arbroath in 2017.

Dunn said he did not fully close the machine door on the child - who cannot be named for legal reasons - but that the dryer activated and started rotating.

He was also found guilty of causing fractures to the child's skull during an assault.

On the separate charge, Dunn was convicted of striking the child on another occasion on the head and body with an unknown object or objects, causing severe injury.

Dundee Sheriff Alistair Brown described the attack as “monstrous” and said he did not feel his sentencing powers were adequate and referred the case to the High Court.

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Dunn claimed he had found the child lying limp while he was caring for her at a house in Arbroath.

She was taken to hospital where medics found she had sustained brain injuries.

During the trial, Dunn claimed he did not "push" or "squash" the baby into the machine but had "tucked her leg into it" after she had climbed in herself.

"She was already climbing into it and I tucked her leg in. I closed the door but not fully, it wasn't like properly shut," he said.

Thomas Dunn, 25, has been jailed for 7 years. (Tayside Police Division)

Prosecutor Nicola Gillespie asked Dunn: "Why on earth did you do that, assist, tuck, whatever you want to call it, that child into a tumble dryer?"

He replied: "I don't know, it was a bad judgement call."

Judge Lord Brodie sentenced Dunn to seven years imprisonment and three years supervision following his release, at the High Court in Edinburgh.

His sentencing had previously been delayed because Dunn’s lawyer said they were waiting on a psychiatric report.

"He suffers from depression and mental health problems,” defence advocate Niall McCluskey said.

"He also accepts that the imposition of a prison sentence is inevitable.”

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