A MAN who broke a newborn baby's leg has been jailed after a court heard 'significant twisting force' would have been needed to inflict such an injury.

Dominic Norman, 35, injured the child, who cannot be identified, at an address in Purbeck on March 16 2018.

Doctors treating the baby discovered the child had suffered a spiral fracture to his right thigh bone. He was in gallows traction for three weeks, and could not be held by his parents.

Norman was interviewed by police, but did not immediately offer an explanation as to what had happened. As a result, the baby was taken from his parents and fostered for three months while social services investigated. The tot's mother described the ordeal as "torture".

The defendant admitted causing grievous bodily harm without intent at his first appearance at Poole Magistrates' Courts in October. He has since appeared at Bournemouth Crown Court to be sentenced.

A victim impact statement written by the child's mother was read aloud to the court by prosecutor Kerry Maylin.

In it, she said she felt she had 'catastrophically failed' her baby.

"His leg was supported in traction, and he was unable to be held by his mummy for three weeks," she said.

"My little boy needed me and my comfort the most, but I couldn't soothe him in my arms. The torment this inflicted was immeasurable."

The child was also subjected to a series of further tests, including blood tests, a CT scan and an MRI scan, for which he was sedated, she said.

Describing the impact of seeing her baby fostered, the mother said: "Being told they believed my child was not safe in my care was crucifying."

Norman, of Sydenham Crescent in Wool, must have used a "large twisting force" to injure the baby, Ms Maylin said.

"Significant force would have had to have been used. The baby would have been in great pain," she said.

Kevin Hill, mitigating, said the defendant, who works as a chef, has no previous convictions.

"He has expressed genuine remorse for what happened," Mr Hill said.

Judge Peter Crabtree OBE said the child's femur had been "broken in half" by the defendant.

"The injury is not consistent with any normal handling," he said.

Norman also "failed to acknowledge" what had happened at an early stage, leading to an investigation into both of the boy's parents, he said.

The defendant was sentenced to 16 months in prison.