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Skelmersdale thug jailed after beating seven-week-old baby

Josh David Campbell given 20 week jail term for horrific crime

Josh David Campbell

A thug from Skelmersdale has been jailed for 20 weeks for beating a seven-week-old baby.

Josh David Campbell, 23, of Ennerdale, was handed the custodial sentence at Preston Magistrates after being found guilty of Section 39 Assault.

A family friend of the victim spoke to the Advertiser of the pain and disbelief they felt as the baby was taken into care until a judge ruled out other suspects.

The friend said: “It has been pure hell for the family of the baby. Beating a child and then allowing the child to be taken into care because he wouldn’t admit it was him. It has been an absolute nightmare for them.”

Campbell was staying at the home of the infant and its family when the assault happened in the early hours of July 10 last year.

The household had all gone to bed before midnight,  only to be awoken by the chilling screams of a seven-week-old baby.

The family friend said: “They are screams that will haunt the family for the rest of their lives, but at first none of them knew why the baby was crying.

“It was dark and they had been startled and unnerved by the way they had been woken.

“Campbell had been coming up the stairs with the child in his arms, he then threw the baby on a bed and went outside for a cigarette.” It wasn’t until the family went downstairs into their kitchen that they saw something every parent fears.

The friend continued: “They saw marks on the baby, they could visibly see slap marks, finger marks on the baby’s face.

“Understandably they fell into a deep state of shock but when they confronted Campbell they grew scared for their safety and told him to leave.”

The family immediately took the infant to the nearby hospital where the baby was found to have suffered bruising and swelling to its face and side and a mark on its left foot.

It was in hospital that the family were told that they could no longer see the baby until they established who committed the assault.

The friend said: “The family just collapsed, it was the worst feeling for them and to be accused of harming a baby, a new infant, it is just sickening.

“The family was told  the baby would be taken into care but they hoped that Campbell would have come forward so that the baby could return, but he didn’t in order to protect himself –  you can not put into words the anger the family felt.

“It was as if they had had their heart ripped out; they screamed like animals in pain.”

The baby spent four months in care  where the family had limited supervised access three times a week.

For the family, it was like losing the child all over again every time they said goodbye.

The friend said: “Every time they left the baby it felt like they were leaving a piece of themselves behind.  The baby would cry and hold out its hands.

“It was only through the love and support of their friends and family that they were able to find the strength to get through the pain.”

It was after a fact-finding hearing that a judge was satisfied that Campbell was most likely to be responsible for the assault and the baby could return to the family.

Following Campbell’s jailing for 20 weeks last  Friday, the family friend added: “The time does not reflect the pain the family have been through. But they are happy  he has been found guilty and been given a jail term and they thank the CPS and the judge for the opportunity for justice for them and their baby.”