Ex-Kent County Council worker Nathan Rawling guilty of 'frenzied, brutal' assault on month-old child
DCI Andy Pritchard,
above, speaking to Thom Morris outside the court
by Keith Hunt
A man has today been jailed for 10 years after he inflicted
multiple injuries on a month-old baby boy in a "frenzied, brutal
and repeated assault" that almost killed him.
The jury in the case of former Kent County Council employee
Nathan Rawling took around four hours to convict him at Maidstone
Crown Court today.
The court heard how he caused 26 fractures to the child's
ribs, fractures to both collarbones and a spiral break to the right
Rawling, formerly of St Gregory's Crescent, Gravesend, had
denied causing grievous bodily harm with intent and an alternative
charge of GBH.
The court heard trauma to the baby's chest punctured both lungs,
causing the baby a heart attack and stopping him breathing.
The boy, who cannot be identified, also had a "particularly
shocking injury" to his penis.
Earlier in the hearing, prosecutor John O’Higgins said the
baby was taken to Darent Valley Hospital on the morning of December
There was no doubt, he said, the child was at the point of
death and only the skill of medical staff saved its life.
Rawling told police although he did not know how to perform CPR,
he had blown into the baby’s mouth and pushed on its chest after
noticing it had turned blue and stopped breathing.
Mr O’Higgins said it was 36-year-old Rawling’s explanation for
the baby’s chest injuries.
The broken arm was caused, he claimed, when he grabbed the baby
to restart CPR.
Rawling, who worked as an electrician for Kent County Council,
claimed the injury to the child’s genitals were caused when he
knelt on it.
“Medical experts are unanimous in rejecting this explanation,”
said Mr O’Higgins.
Judge Jeremy Carey told Rawling: “You have been convicted by
this jury on what I judge to be the clearest evidence, that you
caused serious physical harm to the baby and at the time you did it
you intended to do so.
Nathan Rawling is on
trial at Maidstone Crown Court
“That is the inescapable inference from the evidence. I judge
what you did that night, and not before, was a serious act of
brutality on a wholly innocent child.”
The judge said he did not accept Rawling lost his temper in a
momentary loss of control.
“It did not last long but lasted long enough to inflict three
separate injuries,” he said.
”You broke his right arm and did so in a way which must have
caused immense pain, and which was a very serious fracture indeed,
as this jury has seen from X-Rays.”
Rawling twisted the baby’s penis in a brutal way in his anger
because the child urinated on him.
"You squeezed him so tight, so hard and so persistently you fractured 25 bones in his ribcage - a quite devastating injury from which he nearly died" – Judge Jeremy Carey
of all you squeezed him so tight, so hard and so persistently you
fractured 25 bones in his ribcage - a quite devastating injury from
which he nearly died.”
Judge Carey said he had concluded Rawling was not a danger to
children generally and a life sentence, indeterminate sentence or
an extended sentence was, therefore, not necessary.
He continued: “Those who have sat on this jury will have a very
clear view as to the degree of culpability or blameworthiness on
There could be no more a vulnerable a victim than a 28-day old
child who was “brought to within an inch of his life”.
He added: “I do not accept you are entitled to ask this court
for mercy. You took your chances before the jury and in doing so
accused (the mother) of the crime you committed.
“What is plain by this jury’s verdict is she was wholly
blameless in these serious matters and you chose to take a course
which blamed her. No, you will not get the court’s mercy.”
Rawling will serve half the sentence before being released on
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