Published: 06:00, 21 July 2021
| Updated: 16:10, 21 July 2021
A childminder who sunk his teeth into a toddler’s face in a hushed-up campaign of torture has been jailed.
Ryan Lincoln-Dust told police an eruption of mysterious bite marks and bruises over the 20-month-old’s head and body were self-inflicted or accidental.
But medical probes revealed the 24-year-old’s “crushing teeth” and “hard punches” caused the 10 injuries, including numerous bite marks.
Lincoln-Dust, a builder, was jailed for three and a half years at Canterbury Crown Court yesterday, after subjecting his victim to cruelty over a month-long period in Dover during 2019.
A 22-year-old woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was handed nine months in custody suspended for two years for child cruelty earlier this year, for her part in the abuse.
The boy still suffers nightmares and can recall the attacks, often waking screaming “please don’t hurt me,” the court heard.
The child came to the attention of Social Services in January 2019 after medics discovered suspicious bruising during a routine check up.
Following his arrest in February, Lincoln-Dust tried convincing the authorities the injuries were accidental, claiming:
An eye-swelling was caused by a fall.
He added the child would punch himself in the stomach and deliberately bang his head on furniture as a game.
Yet tests at Ashford’s William Harvey Hospital ruled the injuries were caused by a third party.
Speaking of the facial bruising, senior dental surgeon Philip Marsden told the court: “This type of human bite injury is caused by the tissues being taken into the mouth and the jaws being consciously closed, creating a crushing force from the teeth.
“The ‘imprints’ are caused by the biting edges of the teeth – both upper and lower at the same time, in a crushing action.
“(Lincoln-Dust’s) account is not a feasible or credible explanation for the injury to the cheek.”
'All the injuries would have been painful and frightening and would have caused the baby to cry...'
Doctor Daniel Haynes noted a swollen lip, which could have been caused by a strike or accidental fall.
He continued: “There are three knuckle shaped bruises in a line running down the posterior side of the cheek in front of the left ear, alongside an area of bruising in front of the left ear.
“These marks are typical of the results of a closed fist punch to the left side of the face.”
His examination revealed further injuries to the child’s leg: “This bruising was caused by a hard, deliberate punch to the baby."
Facial markings were described as being caused by “ a hard slap across the upper right face.”
'Far from demonstrating remorse you continue to focus on your own issues and struggle to come to terms with what you have done.'
“The punches were of severe force, causing clear bruising. The bites were caused by deliberate and forceful clamping of the teeth, but not so forceful as to penetrate the skin.
“The slap was forceful enough to cause bruising. All the injuries would have been painful and frightening and would have caused the baby to cry,” his report said.
CT scans and blood-works revealed no bones had been broken.
Lincoln Dust, of High Street,Tonbridge, pleaded guilty to child cruelty and actual bodily harm before trial this year.
Mitigating, David Langwallner said Lincoln-Dust suffered “personality disorders and issues” after witnessing abuse in his youth, adding: “He had a traumatic childhood to say the least.
“He is petrified, he fully knows the gravity of the situation he is in.
“It was a violent act, it is an unforgivable act against a defenseless child, but it is not a pattern that he has demonstrated in his life up until that point in time,” he continued.
Judge Simon James told Lincoln-Dust: “You subjected this boy to a series of deliberate and systemic assaults that involved you biting and punching him.
“Far from demonstrating remorse you continue to focus on your own issues and struggle to come to terms with what you have done.”
Lincoln-Dust could be seen displaying anxious and distressed behaviour in the dock as the judge delivered his sentence.