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Man who blinded son ‘lacks remorse’

A father who blinded his four-month-old son by shaking him has shown a lack of remorse for the attack which left the child with “catastrophic injuries”, a court has heard.

The claim was made at a hearing to determine what sentence should be given to 27-year-old Robert John Anderson who was convicted by jury at Londonderry Crown Court earlier this year.

His son was left blind, brain-damaged, unable to speak and with multiple disabilities.

It is believed it was one of the first convictions of its kind in Northern Ireland. The jury also found the Co Derry man guilty of cruelty by neglect. The judge has banned the media from naming the child or identifying where his father lived.

Yesterday prosecution lawyer Mr Charles McKay QC said that Anderson's lack of remorse was one of a number of aggravating features which should be taken into account by Judge Philip Babington in determining the appropriate sentence.

Anderson's lawyer Billy McCrory QC said the accused did not have a history of ill-treatment, abuse or cruelty and that he did express concerns for his son.

Judge Babington, who was sitting in Belfast, said he would sentence Anderson in Derry Crown Court on June 28.

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