A FATHER injured two babies by the way he forcefully handled them, York Crown Court heard.

He broke his first child’s ribs and on a different occasion caused bleeding on the brain of his second child, said Jonathan Sharpe, prosecuting.

Mr Sharpe said a paediatrician had declared the first baby was squeezed so hard the father would have known his actions were harming the child.

Quoting the paediatrician, Mr Sharpe said: “These fractures are significant and will have caused pain.”

The father told police the second baby had choked and vomited while having its bottle and afterwards appeared to go floppy.

“As part of his efforts to revive him, including CPR, the defendant then shook (the baby) forcefully twice without supporting its head,” said Mr Sharpe.

When paramedics arrived, the baby was limp, pale and grey and whimpering.

Hospital scans revealed bleeding on the brain, the court heard.

The father, of the York area, pleaded guilty to two charges of causing grievous bodily harm.

He is not being named to protect the identity of the children.

He was given a 12-month prison sentence which was suspended for 12 months on condition he does 20 days’ rehabilitative activities.

Judge Simon Hickey said the father would have to live with what he had done to his children.

Defence barrister Stephen Grattage said the father was remorseful.

He had been going through a “very, very hard time” in his life, Mr Grattage told the York court.

He did not give any further mitigation after the judge indicated he would suspend the sentence.

Mr Sharpe said the father had been under pressure because he had had to do much of the babies’ day-to-day care.

At the same time, he was holding down a job and having difficulty following the break-up of a previous relationship, the court heard.

“He was, it seems, exhausted, and it is against that background that he behaved as he did,” Mr Sharpe told the court.

Both children had made a good recovery without the need for surgery.