A heartbreaking video shows the tiny baby, distressed and miserable, as she lay helplessly twitching and jerking in her mother’s arms.
Four-week old baby Gabriella cries out in pain with each spasm while her mother softly coos, “Shhhh, baby it’s okay.”
After being violently shaken, her tiny brain was torn and bleeding. The twitching due to terrible seizures. The high-pitched crying each time she jerked was from the pain of the swelling in her neck muscles and ligaments and hemorrhaging along her spinal cord.
Tiny Gabby suffered permanent, traumatic brain injury. Now paralyzed and blind, she remains in foster care.
Her father, Andrew Fitton, 22, of Orillia, is accused of shaking the baby with such force that it caused her brain to slam against the skull while caring for her December 26, 2016.
During the trial that unfolded in a Barrie court this week, the room went silent as the troubling video was played.
There is no question in this trial that the baby was assaulted — the question is by whom.
The Crown contends Fitton was the only person alone with the baby before the symptoms began. But Mike Flossman is not suggesting Fitton is some devious baby-beating criminal.
“This is not someone who is malicious or vindictive,” Flossman said. “This was an overwhelmed, inexperienced father — a young man who was in over his head. He was left in a lurch. He was at his wit’s end — and he lost it.”
It’s a tragedy born of “children, having children,” Flossman added.
Defence lawyer Charles Manners suggested it could have been the mother who hurt her baby — she was equally overwhelmed with parenthood.
Justice Joseph Di Luca is expected to deliver his verdict later this month.
On the witness stand, teenaged Mom, Kendra Antonia, now 20, broke down weeping as she watched her baby, swaddled in a pink flowered sleeper, helplessly and pitifully crying.
For some reason, Antonia became upset, had one of her not uncommon “panic attacks,” and left, leaving Fitton to take care of their baby. The next night, she went out drinking with a girlfriend.
Antonia had her emotional “challenges” and was overwhelmed with being a teen mom court heard.
“The best thing about being a parent is you’re a walking, broke, zombie,” she texted Fitton.
Fitton texted back, “You just had two nights off,” and complained “I got no sleep I’m tired as f-ck.”
On Dec. 27th, 2016, Fitton brought the baby back to Antonia’s apartment, then sat down to play video games. Antonia noticed the baby was pale and cold and her breathing was shallow.
“I picked her up and she started screaming and twitching,” she recalled.
Worried, she got her mother to take a video with her cellphone so she could show the doctor. Her mother told her everything would be okay.
So, Antonia packed the baby in her car seat and went off to Walmart for some “retail therapy.” Her friend noticed the baby twitching and insisted something was very wrong, so Antonia called Telehealth Ontario.
“Next thing I knew I was surrounded by ten paramedics,” Antonia said.
BARRIE — A heartbreaking video shows the tiny baby, distressed and miserable, as she lay helplessly twitching and jerking in her mother’s arms.Four-week old baby Gabriella cries out in …