Man who punched new-born baby tells court he thought it was a doll
An Englishman who punched a five-day-old baby in the face while shopping in Tesco has claimed he thought the child was a doll.
David Hardy, 63, told the court that he hit newborn Elsie Temple after mistakenly thinking that the child was a doll. The baby was in a carry cot, which was in a shopping trolley, when the incident happened in a Tesco in Baguley, Manchester.
Mr Hardy, who is from Manchester, admitted throwing the punch, but pleaded not guilty to a charge of common assault at Manchester Magistrates Court today. His defence lawyer reiterated that Hardy did not think the baby in the cot was a real child.
The incident, which occurred on September 5, happened when Elsie's mother Amy Duckers saw a neighbour who worked at the Tesco store and started talking to her.
Hardy then approached the trolley while she was talking to her neighbour and hit the child.
Baby Elsie was brought to Wythenshawe Hospital where she was released without injuries seven hours later.
Amy Duckers later wrote on her Facebook page that the family are still getting over the shock.
She said: "Words cannot describe how I feel right now, and still can't get my head around what has happened in front of me and poor Libby.
"We're all still so shook up and it's probably going to take some time for us all to recover. Just to let family and friends know, Elsie is currently being monitored on the children's ward for any head injuries."