A dad who subjected his baby son to a catalogue of abusive violence has been jailed.

The scale of Dwayne Gordon’s cruelty was unmasked when the 17-month-old child, who we are not naming, was taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital in January 2019 with injuries to his face.

Dr Janet Craze, the A&E doctor who examined the child told Gordon’s trial in May, that a slap mark to the boy’s face was ‘something, sadly, all paediatricians have seen before’.

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The child also had a large red mark around his mouth, which Gordon claimed was caused when his son while his beaker was in his mouth. Gordon was babysitting the child at the mum’s Oxford home while she enjoyed a night out with a friend. He had messaged the woman at around 9pm that evening, saying the boy’s ‘face is f***ed’.  

Concerns about the injuries on his face and neck led doctors to commission more extensive tests, including x-rays that showed the boy had broken the arm bones near both wrists at some stage in the past weeks.

His nursery recorded more than half a dozen occasions when he had come in with injuries. A staff member at sports group ‘Soccer Tots’ said he had attended a session in December 2018 with ‘deep’ bruising and bloodshot eyes. 

Gordon, 34, had denied a number of charges including causing grievous bodily harm and child cruelty, but pleaded guilty on the sixth day of his trial to GBH, causing actual bodily harm and the cruelty charge.

The court heard that the boy’s mother, Katie Lake, 30, had raised concerns about the boy’s injuries in messages to the Northampton-based man. But her concerns were said to have been brushed aside by Gordon.

Lake found herself in the dock alongside the father of her son, born after a one-night stand and at around the same time as another woman also gave birth to his child, because she had ‘wilfully exposed’ the boy to ill-treatment at the hands of his father.

Her lawyer, Clare Evans, told Oxford Crown Court on Thursday: “She did try, she did question him, she would send pictures and the response she got was ‘don’t be stupid, of course I haven’t [harmed him]’.”

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Ms Evans said Gordon had treated her client ‘appallingly’ and asked her to ‘do whatever he wanted’.

James Gray, for Gordon, went through a number of explanations for his client’s behaviour at the time. They included his heavy cannabis use, type one diabetes causing ‘fluctuations in his blood sugar levels’ and running between the mothers of his two children.

He now had a new partner and child that had given him ‘stability to his life’.

Gordon, of Kingsland Gardens, Northampton, was sentenced to 40 months’ imprisonment on Thursday by Judge Ian Pringle QC. He had previous convictions for aggravated burglary and wounding.

Lake, of Thames View, Abingdon, received nine months’ imprisonment suspended for two years. She must complete up to 20 probation sessions.

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This story was written by Tom Seaward. He joined the team in 2021 as Oxfordshire's court and crime reporter.  

To get in touch with him email: Tom.Seaward@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @t_seaward