A CHIPPENHAM dad who crushed his baby son so hard he left him with nine broken ribs, which a doctor said was like a car crash injury, has been spared jail.

The 27-year-old, who had anger management problems after the birth of the victim's older sister, may also have broken the child's arm, the court heard.

The Pewsham man accepted he lost control when looking after the baby and squeezed him so hard he fractured the ribs, though the break near the shoulder was an accident.

After hearing his estranged partner asking him to consider what justice looked like for her son, who will make a full recovery, Judge Robert Pawson suspended the 14-month jail term.

Tessa Hingston, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court the child was almost seven months old when he was taken to the minor injuries unit at Chippenham Hospital.

His mum had noticed he had an issue with his left arm and when the X-ray was examined by a consultant he spotted a proximal humorous fracture.

The baby was called back in for a full skeletal scan and that flagged up a number of breaks to ribs on both sides of his chest.

She said four were fractured on one side and five on the other, in what a doctor said was 'more consistent with significant trauma, such as a road traffic accident'.

Both parents were spoken to by the police and co-operated with the investigation, she said, and initially could not explain the injuries.

But a day or so later the dad revealed that he had 'lost his rag' with the boy, who suffered acid reflux making him more fractious, when he would not stop crying.

The baby was on his side and screaming when the dad put his hands round his ribs and 'squeezed hard for about two seconds'.

He said he stopped when he realised what he was doing and the baby immediately appeared short of breath before he started crying.

Soon after the youngster appeared to be all right and pictures from his mum showed a happy child in the following weeks.

The father pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm between March 6-April 19, 2017.

Alex Daymond, defending, said since becoming a dad his client had anger management issues and that he was under stress at work at the time.

"He found himself in this situation, having lost control and at his wit's end, when he squeezed him too hard," he said.

“He is someone who is deeply remorseful for what he did. He has demonstrated a high level of remorse and is determined to tackle the issues that led to him being in this place.”

Since the offence he said the couple have split, and the man has sought help for his issues, though he still has supervised contact with the children and is in work.

Passing sentence Judge Pawson said the case was “Quite exceptional.”

He said “There is a background that causes me real concern, which is allegations of domestic violence to your then partner, but also other injuries to your son including a broken arm.

“You admitted in the family court you may have caused injury to the arm but it was an accident. That causes me real concern.

“There is probably no greater breach of trust than assaulting your own child. I accept, as would anyone who has had children, that caring for an infant child can be very pressured.”

Referring to a statement from the victim’s mum he said “She says she doesn’t think she will be able to forgive you, but to look at what justice looks like for her son.”

He sentenced the man, who cannot be named to protect his son's identity, to 14 months suspended for two years, with 25 days rehabilitation activity requirement and 250 hours of unpaid work.