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Man who tried to murder two-year-old has jail term cut

David McMullen attacked the child when he was left in his care days before Christmas.

By STV News

Published 23 Dec 2019.

A man who tried to murder a two-year-old in his care just days before Christmas has had his jail sentence cut after an appeal.

David McMullen, who attacked the young boy in December 2016, had his eight year sentence cut by two years on account of him raising the alarm about his victim's injuries.

The child had to undergo surgery as a result of the assault that left him with injuries equivalent to what would be expected from a road traffic accident.

McMullan, from Glasgow, was initially jailed for eight years and seven months after being found guilty of the attempted murder earlier this year.

The 35-year-old denied committing the murder bid at a house in Cambuslang, South Lanarkshire, by inflicting blunt force trauma on the toddler, by means unknown to the prosecutor, to the victim's severe injury and to the danger of his life.

The sentencing judge, Lord Armstrong, told him: "You have been found guilty, after trial, of the attempted murder of a two-year-old toddler, who could not yet speak, by the infliction of blunt force trauma to his abdomen.

"This little boy was vulnerable, simply by reason of his age," said the judge.

McMullen has now seen his jail term reduced to six years after he appealed against the sentence imposed on him.

Defence solicitor advocate John Keenan argued before judges at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh that the sentence imposed on McMullen was "excessive".

He said McMullen had contacted the child's mother and she returned home and medical help for the victim was obtained.

Mr Keenan told Lord Drummond Young, sitting with Lord Turnbull: "It would appear that the prompt obtaining of medical treatment was in fact significant because of the nature of the injury. Had there been any significant delay the consequences could have been drastic.

"As a consequence of the early treatment of what was a very serious injury the complainer has, in fact, made a full recovery," he said.

Mr Keenan argued these were "significant factors" which should have been given more weight in the selection of the appropriate sentence for McMullen.

The appeal judges noted that prompt medical treatment was critical in the child's survival without long-lasting effects.