He subjected his newborn baby to months of torture, biting
through her earlobe, twisting her toe until it snapped,
fracturing her ribs and femur and gouging the soles of her
feet with his fingernail. But he will not spend any time in
Despite inflicting "significant and repetitive violence" on
the baby girl, leaving her little body covered in marks and
bruises, Jack Alexander Booker was sentenced to 12 months of
The 22-year-old cried as he was sentenced in the North Shore
District Court yesterday. He was facing up to five years in
jail on three charges of physically abusing his daughter, who
was just a month old when it began.
But because he had no criminal history, pleaded guilty as
early as possible and had taken steps to change his violent
behaviour, he got a substantial discount, meaning he was
eligible for home detention.
The New Zealand Herald understands the Crown will not
appeal the sentence and had expected either a lengthy home
detention or a short stint in prison for Booker.
Judge Nevin Dawson described the abuse as "abhorrent" and
began sentencing with jail time in mind.
"Your abuse was cruel. It's distressing to see a beautiful
young child like this with injuries caused by a parent."
He said Booker was "genuinely and sincerely horrified",
"extremely remorseful" and had already taken steps towards
rehabilitation and anger management.
"You should not underestimate how close you were to prison
today," Judge Dawson told Booker.
Court documents said the baby, born in February, began to
suffer from colic in early April, making it hard to feed and
settle her. Booker became "very angry and frustrated" and the
"Booker would bite her very hard on the ears," court
He also bit the baby's face repeatedly and used his
thumbnails to "pick and gouge" at the soles of her feet, then
concocted stories about how she got the injuries to hide what
he was doing from his partner.
His offending was uncovered on June 7 after he slapped and
bit the baby then twisted her toe until it broke.
Booker's partner rushed her to hospital, where the suspected
abuse was reported to police.
Detective Sergeant Steve Brewer said the case was "very sad".
"It's not a case of a father who's not coping being home
alone with a baby ... There's an aspect of torture in what
he's done to this little girl."
- Anna Leask of the New Zealand Herald