A MAN who shoved a four-year-old girl’s face into a bowl of scalding noodles has been jailed for 10 months.

Liam Gardiner was at the child’s home in Halliwell while her mother was cooking noodles for her tea on April 14 last year, Bolton Crown Court heard.

But 28-year-old Gardiner became angry when the little girl started blowing on her food to cool it down.

Daniel Calder, prosecuting, said: “The defendant formed the view that the child was messing about and not eating the food, so grabbed her head and pushed it into the noodles.

“There is also a suggestion that, at some point, the defendant also kicked her off the chair, causing her to fall to the floor.”

The court was told that the girl was in extreme pain due to the burns and blisters on her face and Gardiner got a wet towel to apply to the injuries before apologising and leaving the property in a taxi.

The next day, when a relative saw the girl’s injuries, the incident was reported to police and Gardiner, of Cavendish Street, Darwen, was arrested.

Recorder Mukhtar Hussain QC was told that the child’s injuries have since healed and left no permanent scarring.

Andrew Costello, defending, stressed Gardiner’s assault was not premeditated.

He said: “He is disgusted by his actions and the effect they have had.

“This was very much an isolated incident, but with terrible consequences for all concerned.”

Gardiner pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm to the child, who cannot be identified for legal reasons.

Sentencing Gardiner to 10 months in prison Recorder Hussain told him: “You knew and had clearly seen the noodles had been warmed or heated up and then placed in a microwave and, I am told, were extremely hot.

“This must have been an extremely painful experience for this little girl.”


Recorder Hussain said he accepted Gardiner was remorseful and that the assault was an isolated incident.

But he added: “The only sentence I can, and must, pass, is one of imprisonment.”

Gardiner was also ordered to pay a £100 victim surcharge.