On the run: 'Frustrated' dad who shook baby so hard his brain bled

WANTED: Andrew Rutter

WANTED: Andrew Rutter

First published in News
Last updated
The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , news feature writer

A FATHER has been found guilty of shaking his own baby son so violently he suffered bleeding in his brain - but is now wanted after he skipped the court hearing.

Andrew Rutter was alone with his then seven-month-old son, Jacob Rutter-Harper, on May 13, 2012, when he shook him after he became “frustrated” with his son’s crying.

The 28-year-old was yesterday jailed for six and a half years — and a warrant has been issued for his arrest as he did not turn up in court.

Judge Timothy Clayson, sentencing Rutter, said: “The defendant became increasingly frustrated with Jacob.

“Medical evidence in the case indicates that Jacob was significantly subjected to a violent shaking that resulted in a serious injury to his brain.”

Rutter shook Jacob while he was looking after him in the family’s then home in Lever Edge Lane, Great Lever.

Jacob’s mother, Samantha Harper, was at work and during the day Rutter sent her a number of text messages saying: “He is doing my head in, he won’t stop screaming”, and that he “couldn’t handle him”.

He then sent her a message saying little Jacob had become floppy.

The next day Jacob’s health deteriorated and he was taken to a walk-in centre, where he was sent straight to hospital.

Scans showed the youngster had suffered a subdural haematoma — a serious brain condition where blood collects between the skull and the surface of the brain.

He was discharged from hospital on June 18, 2012, and is now living with Harper’s parents.

It is not believed Jacob has suffered any long-term symptoms following his injuries.

Rutter, aged 28, of Old Clough Lane, Walkden, has 22 previous convictions, but none relating to violence, Bolton Crown Court heard yesterday.


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Harper was earlier cleared of child neglect after the prosecution discontinued proceedings against her.

Prosecutor Rob Hall and Wayne Jackson, defending, both agreed that the event was “a moment of madness.”

Judge Timothy Clayson, in sentencing Rutter, said: “(I will continue) in his absence, having absconded as far as we know in the course of the trial.

“The events happened on May 13, 2012, when Jacob was in the defendant’s sole care. There is a trail of evidence via text messages that demonstrates what happened.

“The defendant didn’t take any steps to summon any medical help. He didn’t reveal what he had done to his girlfriend. Samantha did contact the walk-in centre but was not in a position to say what had happened.

“The next day the baby was taken to a medical centre and then the hospital and received treatment some weeks thereafter.

“There is no up-to-date progress. His grandparents seem to be positive and it’s to be hoped that there are no serious long term problems.”

Rutter, who had pleaded not guilty, was jailed for received six and a half years for grievous bodily harm with intent and a further 12 months for wilfully neglecting him by not seeking medical help, to run concurrently.

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