A 35-year-old man has avoided a lengthy jail sentence after breaking a baby's legs in two places.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared before Judge David Potter at Preston's Sessions House on Wednesday, charged with one count of wounding/inflicting grievous bodily harm on a 15-week-old baby on January 22 2019.

The offence, which took place in Burnley, was, according to defence barrister Rachel Woods, an isolated incident and completely unintentional, for which the man has suffered extreme remorse to the point he had tried to take his own life on several occasions in the two years since the incident.

Prosecuting, Patrick Williamson said: "The child was taken to Royal Blackburn Hospital in distress and doctors said they would carry out some observations and checks that night.

"Upon examination, doctors found that there were two bilateral fractures to both femurs, and said the amount of force used to inflict these injuries would have been excessive and far greater than the force usually encountered when handling a child."

The defendant was arrested and when interviewed he gave a full statement to police saying he did not intend to hurt the child and any injuries inflicted were purely accidental.

The court heard that since the incident, the child's welfare had been of utmost priority and health workers were pleased to say that the baby had experienced no problems with his development and had reached all the normal paediatric milestones without issue.

Defending, Rachel Woods said: "My client is genuinely remorseful at his behaviour and rather than impose a custodial sentence on him I feel that he will benefit from some form of support work alongside a suspended sentence.

"He has no previous convictions and is of positive good character."

The man, from Burnley, was sentenced to 12 months in prison suspended for two years, was made subject to a four month curfew, and ordered to carry out 30 days of rehabilitation activity within the next 12 months.