Earlier this month, a 63-year-old man punched a five-day-old baby in a Tesco supermarket in Manchester, England. David Hardy, who was arrested and charged with common assault, admitted in court yesterday to hitting the infant but claims it was simply a case of mistaken identity: He thought the baby was a toy doll.
“This is an extremely unusual case,” Hardy’s defense attorney Chris Fallows said. “This defendant effectively a family man who has young children in the family and does not behave in a way that is suggested to this allegation. The crown suggest Mr. Hardy deliberately punched a five-day-old baby to the face in a carry cot in a shopping trolley. The defendant says he believed – and this belief was prior to the incident – that he thought it was a doll.”
“It is conceded by the defendant that what occurred was unusual, bizarre and he acted rather foolishly, he added. “The prosecution suggest that this was intentional.”
The Daily Mail reports the bizarre attack happened on September 5, the first time Amy Duckers had taken her newborn baby out in public. She was reportedly talking with a neighbor she ran into at the store when Hardy punched her daughter, Elsie Temple.
Elsie “was left extremely upset,” as the Daily Mail put it, and taken to a local hospital, where she was monitored for nine hours for any possible head injuries.
‘Words cannot describe how I feel right now, and still can’t get my head around what has happened in front of me and my poor Libby,” Duckers wrote in a Facebook post shortly after the attack. ‘No one can get their head around why this was done, other than he’s very sick, twisted, vile, not well man, and his excuse was he thought she was a doll.”
Hardy will face trial next month.