A SOUTHAMPTON man, said to have no skills to look after a child, put his hands over the mouth of a baby when he would not stop crying during the night.

Philip Erting-Haynes, 21, pressed his hands so hard on the youngster’s face that the ends of his fingers turned blue, District Judge Lorraine Morgan heard.

The four-month-old baby was in his care but he lost his temper when his attempts to pacify him failed.

Prosecutor Charles Nightingale told Southampton Magistrates the drama was reported to the police several months later and when questioned, Erting-Haynes co-operated with them.

Mr Nightingale stressed: “He was sober at the time of the incident and there is no suggestion of any substance mis-use.”

Erting-Haynes, of Northbrook Road, Northam, admitted assault.

Imposing a 16-week suspended sentence with 12 months’ supervision that involved a probation service-run thinking skills course, the Judge told him the consequences of his actions could have been significant.

In mitigation, Janet Grey told the court how he had been looking after the child, who was in his cot.

“But the child was crying and nothing would pacify him. He had been up most of the night and he lost his temper for a short period of time,” she said.

Ms Grey said Erting-Haynes accepted he had an anger management problem and it was a flare-up that brought about the incident.

“He had no skills to look after this baby,” she added.

“He has some insight into his failings and he has told me he needs help with his temper.

“Although this was serious, there is no evidence he had ill-treated this child before or since.”