Christian Watson’s actions in an entertainment arcade led to a terrifying incident where only the child’s head was visible, according to Brooke Morrison, the prosecutor.
Despite the fears of spinal injuries and internal bleeding, the toddler was determined to have suffered little to no harm after being rushed to the hospital and examined by doctors.
Laura Addy, representing Watson, explained that he had been involuntarily hospitalized in January and remained a voluntary patient in a psychiatric hospital.
Medical professionals had decided that Watson should spend time with his family at a holiday park as part of his reintegration into the community, but his father had expressed concerns about his readiness to leave the hospital.
The family had been managing Watson’s psychiatric issues at home until a crisis in January 2023 led to his involuntary hospitalization.
The Recorder of York, Judge Sean Morris, deemed the case to be highly exceptional.
Although the child had luckily avoided injury, the experience would have been traumatic for her and her mother, who sustained bruises during the incident, the court was informed.
“At the time, you were unwell and should have been in the hospital,” the judge informed Watson. He described Watson’s father as the person who knows him best.
Watson was placed under a three-year community order with three years of mental health treatment by a community mental health organization and 30 days of rehabilitative activities. Additionally, he must wear an alcohol abstinence tag for 120 days.
The judge cautioned against the use of illegal drugs and alcohol, warning that they could exacerbate his mental health problems.
Watson, 22, of Abbeydale Grove, Hawksworth, Leeds, pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm to the mother, attempted actual bodily harm to the child, assaulting the child, and criminal damage.
According to Ms. Morrison, the mother and child were on vacation at the time. Watson was identified from arcade CCTV footage and was still present at the park when the police arrived.
Ms. Addy stated, “At no point did he intend to harm the little girl, and he couldn’t be more remorseful.”
He had been hearing voices on the morning of the incident and remembered feeling threatened, though it was unclear whether he actually was. As he walked through the arcade, he pushed what he believed to be a person away from him.
After being sectioned, he was diagnosed with psychosis and continues to receive treatment following his release from the hospital.