A MAN who threw a pillow at a baby has been compared by a sheriff to thugs who hurled missiles from motorway bridges.
Jaimie Jones ended up in court after he threw a pillow at a baby as it lay crying in its cot.
The 25-year-old became “irritated” by the sound of the child’s crying, it was heard at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.
And when the baby’s mother confronted him about his crime he said it “was better than smothering” the child.
The baby was not injured by the pillow.
But 25-year-old Jones admitted culpably and recklessly throwing the pillow and endangering the health of the baby.
A part of the charge, which claimed the baby’s safety and life were also in danger, was dropped by The Crown.
However, the risks of Jones’ behaviour were compared by a judge to recent incidents where thugs risked the lives of drivers by throwing large objects onto busy motorways.
Outside court Jones branded the case “a joke”.
But commentator’s today said the child could have been suffocated by the pillow.
Jones, who is from the Edinburgh area, initially denied the offence and was due to go on trial. But he changed his plea to guilty before witnesses were forced to give testimony.
Fiscal depute Ruth Ross-Davie said: “It would appear the child had been crying and this had irritated Mr Jones.”
His response was to “throw a pillow” at the cot, the fiscal said.
The prosecutor said Jones then left the pillow in the cot. “Shortly thereafter the child’s mother removed it. When she questioned him about it his response was ‘It was better than smothering’ the child,” said the fiscal.
The mother told a relative via text message about the incident and they reported the matter to the police in Edinburgh and Jones was arrested.
He initially denied the crime, but accepted what he had done during a police interview, said the fiscal.
Sheriff Derrick McIntyre asked what the consequences could have been. The fiscal said it was the “potential consequences” of Jones’ actions “rather than the actual consequences” of what he had done that were a concern.
Then in an apparent comparison with recent incidents where missiles were thrown onto UK motorways Sheriff McIntyre said the incident was “like throwing a brick over a parapet”. The brick “might go over, hit the windscreen and the car crashes and kills other people”, he said.
But the fiscal said: “The mother was there and removed the pillow and indicated that it didn’t appear to have been compressed. It was simply a culpable and reckless act to throw a pillow at a baby in the cot and to leave the pillow there.”
Defence agent Jennifer Cameron said: “The pillow was there for only a very short period of time. He had thrown it across the room, but his intention had not been to hit the child.”
The lawyer said the mother was not worried about her child after the incident.
Sheriff McIntyre described it as “perhaps not a very serious crime” but deferred sentence for reports until next month.
Asked outside court what he thought of the case coming to court, Jones said: “It’s a joke.”
But Ippo Panteloudakis, who is a health line manager at the support group Mens Advice Line, said: “The baby could have potentially suffocated if it was a heavy pillow and it was too young to push it away.”
And Scottish human rights lawyer John Scott said it was right the case came to court. “Throwing a pillow at a baby is a very stupid thing to do,” he said.
“The comment Jones made is worrying and the combination of that and the incident itself causes alarm bells.
“In this case, a slap on the wrist is not enough for this man and it’s right that he ended up in court.”
However, Mr Scott said the sheriff’s comparison was “unhelpful”. “It’s very easy to injure a baby and comparisons like that are hard to make,” he said.
Margaret Watt, who is the chairwoman of the Scotland Patients Association, condemned Jones’ behaviour. She said: “A baby cannot fight back. Nobody knows what might have happened if that woman didn’t walk in on time. Instead of throwing a pillow at it to stop crying, why didn’t he pick it up and console it?
“That baby might have died because the air wasn’t reaching its lungs. A baby has tiny lungs, they’re not fully grown and couldn’t deal with something like that.
“It’s no different to throwing a concrete block off a bridge. It’s only a wee baby, and the pillow might have been heavy.”
Earlier this week thugs risked causing carnage on a motorway by hurling a block of ice and a brick from a bridge at drivers on the M8.
The motorists affected were not injured.
The attacks came days after yobs hurled concrete blocks on to two cars on the A12 in Essex, leaving one woman driver seriously injured and another traumatised.