Vic father jailed for shaking infant son

A Victorian man who shook and injured his baby son will spend at least five years in jail.
A Victorian man who shook and injured his baby son will spend at least five years in jail.

A Victorian man who shook his infant son and left him with horrific injuries did it because he wanted the crying baby "to be a warrior, a man".

James Tipene admitted shaking the five-week-old after waking to his cries in June 2018.

He became enraged and shook him so severely the child was rendered unconscious and spent more than a month in hospital.

The baby was left with bleeding on the brain, spinal injuries and eye trauma that could impair his vision for life.

"To call it deplorable is not sufficient to encapsulate the tragic and reprehensible nature of such an offence," County Court Judge David Brookes said during his sentence on Friday.

He said Tipene's actions had gone against the "very core duty of any parent" to nurture, care for and protect their children.

"Being a parent is a privilege ... a parent should always put their own needs second to that of their child."

After he was arrested Tipene told police he became angry when he heard the infant crying and had been told men and boys aren't supposed to cry by his own father.

"It's like this rage; it has nothing to do with (the baby). It's like he has to be a warrior, a man," Tipene told police.

"I know it's got to do with him being a male ... but I know he's only a f***ing baby."

The now 18-month-old has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and is often unsettled and clingy. It is not clear whether the boy will ever be able to walk.

Judge Brookes acknowledged Tipene's traumatic childhood and the abuse he suffered at the hands of his father.

He said it was not an excuse for the harm caused but he took into account Tipene's remorse.

Tipene pleaded guilty to recklessly causing serious injury and other unrelated charges.

He was ordered to serve seven years and three months but must spend five years behind bars before he is eligible for release.

Australian Associated Press