Scottish Grandmother Decries ‘Unjust’ Prison Sentence for Attacker of Baby After Mother’s Death

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The grandmother of a baby who was violently abused by a convicted thug has slammed the sentence handed down to him, stating that four years in prison isn’t enough for the damage he caused.

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Mark Tannahill, a 38-year-old from Crosshouse in Ayrshire, was sentenced to four years and five months at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court after being convicted of abusing and assaulting a baby, leaving her with broken ribs and a fractured skull. This occurred after her mother died from cancer eight weeks after giving birth.

The grandmother, who cannot be named to protect the baby’s identity, said the prison term didn’t seem adequate considering the lifelong injuries her granddaughter would have to endure. In a statement released via lawyers Digby Brown, she said, “No sentence would ever be enough, but four years is not quite fair. The end result is a short-term punishment for what are life-long injuries, so it’s hard to see this as justice.”

Tannahill’s violent abuse took place over a three-month period. He was left alone with the infant after her mother tragically passed away from ovarian cancer in August 2021, just eight weeks after giving birth. The mother had been diagnosed with a 20cm tumor while 30 weeks pregnant and died despite fighting bravely.

After her mother’s death, the grandmother noticed signs of abuse when she heard Tannahill shouting at the crying baby, yelling “shut the f*** up.” When bruising began to appear on her granddaughter, she bravely took her to the hospital, where medical staff quickly became concerned and contacted social services.

Tannahill’s crimes included yelling and swearing at the infant, shaking her, and causing head trauma, to her severe injury and risk of life. The grandmother, who now cares for the child, was shocked by the short sentence and the fact that Tannahill showed no remorse.

She said: “He’s an absolute monster. He has put us through hell for two and a half years. To know my granddaughter spent her first weeks in life being tormented by that vile man makes me sick.”

The grandmother is pursuing civil action against Tannahill to recover damages, aiming to secure financial support for her granddaughter’s future care needs due to the lasting impact of her injuries.

Sentencing Tannahill, Sheriff Bissett criticized the convict for refusing to accept responsibility for his actions and attempting to shift blame onto other family members. He said: “Not only have you refused to take any responsibility for your actions in severely injuring *****, even worse, from the beginning, you have sought to cast suspicion upon other members of her family.”

With civil action pending, the grandmother hopes to ensure that her granddaughter’s future is financially secured despite the devastating trauma she has endured.

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