A man has been allowed to leave court after being acquitted of trying to murder an 11 month old baby boy.
Ryan Devaney, 28, spent the past week standing trial on a charge of attempting to murder the child at various addresses in the Dundee area.
Prosecutors accused Devaney of repeatedly attacking the child on various occasions throughout 2015 in the Dundee area.
Jurors at the High Court in Edinburgh had heard the boy’s mother reveal that she secretly recorded Devaney using her mobile phone.
She made the recording whilst Devaney looked after her infant, who cannot be named for legal reasons.
The jury also heard medical evidence which said the child suffered fractured bones.
But after spending a day deliberating their verdict, jurors at the High Court in Edinburgh returned a charge of not proven to the charge yesterday afternoon.
Devaney, of Provost Road, Dundee, started to cry in the dock as he learned of the jury’s decision.
Members of his family who sat in the public benches screamed ‘yes’ as they heard the verdict being announced.
However, Devaney still faces returning to court next month.
He pleaded guilty to five charges of physically assaulting the baby’s mother and a man, who also cannot be named for legal reasons, on various occasions in 2015 and 2016.
Judge Lord Woolman placed Devaney, who has previous convictions, on bail ahead of his sentencing hearing next month.
He added: “I will adjourn sentence in order to obtain a criminal justice social work report.”
The court heard from the child’s mother last week. She told of how she had allowed 28-year-old Devaney to care for the child at her house in Dundee on a number of occasions.
The mum had split from the child’s father earlier in the year.
She said she recorded Ryan Devaney after her son started acquiring a series of unexplained injuries.
She said that the infant had been left with black eyes, a carpet burn and red marks on his face. On other occasions, the child had fallen off a couch and had been sick.
The supermarket worker wept as she told a jurors how she became suspicious of what was happening when she wasn’t around the child and Devaney.
The woman told the court that before going on a shopping trip one day, she decided to make a recording of what was happening in her home when she wasn’t there.
She told the court that she wanted to do this because she wanted to find out what was going on between Devaney and her child.
The woman told the court: “Alarm bells were ringing. I didn’t ever think Ryan would hit him. But I had a feeling that something wasn’t right.
“I put the phone on record and hid it under the bed.”
The recording was played to jurors. They heard the sound of a Mickey Mouse cartoon being played on a television. They could also hear the sound of a baby crying.
The mum told the court that when she returned back from her shopping trip, she listened to the tape and decided to phone the police.
The woman said: “I couldn’t listen to all of it. I could only listen to some of it.”
The mum also told the court that Devaney assaulted her on some occasions. She described an incident in which Devaney put his hands around her throat.
She added: “I was scared. He went crazy. I didn’t feel safe.”
Doctor Gavin Main, 58, told the jury how examinations of the child revealed that he had fractured bones.
The consultant radiologist say that such injuries in babies were usually caused by “force” rather than “trauma”.
Dr Main, who works for NHS Tayside, said the baby boy, who was then aged 11 months, was examined on two occasions at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee in October 2015.
Prosecutors claim that during this time period Ryan Devaney,28, attempted to murder the child.
Speaking about one injury which was apparently sustained by the infant, Dr Main said: “Rib fractures in infants are very unusual.
“It is highly suggestive that the injury was inflicted as opposed to being caused by trauma.”
Police investigating the child’s injuries believed they had enough evidence to charge Devaney for attempted murder.
However, jurors acquitted Devaney of attempted murder.
He admitted physically assaulting the mum of the baby and another man during proceedings.
On Wednesday, the child’s mother shouted in court after learning about the jury’s verdict.
She said: “It’s not a not guilty. It’s a not proven. He still done it.”
Defence advocate Lorraine Glancy told Lord Woolman that she would reserve mitigation until Devaney’s sentencing hearing.
Devaney will be sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh on October 11 2017.