A woman who admitted attacks on a six-month-old girl which left the child badly brain-damaged has avoided being sent to prison.
Shannon Soutter was given a community sentence after a judge said it was “neither appropriate or necessary” to lock her up.
The 23-year-old attacked the baby girl over a two-month period in 2018 at a house in Arbroath, Angus.
The child also suffered fractures to her skull, ribs and ankle.
She may have permanent blindness with medics describing her prognosis as “poor”.
Soutter was sentenced at the High Court in Glasgow having earlier pled guilty to assaulting the girl to her severe injury, permanent impairment and to the danger of her life.
Lord Turnbull said Soutter, of Blairgowrie, Perthshire, had been struggling with a “history of depression” and other personal issues at the time.
The judge went on: “She punishes herself daily and will continue to do so.
“I think there is little the court can do by way of punishment that is greater than what she has imposed on herself.
“In light of factors and the clearly vouched mental health difficulties, I am satisfied the public duty does not require me to pass a sentence which would incarcerate Miss Soutter.
“The circumstances are so unusual that a degree of understanding, and some mercy, leads to the conclusion it is neither appropriate or necessary to impose a custodial sentence.”
Soutter sobbed as she was instead ordered to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work as part of a three-year community payback order.
This also involves her having no unsupervised contact with underage children and to undergo treatment for her mental health issues.
The baby’s father was in court to see Soutter sentenced.
Sentencing, Lord Turnbull said the child’s father had written a moving victim impact statement of how they are coping.
The judge said: “Nothing can be done in this court to alleviate the stress and upset to a father who has the difficult responsibility of providing care for her.”

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