Nova Scotia

Man jailed for assaulting infant son

A Dartmouth man has been handed a one-year jail sentence for shaking his infant son, though the judge said the time behind bars wasn't necessary.

A Dartmouth man has been handed a one-year jail sentence for shaking his infant son, though the judge said the time behind bars would do no good.

Michael Rhodes, 31, was sentenced Monday after a jury found him guilty of aggravated assault.

Nathan Rhodes was eight weeks old when he was rushed to the IWK Health Centre on June 12, 2008.

The little boy was limp and lifeless, the court heard. Hospital staff suspected abuse and called a special team to investigate.

During the trial, doctors testified that Nathan could have died.

The court heard that Michael Rhodes struggled to cope with the special needs of his infant son, and that he admitted on the stand that he had been too rough with the little boy on several occasions.

Baby Nathan had breathing problems and a kidney disorder. He vomitted frequently and cried incessantly.

Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice Gerald Moir said he had to give Rhodes a jail term because it was the law.

"Jail would do him no personal good, only harm," said Moir.

A one-year sentence is the minimum for a charge of aggravated assault.

Rhodes was also sentenced to two years' probation. He can't possess weapons.

Nathan and two other siblings are in protective custody.

now