Nov 2 2012 by Grant McCabe, Kilmarnock Standard
A neglected toddler was left for weeks at his Kilmarnock home with brain injuries after being assaulted because he wouldn’t eat his dinner.
A court heard the two-year-old boy was attacked by 22 year-old Alix Bluck who – along with her then partner James Bluck – was supposedly caring for the child at the time.
One shocked visitor to the child’s home described him as looking like a “Romanian orphan” as he lay on a mattress in an almost bare room.
The stricken boy eventually got medical help in March last year and he was found to have haemorrhages on both sides of his brain.
He survived, but has been left with permanent reduced vision in one eye as a result of his ordeal.
A judge heard how Alix Bluck told police she had “lost her temper” with the child, while her 35-year-old ex claimed he “never neglected” the youngster.
Alix Bluck admitted assaulting the child when she appeared at the High Court in Glasgow last week.
She and James Bluck also pled guilty to a charge under the Children and Young Persons Act.
Both will learn their fate when they return to the dock to be sentenced next month.
The court heard how the child often stayed with the Blucks at their home in Kilmarnock.
In March last year, salesman William McLeod visited the property to measure for windows and doors.
He spotted a young boy lying in a room, which had few toys in it and no furniture apart from a mattress.
Prosecutor Sheena Fraser said Mr McLeod later described the bruised child as “lying there staring at the ceiling”.
The salesman added: “I immediately got visions of posters or adverts years ago of Romanian orphans just lying or sitting on mattresses.”
Mr McLeod also witnessed the toddler having a seizure and later reported what he had seen to his boss.
Another sales-rep visited the Blucks the next day when she heard crying from upstairs, which James Bluck told her to ignore.
When the saleswoman raised concerns the boy could swallow his tongue, lorry driver Bluck replied: “I’ve checked before – he doesn’t swallow his tongue.”
The court heard she contacted social work, but the boy had another seizure meantime that lead to him being taken to hospital on March 11.
Medics noted the child had multiple bruising as well as being “grossly underweight”.
Prosecutor Miss Fraser said: “He was reported by James Bluck to be clumsy and to fall a lot. The bruising was described as being of various ages.”
The child was transferred to Glasgow’s Southern General Hospital, where a CT scan revealed haemorrhages on both sides of his brain which required surgery.
The court heard it was “considered unlikely” the injuries resulted from a fall a few days before.
On March 13, James Bluck contacted police to say his partner had told him she was responsible for the boy being hurt.
Alix Bluck later told officers that she had asked for help from the social work department, but had not received any.
She told how she had pushed the boy twice at the beginning of February and that his head had hit the floor.
Miss Fraser told the court: “She said this happened after she had lost her temper.”
Alix Bluck said one incident was after the child started screaming when told to go to his room because he would not eat his dinner.
The second was after he had done the toilet on the floor of his bedroom.
The court was told the haemorrhages were a number of weeks old.
James Bluck was also quizzed by police and he told them: “I never neglected the boy”.
The child has been left with restricted vision in his right eye which is likely to be permanent.
Judge Lord Bracadale continued bail for both accused.
The Blucks are expected to be sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh on November 22.