A CALLOUS and cruel brute who repeatedly smashed a baby’s head so hard his skull shattered into pieces has been jailed for 14 years.

Callum David Crowe was supposed to be looking after the eight-week-old in Barrow when he shook him and banged his head against a hard surface with such force the baby’s skull broke.

The child is now permanently brain-damaged.

Preston Crown Court heard Crowe, an engineer, was often heard by neighbours shouting, slamming doors and swearing.

By the time he attacked the newborn in December 2016 they had “more or less given up” calling the police about his outbursts, the court heard.

On the day of the attack they heard the baby crying “like a starvation cry or as if he was in pain” and Crowe shouting “shut up” repeatedly.

One neighbour heard banging as if he was smashing his fist on a table.

Judge Graham Knowles told Crowe: “You must have feared you had caused brain damage given the violence and given his symptoms, but you hoped he would get better, or at least that you would not face the blame.

“Your first and only hope was for yourself.”

By the time the baby was taken to hospital, three days later, he had started suffering seizures as a result of his brain injuries.

The judge added: “You have an overblown sense of your own importance, little empathy and a raging temper.

“You smashed his eight-week-old head onto something hard with such force that you broke a bone of his skull into pieces.”

Crowe, 23, was found guilty of wounding with intent and child cruelty. He showed no emotion as he was led to the cells.

His co-defendant, Abigail Wood, 23, was given a nine-month jail sentence, suspended for 18 months,last month after being found guilty of child cruelty by waiting three days to seek medical attention for the child.

An NSPCC spokeswoman said: “At just eight weeks old, a baby is incredibly vulnerable and clearly dependent on the adults in their lives to keep them safe from harm.

“Crowe utterly failed to do so, and a small child with his whole life ahead of him will now experience life-long health issues because of this callous and violent act.

“We hope every support is given to Crowe’s victim as he grows and develops, and that he is able to recover as fully as possible from this ordeal.”

Detective Inspector Jason McKenna of Barrow CID said: “This was an incredibly emotive case for all concerned.

“The victim is left with life-changing injuries from this incident. Offences of this nature to a child so young are heart-breaking.

“I would like to thank all the witnesses who have helped police and also the officers involved in this case who completed a professional and diligent investigation, resulting in a justified conviction.

“We are pleased we have been able to provide justice.”