A MAN who punched a baby in the face in an horrific attack in an Eastbourne street has been jailed.
Mark Ince saw his ex-girlfriend and her new partner in the street and lashed out at the man, who was holding the baby in his arms.
He accidentally hit the baby girl in the face and horrified members of the public gave chase when Ince fled the scene.
The one-year-old baby girl suffered bruising and a large bump to the top of her forehead.
The incident unfolded after 30-year-old Ince saw his ex, her two children with her new partner and Ince’s own daughter in Langney Road.
As the family passed Ince, he shook his head and made a derogatory comment to the man, who told Ince to shut up.
Hearing this, Ince ran towards his victim and punched him in the face twice.
The boyfriend nearly dropped the baby while being attacked, but the tot was rescued by a member of the public.
He punched Ince, who then fled.
The court was told a witness heard Ince say, “It’s not my kid.” after the attack.
Ince, of Seaside, pleaded guilty to two counts of assault by beating at an earlier hearing and that case was adjourned for reports.
At a hearing on Wednesday, the case was adjourned temporarily as Ince continued to shout out during proceedings, despite being told by magistrates to be quiet.
David Alexander, defending, spoke in his client’s absence, saying, “He shouldn’t have expressed himself verbally or physically in the way he did.
“It was by chance they met at the Job Centre that day. He gave early guilty pleas and please give him credit if you can.
“You can see what the problem is, there’s a background of family dispute because of the nature of his character and personality he gets upset about it.
“He resorts to violence and he shouldn’t do that.”
Mr Alexander, who said his client possibly had a personality disorder and had not seen his daughter in some time, added that shortly after the incident his client stopped a passing police officer to hand himself in.
He continued, “He shouldn’t have punched the man and in the report it says this wasn’t a deliberate assault on a child, he was reckless in what he did.
“There were members of the public there who were clearly upset.
“He may not accept the exact details of what happened, he accepted very early on he was in the wrong.”
As he was sentenced to 10 weeks in prison for each assault, Ince, who returned to the dock to hear his fate, protested saying he had tried to seek help.
He added, “How will sending me to jail help me?”
But in justifying the bench’s decision, chairman Alan Baldock said it was felt Ince was ‘a danger to be let out.’
Ince also received a restraining order prohibiting him from contacting his two victims and preventing him from contacting his ex-partner except via solicitors.