THE parents of a child left permanently disabled after being shaken as a baby have hit out at the man convicted of the crime following his release from prison.

Steven Davidson pleaded guilty to shaking and throwing the tot, who was aged just six weeks at the time.

According to court reports from his conviction in 2015, Davidson was left in charge of the child for around 90 minutes on October 3, 2012.

After being in the care of Davidson, she was found to be unresponsive with her eyes closed.

The child was taken to Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley where she was found to be bleeding in the brain.

In court, Davidson admitted to shaking the child and throwing her against a surface to her severe injury, permanent impairment and to the danger of her life.

He was initially charged with attempted murder, but the Crown accepted the plea to the lesser charge.

Davidson, formerly of Bontine Avenue in Dumbarton, was sentenced to serve seven-and-a-half years in prison for the offence, but that was later slashed on appeal, following a similar decision in a Lanarkshire-based case.

Appeal judges reduced the sentence by nine months.

Now, after serving four years of his sentence, Davidson has been released from prison by Parole Scotland.

The child’s mother told the Reporter she spent a few weeks in hospital, with doctors not fully aware of the extent of the damage.

She said: “She was only in hospital for about two weeks. It was always really a case of wait and see with her condition.

“Doctors gave us an outcome that they thought would happen, and their view was actually much worse than the reality.

“But because it’s the brain they just don’t know. She requires 24/7 care.”

Her father said: “With her condition we’re now always on seizure watch. Touch wood she hasn’t had one yet.”

Since his release, Davidson has been spotted in West Dunbartonshire by friends of the parents, who have told them of his whereabouts.

Davidson has been warned not to contact, or attempt to contact the parents and has been banned from certain local areas.

The child’s mum has said she “doesn’t know” what she’d do if she spotted Davidson in the street.

The father hit out at the system which allowed Davidson to return to the area, saying he should be not be able to come back to West Dunbartonshire.

He said: “He should not be allowed to come back here and live out his life of 80 years, when she has a death sentence in her 20s.

“It’s not fair.

“I think it shows a failing in our legal system that he’s been given such a short sentence.

“Her life is finite, and now he gets to live his to the full.”

Her mum said: “He was given such a short sentence anyway, and then it was shortened on appeal, and now he’s been given parole, so he can swan around the area where his victim lives?

“That, to me, just sounds completely out there.

“There are pictures of him on Facebook at parties, all smiles.

“If that were me I would be crawling under a rock somewhere.”

Despite the order in place to ensure he does not approach the family, the parents still want him out of West Dunbartonshire.

Her mum said: “This is my home. This is our home. We shouldn’t live in fear of walking around our town centre and seeing him.”

The father said: “Imagine it was your child, and the reason they’re going to die early.”

Pre-empting criticism from those who will say Davidson has served his time in prison, and should be able to live his life, the child’s mother said: “My answer to that is if you do something to a child you don’t deserve to live your life in harmony and peace.

“Children are the ones you’re supposed to protect, and if you violate that, you’ve got no sympathy from me.”

Her father said: “I wonder how much the system is set up to protect the innocent and get justice for victims and how much is it set up to cushion the guilty, under the guise of rehabilitation?

“The systems don’t work, and that’s a much larger debate that a lot of people are willing to have.

“What I would say to people who say he’s served his time, is just imagine it was yourself.

“This is our lives, there’s no move on and forget about it for us.

“We are caring for our daughter 24 hours a day, watching as we see she can’t do things, how things become harder for her as she gets bigger.

“We’re waiting for the inevitable, which is the worst.

“No matter how much better it is than what the doctor’s thought at the beginning, they have never once gone back on the fact that she has a very shortened life span, the brain can only take so much.

“This is our lives for the rest of her life, and we will suffer the consequences long after.”

The family have even considered the possibility of emigrating, in an effort to leave everything behind them.

Her father said: “That’s already something that we’re thinking about, if we can’t live our lives in peace here, then we can leave.”

Mum said: “That is a major thing, but I just don’t want her to see him.

“Right now, she doesn’t have the mental capacity, but we don’t know what the future will hold for her.

“She may or may not understand, and all it takes is for someone to mention his name and she has all these questions.

“I don’t think that’s very fair for her, or for us to have to go through that.”

The child’s mother said she was not informed of the hearing which eventually released Davidson until an evening phone call from the board told her he was to be released.

She told the Reporter: “What was supposed to happen was we were supposed to be told in advance of any hearings, that happened last year when he was up for parole and it was denied.

“This time I literally got a call at 6.15pm from someone saying ‘we weren’t sure if you wanted a phone call or a letter about this, but there was a hearing today’.

“That’s when she told me he had been granted parole and he’d be out within 48 hours.”

A spokeswoman for Parole Scotland said: “We cannot comment on individual cases, however, what I can say is that where there has been a victim of a crime, we as a board will seek representations from them.

“If the victim has also requested that they are notified of an offender, we will do so, whether that be in writing or over the phone.”

Despite the slip up, neither parent bares a grudge against Parole Scotland.

The child’s mum said: “They’ve been really good every other time, so I think this time was a genuine oversight. We’re not overly angry about that.”

Her father said: “We thought it was going to be December, so it kind of caught us off guard.”