OTTAWA (Reuters) - A Canadian man who could not figure out how to deal with his girlfriend's feverish 10-month-old daughter put the baby into a freezer to cool her down, a local newspaper reported.
Derrick Hardy faces charges of criminal negligence and assaulting the infant, who was rescued when her mother came home, the Charlottetown Guardian said.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. said the mother found the girl crammed into the freezer alongside ice cubes and hamburger meat. Hardy said he had left the door ajar but the mother said it had been closed when she returned.
He told a court in the eastern province of Prince Edward Island on Thursday the child had only been in the freezer for about 40 seconds.
Hardy, 21, who admitted to police that he had no real parenting skills to deal with a sick child, said he had noticed the girl was very hot and put a cool cloth on her face, but this had no effect.
He then carried the girl outside into the night air but, frustrated that this also did not work and worried she might drown if placed in a cold bath, he put the baby into the kitchen freezer. She was wearing only an undershirt.
A local doctor said the mother had described her baby as "crying, sobbing and terrified." The child spent several days in hospital to recover from first- and second-degree freezer burns on her head and torso.
Hardy has pleaded not guilty to the charges. The baby's grandmother now has custody of the baby.
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