N.B. man sentenced in child abuse case

A troubled New Brunswick man who smothered and stuffed his girlfriend's young child in a duffel bag, breaking her femur, has been sentenced to three years in prison.

Carson Bennett was accused of assaulting the girl in five separate incidents, including smothering her to the point of unconsciousness before performing CPR to resuscitate her and pouring water on her face.

The 20-year-old pleaded guilty to aggravated assault in December in Saint John provincial court.

The child's grandparents, who are now raising her, wrote in a victim impact statement that the little girl still cries out in her sleep and is afraid of the bathtub.

Judge Andrew Palmer noted photos admitted as evidence show "bruises all over that child's body."

The defence had asked Palmer to consider giving time served, which counts as about 18 months, arguing that Bennett's difficult upbringing and drug addiction should be considered as mitigating factors.