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Family reunited after local authority withdraws from planned hearing into death of baby

A family living in Lambeth were reunited after a local authority withdrew plans to hold a hearing into whether the mother hand injured one of her children.

In Re A and B, the mother’s middle child suffered three fractures and was taken into foster care, going to live with the father’s mother. The mother was found responsible for the injuries.

She subsequently gave birth to a third child, but they died at the age of only ten weeks from “extensive injuries”.

A fact-finding legal hearing into whether the mother had caused the fatal injuries to the baby was then scheduled.

But medical experts were divided over the cause of the injuries. One doctor said they had been inflicted deliberately while another highlighted the unusual nature of the baby’s skull, saying it was not possible to say how it would have reacted to force of any kind, so no reliable conclusions could be drawn as to how the injuries had occurred.

The authority then applied to withdraw from the hearing, saying eventual reunification of the family was in the surviving children’s best interests.

At the High Court, Sir Mark Hedley granted the authority permission.

He said:

“…all the evidence is that [the bably] was a loved and well-cared-for child; there is the evidence of his urgent admission and sad and sudden death…”

Additional concerns regarding bruising on the middle child were set aside as there was not enough evidence to suggest these had been caused anything other than accidentally.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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