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Toddler returned to parents after a year in care

A toddler taken into care after falling off a bed is to be returned to her parents nearly a year later.

The baby, then nine months old, was rushed to hospital suffering from bleeding on the brain. The parents insisted he had fallen, the Telegraph reports, but social workers from Nottinghamshire County Council suspected the parents and the baby was taken into care.

A paramedic had suggested the injuries were too severe to have been caused by a fall and reports suggested the mother had not shown much emotion at the time of the incident.

At a family court hearing earlier this week, the local authority argued that the parents had shaken the baby and then invented the fall to cover their tracks.

But the claim was rejected by Judge Lea, who said there was no evidence the parents had injured their son. He declared:

“The account of the fall has been consistent throughout. It fits with crime scene photographs which again the parties would not have seen until they were interviewed, by which time the account of the fall had been given a number of times. The father gave his evidence in a straight-forward, uncomplicated way. I formed the impression that he was telling me the truth of what happened. There are no features of this case, save for the injuries themselves, which would raise suspicion against these parents. The evidence of the parents was fairly but vigorously tested in cross-examination. If this had been a concocted account, clear fault lines would have opened up. They did not do so.”

The mother’s apparent lack of emotion had simply been a way of dealing with a fear that her son would die, he said.

Photo by Heggyhomolit via Wikipedia under a Creative Commons licence 

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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  1. Luke says:

    Well done Judge Lea – a very difficult case and all future options contain a possible risk but where there has only been one incident and the evidence to convict the parents is not there I don’t see how one can further massively disadvantage the child by taking it away from its parents.

    • Caz says:

      Well put Luke, But I must add, Judges are wise old owls, it takes a lot of years to become a judge and in my mind, they are more than aware not just by legal knowledge but empathy to the case put forward and the character of the defendants from their defence.

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