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Father caused injuries to baby, judge finds

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March 28, 2024

A Family Court judge has ruled that the father of a one year-old is responsible for a number of injuries the child suffered.

In C (Injuries to Baby: Fact-Finding), Mr Justice Peter Jackson said the child’s mother had “foolishly” put loyalty to the father ahead of the needs of her son.

During the mother’s pregnancy, a child protection plan had been put in place, which stipulated that the father could not be alone with mother or stay overnight at her house. This action was taken in response to the father’s 2010 child pornography conviction. However, the parents routinely flouted the plan as the father would “stay at the mother’s home all the time”.

The child was identified in the judgment as ‘C’. In May 2014, he was taken to hospital where he was found to have three fractures in one of his legs and a tear in the tissue inside his mouth. Once treated, he was taken into foster care.

Initially the parents both denied responsibility for the injuries and “agreed to lie to the police and social services” about how often the father was around. A few days later, the mother confessed to the breaches of the protection plan and the father confessed to causing C’s leg injuries. He also claimed the other injury was the result of him “ramming [a] dummy into the baby’s mouth”.

Mr Justice Peter Jackson said that while there was “nothing in the mother’s background to suggest a propensity to harm a child”, the father was “a troubled young man who has problems with impulse control”. He ruled that the injuries were sustained as a result of the father’s “inability to control a sudden burst of anger”.

Sitting at the Family Court in Manchester, the judge disregarded the idea that the mother could have caused any of the injuries C suffered. However, he said that her subsequent actions had “negligently contributed to the situation”.

The mother had since “confronted her own level of responsibility for C’s injuries” and generally been co-operative with the police and local authority, the judge added. He also said that the parents were no longer together and predicted that reconciliation was unlikely.

Following the judgment, the courts approved a plan to have C returned to his mother’s care under a nine month supervision order. This means that while C may live with his mother, the local authority will monitor his progress and needs.

To read the full judgment, click here.

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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