Exonerated Parents of Bruised Baby Boy Receive Judicial Apology

3rd September 2021 By

When children suffer unexplained injuries, few would quarrel with social workers and medical professionals taking a precautionary approach. However, as a family judge’s ruling showed, the cloud of suspicion that often hangs over parents in such cases is not always justified.

The case concerned a baby boy who was observed to have suffered bruising at his two-month check-up. He was referred to hospital where, according to a radiologist, a CT scan indicated a non-displaced skull fracture. After the local authority took protective measures, the boy’s parents very responsibly consented to him and his elder brother going to live temporarily with their maternal grandfather.

Following a full investigation, a consultant paediatric radiologist reported that, in his view, the CT scan was within the normal range and did not indicate a skull fracture. A further report from a consultant paediatrician stated that the bruising observed was consistent with the mother’s account that she may have held the boy’s legs too tightly whilst changing a soiled nappy. In the light of those expert opinions, the council applied to withdraw care proceedings.

Granting the application, the judge apologised to the parents for what they had been through. They had been separated from their children for more than two months and contact with them had been made more difficult by the COVID-19 lockdown. Given the initial view taken of the boy’s condition, however, the local authority had acted entirely responsibly in taking steps to protect the children.

The judge directed the council to inform all appropriate bodies about the outcome of the case. The expert reports would also be released to the police to ensure that no action was taken against the parents. The consultant radiologist’s report would be sent to the hospital where the boy was first examined for use in training so that, hopefully, a similar incident did not recur in the future.

Source: Concious

Latest News

Relationship Status Put Under Spotlight in Divorce Case

26th February, 2024 By

Divorce proceedings are rarely cut and dry, especially where the passage of time adds complexity to matters. This was certainly so in a recent case that required a Family Court judge to rule on the validity of a decree nisi. The case centred on the divorce proceedings of a couple in their fifties and focused on a decree nisi that had been pronounced in 2012, following an application by the husband. Now seeking to finalise the divorce with a decree absolute, the husband asserted that the decree nisi had been properly...

Will Execution – Remote Witnessing Legislation Expires

22nd February, 2024 By

A legal amendment that was made during the COVID-19 pandemic allowing the witnessing of wills to take place via videoconferencing has officially expired. As of 31 January 2024, the Wills Act 1837 (Electronic Communications) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Order 2020 is no longer active. It was introduced in response to the pandemic, as a means of facilitating the valid execution of wills via remote witnessing. The Order applied to wills made between 31 January 2020 and 31 January 2022, but was later extended to 31 January 2024. Section 9 of the Wills Act...

Psychotherapy Condition Leads to Contact Order Appeal

20th February, 2024 By

Wherever possible, the courts will do what they can to support contact between parents and children but, in some instances, that contact comes with conditions attached. The nature of such conditions was the cause of contention in recent appeal proceedings brought by the father of two young boys. The man appealed against a High Court order that allowed for contact periods with his children, which would progress from supervised to unsupervised and increase in length but were dependent upon him engaging in psychotherapy. This condition had been imposed following a...

Beware of Builders Offering Cut-Price Work – Court of Appeal Cautionary Tale

16th February, 2024 By

Every householder should understand the dire risks involved in opening their doors to those promising to carry out cut-price building work. A Court of Appeal decision provided distressing examples of almost the worst that can happen. A householder approaching retirement age was taken in by a workman who knocked on his door, offering to paint the front of his home for £1,000. He was introduced to another man – the offender – whom the workman described as his business partner. The pair proceeded, over a period of months, to carry...