201606.28

Parents Suspected of Injuring Their Child Exonerated by Judge

When children are injured, it is sadly common for suspicion to fall upon their parents. However, the law is there to protect the innocent and, in one case, a family judge exonerated a couple who were accused of harming their one-year-old son.

Social workers and police launched an investigation after the little boy was taken to hospital with two fractures of his left lower leg. Doctors were concerned that his injuries might be non-accidental. His parents were viewed as possible perpetrators and the boy was taken from their care and sent to live with his aunt.

In opening the way for the boy’s return home to his parents, the judge found that he was probably injured when coming down a playground slide between the legs of his 18-year-old cousin. The most likely scenario was that his leg was twisted when his rubber shoes caught on the slide. There was also evidence that the boy may have suffered a vitamin D deficiency, making his bones unusually brittle.

The judge described both parents as truthful witnesses about whose parenting skills there had been no previous criticism. It was inherently improbable that they had injured their son. The mother had done her best not be over-anxious about her child and had not been negligent in allowing him to go on the slide.

Re C (Children). Case Number: (2016) EWFC B45

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