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Parents sentenced after their baby suffered injuries requiring force ‘similar to a car accident’ Bath City News

A couple have been sentenced after their three-week-old baby was found with a catalog of horrific injuries, which doctors said required force ‘similar to a car accident’. It was even discovered that the couple had searched online for excuses to explain their child’s injuries to doctors.

The child’s father was jailed for three and a half years after his three-week-old baby was found to have a broken ankle, a fractured collarbone and nine broken ribs. The child’s mother was also sentenced to jail at Gloucester Crown Court on Wednesday March 30, but she was suspended.

Sentencing the couple, Gloucestershire Live reports, the judge said he had little doubt that the injuries to the baby were caused by the father and that force equal to that of the child in a car accident had been used when they had been inflicted. The couple were found guilty by a jury at trial last month of allowing or causing serious physical harm to a child in their home between June 21 and July 11, 2019.

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Judge Ian Lawrie QC told the couple: ‘The injuries sustained by the baby were caused by some force. I have little doubt that the father caused them. Likewise, the mother was aware of how they were caused, but chose to take a negligent approach.

“The scans revealed a sequence of fractures which did not occur on a single occasion. They did not occur at birth, as the injuries would have required considerable force. One of the consultants stated graphically that the force required was that of a car crash.

“It gives an indication of the level of violence used on the baby. A very significant amount of force was used in the ankle injury that was not experienced during normal handling of a baby.

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The man, in his twenties, received an immediate custodial sentence of three and a half years. The mother, in her thirties, received a 20-month prison sentence, suspended for two years. She was also sentenced to 30 days of compulsory rehabilitation activity and ordered to perform 200 hours of unpaid work.

Prosecutor Richard Posner had told the jury during the trial that the baby was born in June 2019. “After analyzes of the baby three weeks later, it was discovered that he had suffered a broken collarbone, a ankle and nine broken ribs. These injuries were not caused by brittle bones, disease or any other innocent explanation,” Posner said.

“They were caused by at least one of the adults in the child’s life, someone who should have provided protection and security in an environment that would allow the child to develop as it should. The baby’s parents did not provide this protection. At least one, possibly both, failed in their duty to care for the baby at a time when he was most dependent on them.”

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The jury was told the baby’s injuries were revealed on July 11, 2019, when the parents visited their GP. The child was showing signs of severe pain because his ankle hurt. The father and mother suggested to the doctor that their other child, an 18-month-old toddler, had kicked the baby.

Mr Posner added “A consultant radiologist, who has specialist expertise, reviewed the scans and noticed the fracture. It was a shard of bone that had come loose from the ankle. Doctors called the parents of the baby in the hospital and further scans were undertaken of the child’s body. It was then that the extent of the baby’s injuries were discovered. The rib fractures were close to the spine and collarbone was fractured.

Mr Posner told the jury: “The baby had suffered multiple fractures. These may have happened on one or more occasions. However, an injury that causes the piece of bone to come off the ankle of a baby could have been caused by twisting, forcing, but it would have been an action that was more than what is considered reasonable when handling a baby.

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“Breaking his collarbone would have meant that a single powerful blow would have had to be applied to the child’s shoulder or grabbing his arm.

“All of the rib fractures were close to the spine and it would have required significant force to compress her body and cause nine rib fractures. The Crown suggests that a large and violent force was applied to the baby’s body to cause the fractures it suffered.”

Mr Posner added: ‘It was, according to the prosecution, an ‘unstable relationship’ which manifested itself in violence and culminated in a significant loss of control of one or both of them. at least once.”

Charlotte Surley, representing the father, said he accepted causing the ankle injury, but did not know how the other fractures were caused. She said: ‘He left the house in a state of anger and was not with the child for long periods of time. We cannot automatically assume that he caused the injuries to the baby.

Sarah Jenkins, for the mother, said: “Her approach was cowardly. She searched the internet for ways to cover up their offending. The judge interjected: ‘She knew her baby had been hurt and was looking for excuses.

Ms Jenkins continued: ‘The mother thinks the baby was injured while she was not home. She clung to the relationship to maintain a family home. She had her own reservations about her partner’s behavior towards the baby, but in hindsight she was unaware of it.

“She has since acknowledged her own failure and has taken steps to remedy the situation and has had access to appropriate advice. She is totally remorseful. She did not underestimate her role in this sad situation in which she finds herself. She struggles to stay in touch with her children.

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Judge Lawrie told both parents: ‘The baby has suffered a sequence of violent acts from his parents who had an obligation of love and protection towards their very young child – an obligation that you both of you failed to respect. You both lied to the medical profession and turned to the internet to search for “abuse” to cover your tracks. You were trying to familiarize yourself with your legal situation and found a slew of excuses such as the suggestion of an accident.

The judge told the father: “Your offense is so serious that only an immediate custodial sentence can be justified.” The judge then told the woman “You failed as a mother. You knew what had happened. But for some reason, you chose to hide the child’s injuries from the doctors.

“You have shown all the hallmarks of domestic violence, but you still failed as a mother. Your offense deserves custody. But I have been made aware of the efforts you have made to learn from your failures and to the will not to repeat your mistakes.You have many lessons to learn.

“So there is a prospect of rehabilitation so I can suspend your 20 month prison sentence for two years. Additionally, you will attend 30 days of rehabilitation activities and perform 200 hours of unpaid work.

“As you do this, you can reflect on your failures and the harm you have caused. I suggest you choose your partners with better care in the future.

“This case is not about what happened to the child but about the harm he suffered. It must be judged in the context of a relationship that clearly demonstrated that the mother was suffering from postnatal stress. It was an already toxic relationship. I saw the texts between you. It was a very strained relationship between the two parents. There were rare moments of love, but it was mostly offensive and often threatening. It was a busy household.

“You, the father, are the main culprit for the injuries. You, the mother, had a lesser role. You two were in a toxic relationship and neither of you did anything to improve the situation. The woman was trying to hold on to the wreckage of this rather fractured relationship.

“If there was ever a child in need of protection, it is this baby, who is only three weeks old. Whatever the stresses in your life, you have failed to provide the care necessary to take care of your child You would have known your obligations to a child regarding his protection because the baby had an older brother.

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This notice was published: 2022-03-31 23:00:00

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