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Loving parents who were accused of shaking their baby daughter almost to death have been exonerated by a High Court judge – who decided that a lying child-minder was to blame. The decision opened the way for the child’s return to her parents’ care.
The girl was 18 months old she was when taken to hospital suffering from brain damage which would blight the rest of her life. Her parents and the child-minder all fell under suspicion and the child was taken from her home by the local authority.
Following a fact finding hearing, the judge ruled that the child-minder’s account of what happened that day ‘defied logic’. She had claimed that the parents had placed their already critically injured child in her buggy and delivered her to be looked after for the day in the hope that they would escape responsibility.
That a mother with a history of caring responsibly for her child would have engaged in such a ‘charade of cruelty’ was incredible, said the judge, who added, “The only person who could have benefited, ever, from the lies as to who had care of the baby was the child-minder…whatever the reason, and I do not know what it was, I find that she caused the injuries to the baby by shaking her in what was a momentary loss of control.”
Refusing the local authority’s application for a permanent care order, the judge concluded, “There is no evidence other than that the baby was well cared for by her parents who had left her with the child-minder on numerous previous occasions without incident and could not reasonably have foreseen what happened.”