Family Courts Step In To Protect Toddler Injured By His Mother

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Sadly, some parents are better than others but family judges are always there to protect children against physical or emotional harm. In one case, the law moved swiftly to ensure the welfare of a little boy who suffered dreadful injuries at his mother’s hands.

The three-year old had been taken to hospital with five fractured vertebrae. He had earlier suffered breaks to an arm and leg and a burn injury, all whilst in his mother’s care. Social workers became involved and a family judge directed that the boy be placed for adoption after finding that the mother alone was responsible for his injuries.

In challenging the decision before the Court of Appeal, the mother said that she had taken a polygraph test that indicated that she was not the perpetrator. As the time at which the vertebral fractures had been inflicted could not be precisely determined, she argued that others could have caused them. Her own mother, an aunt, the child’s father and two friends were all said to have had opportunities to injure the child.

In rejecting the mother’s complaints, however, the Court noted that she had consistently tried to blame others for all her problems and her son’s injuries. Polygraph test results were inadmissible in English courts and the succession of injuries suffered by the boy over an extended period meant that it was very unlikely that they had been inflicted by more than one person. The mother’s challenge stood no prospect of success and she was refused permission to appeal.