A woman who lived for months under suspicion after a baby boy was fatally injured whilst in her sole care has been exonerated after a judge ruled that he was probably a victim of an accident in which he became entangled in the bedding of his cot.
The little boy – ‘M’ – was just over a year old when he was found stricken in his cot. He had suffered acute brain damage and medics were unable to save his life. His long-term carer – ‘Miss C’ – had since come under scrutiny by social workers who argued that she was likely to have caused his injuries.
However, following a fact finding hearing, the judge noted that there was nothing in Miss C’s personal or family history which indicated that she might be a risk to children. A health visitor had described M as a social, alert and smiling baby who interacted well with Miss C. His injuries were ‘exceedingly rare’, but the judge found on the balance of probabilities that they were the result of a tragic accident.
Miss C had been under intense strain during the investigation and was bound to partially blame herself for M’s death. She also looked after M’s older sister, but the child had been taken from her pending the outcome of the case. The judge directed that the girl should be returned to Miss C’s care ‘without delay’.