Where children suffer unexplained injuries, parents frequently come under suspicion. However, a case in which a loving couple were cleared of all blame for a grave head injury suffered by their baby boy showed that judges will leave no stone unturned in uncovering the truth.
A local authority launched care proceedings after hospital tests revealed bleeding on the boy’s brain and a skull fracture. He was less than a year old at the time and the council suspected that the injuries were non-accidental. Orders requiring his and his younger sibling’s placement in foster care were initially sought.
In ruling on the matter, the High Court noted that the conclusion of all the medical experts who had examined the boy, with the possible exception of one, was that his parents’ explanation that he had fallen off a bed could not be excluded. The bleeding had been explained by his subsequent diagnosis with severe haemophilia.
Reports of the love, warmth and affection shown to the children by their parents were uniformly positive and there had been no criticism of their care for either child. The Court was in the circumstances entirely satisfied that the boy’s accidental injuries arose in the way described by his mother. The council was granted permission to withdraw the care proceedings and arrangements were put in place to support the parents in resuming the care of their children.