In a classic example of the courts protecting individual rights against public authority, a mother who was accused of battering her own baby boy has been exonerated and praised for her good parenting by a family judge.
The 10-month-old boy was taken from his mother by social workers after medics noticed bruising on several parts of his body. He had lived with his grandmother for months whilst his mother lived under a pall of suspicion. The local authority claimed that his injuries were non-accidental and applied for a care order.
However, in refusing the application, the judge described the mother as a good and nurturing parent who loved her little boy deeply. He accepted her explanation that the very active child was unusually large and heavy for his age and tended to blunder into things.
The boy’s wider family was protective and supportive, bearing none of the hallmarks of child abuse, and the mother’s account had the ring of truth about it. The mother’s partner – who social workers alleged was also a potential perpetrator – was also cleared. The judge’s decision paved the way for the child’s swift return to his mother’s care.