Lawyers representing a mother whose baby girl was placed in foster care after she suffered a broken leg have succeeded in fending off social workers’ claims that the injury was non-accidental. The mother’s exoneration by a family judge paved the way for her to be reunited with her daughter.
The mother had no explanation for the spiral fracture to her daughter’s right leg but suggested that her foot may have become stuck in the bars of her crib. A consultant paediatrician supported her case, saying that the girl may have suffered from low bone density, making her more vulnerable to fractures.
There was also evidence that steroid cream, used to treat the girl’s eczema during her first months, may have resulted in increased weakness in her bones. It was possible that the fracture may have been sustained without any memorable event having occurred or the mother being aware that something serious had happened. The family history showed a complete absence of any of the usual markers of child abuse and, in the circumstances, it had not been proved that the injury was inflicted by either the mother or the child’s grandmother, the only two possible perpetrators.