Judge orders case review over Newham baby’s skull fracture
- Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Ima
A mother who was found to have fractured her baby son’s skull is to have her case reviewed, the judge who made the original decision has said.
The youngster, whose care is being supervised by Newham’s social services staff, suffered permanent damage after spending two months in hospital in 2012.
Aged just 10 months at the time, he arrived in a “critical, life-threatening” condition with a fractured skull and spine and required an operation.
The following year, Mr Justice Cobb oversaw a fact-finding hearing in the Family Division of the High Court after social services staff asked for decisions on the cause of the injuries.
He concluded the boy’s mother – who cannot be identified for legal reasons – had caused the “non-accidental” injuries.
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But yesterday the judge decided the case should be reviewed after the woman, in her 30s, claimed fresh evidence demonstrates her son had “particular bone fragility”.
He said he had subsequently analysed a claim by the woman that evidence obtained from “reputable medical experts” during the criminal proceedings “cast doubt” on the findings he had made three years ago.
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Prosecutors had discovered a piece of the boy’s skull had been removed during surgery and sent to an expert for testing - but that had never taken place.
The judge said for “all intents and purposes”, the bone sample had “been lost”.
He said he had been persuaded that the woman’s claim had cast doubt on his findings.
He added that following the 2013 hearing, the woman had subsequently been charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent but had not been convicted.
The boy has now been returned to his family, with social workers overseeing his care.