A five-month-old baby boy was assaulted after his parents struggled to adjust to their new life with a baby. He was assaulted by one parent whilst the other failed to protect him.
The assault came to light in November 2018, after the parents attended a routine appointment to check the baby’s weight and general health. A healthcare professional expressed concerns about bruising to the child’s face and a bloodshot eye. The parents, who have not been named by authorities, suggested this was because he had scratched his eye and as a result of moving around in his cot.
The parents, who are in their 20s and from East Cambridgeshire, agreed to attend Addenbrooke’s Hospital for an additional assessment. A referral was also made to children’s social care.
Following this assessment in hospital, it was established the baby had bruising to his face, a haemorrhage to his eye and a number of fractured ribs. Both parents were arrested and the boy was taken into the care of the local authority.
Cambridgeshire police reported that in an interview, the parents continued to deny any wrongdoing and maintained the injuries were self-inflicted or caused by other implausible means. They were unable to provide any rational explanation.
The mobile phones belonging to both parents were downloaded and revealed messages from the mother detailing her frustrations at a lack of sleep and the amount the child was crying.
Two messages threatened physical violence with one stating she would “smash his head against the side of the cot” if things didn’t improve.
Reports were compiled by medical experts and concluded that the injuries were not self-inflicted, there was no evidence of bone weakness and the fractures would have required significant force to occur.
Both parents were charged, later admitting to assaulting or ill-treating a child to cause unnecessary suffering or injury.
Yesterday, 17th December 2020, at Cambridge Crown Court the baby’s mother was sentenced to 18 months in prison, suspended for 18 months. She was ordered to complete 25 days of rehabilitation activity requirement.
The child’s father was handed a 12-month community order and ordered to complete 20 days rehabilitation activity requirement.
By court order, the child remains in the care of extended family.
Detective Sergeant Tom Rogers said:
“Sleep deprivation and increased stress are common factors when parenting, but to let those frustrations turn into physical abuse is unforgiveable.
“I’d like to commend the actions of the healthcare professionals and also urge anyone who is concerned for the welfare of a child to report it. We all have a responsibility to protect children in our communities.
“Thankfully this child is now in a safe environment, but things could easily have continued to spiral and been much worse if nobody had intervened.”
Before you go...
We need your help. As former emergency services & armed forces personnel, we pride ourselves on bringing you important, fast-moving and breaking news stories which are free from the negative bias which is often directed at the emergency services by some sections of the mainstream media.
One of the reasons we started 'Emergency Services News' was because we became tired of reading badly informed stories about the emergency services which seemed only ever to highlight negative aspects of the job.
We want to be the unheard voice of the remarkable men and women who serve in the emergency services, NHS and armed forces. And with around 500k page views each month, we are getting there!
As income from ads, the mainstay source of income for most publishers, continues to decline; we need the help of our readers.
And remember, if you have a service, product or job vacancy that you would like to promote to our large readership, then you can buy advertising space in our articles.
You can support emergency services news from as little as £1. It only takes a minute. Every contribution, however big or small, is vital for our future.
Please help us to continue to highlight the life-saving work of the emergency services, NHS and armed forces by becoming a supporter.