A 26-year-old mother has avoided jail for neglecting her baby daughter after the child suffered thirteen ‘significant’ injuries all over her body.
The mum, from Dursley, had moved to the UK only a few weeks before she gave birth to the child, two months prematurely, in the spring of 2016 in Gloucester, a court was told yesterday (June 7).
Prosecutor Susan Cavender said the baby stayed in hospital until June when she was finally strong enough to go home with her parents.
“But on August 5, 2016 the baby was re-admitted to hospital with a number of injuries that could not be explained,” said Ms Cavender.
“Because of these injuries her older brother was immediately taken into care by social services and placed into foster care.
“Two investigations were carried out by the Family Court but no plausible explanation for the injuries could be found.”
Ms Cavender added: “When the girl and her brother were placed with foster parents both children flourished under their care.”
A year later, on August 14, 2017, when the mother had been given supervised care of the children, she began ignoring texts and other messages from a number of official bodies which needed to visit the home, said the prosecutor.
The authorities then resorted to making an unannounced visit, she said.
“This visit was made on November 16, 2017 and they found that the baby girl had bruising all over her cheeks. The defendant was dismissive about the bruising and claimed that the child had fallen over at a friend’s house.
“The girl was taken to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital for an examination by social services and medical specialists and it was discovered that she had a significant number of injuries all over her body, 13 of which were serious. She was now aged 18 months old.
“The young siblings were taken back into care before being removed from their mother completely. ”
The woman, currently living in Bristol, pleaded guilty to one charge of child neglect in Dursley between August and November 2017.
Judge Lawrie told her: “There is supposed to be a special bond between mother and her child. Implicit in that relationship is that the child in this instance, when aged two, was entitled to take for granted your maternal obligation to love and protect your child and to ensure that she remained free of harm – and when necessary to ensure that your child gets the medical attention she needs.
“You breached the sanctity of this trust by your clear neglect.”
The judge sentenced the woman to a nine months prison term suspended for 24 months.