Northants mum whose tiny baby was taken to hospital with unexplained injuries appears before court

The court heard how her children had since been removed from her care

Friday, 22nd April 2022, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 22nd April 2022, 12:30 pm
Northampton Crown Court. File image.

An eleven-week-old baby was taken to hospital with bruises on his legs and chest, a court has heard.

The baby boy, who has since made a full recovery, also had several lateral bruises on his torso including some that were more than 3cm long.

Searches were found on his mum’s phone relating to the injuries at least a day before another family member took him to a local paediatric A&E department.

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The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, admitted the charge and appeared before Northampton Crown Court yesterday (Thursday, April 21) for sentence.

Prosecuting, barrister Thomas Welshman, told the court that the woman had not been charged with any offence in relation to the cause of the unexplained injuries to the baby but was charged with child neglect because she had not sought help for the tot after discovering the bruising.

The offence took place in November, 2018, but the police investigation and subsequent criminal charge has been delayed by parallel family court proceedings.

Mr Welshman said: “On November 13 the defendant became aware that the baby had bruising on his chest and legs. She showed the bruising to her sister-in-law who saw lots of little bruises on his chest. She encouraged the defendant to get him checked but that wasn’t done.”

The defendant said on several occasions that she was worried about having her children taken off her and made threats to harm herself.

The baby was eventually taken to A&E by his grandfather at 8.40pm on November 14.

Doctors found several bruises on the baby’s chest, abdomen and legs of up to 3cm. The court was told these bruises have never been fully explained.

The baby didn’t need any treatment and has since made a full recovery after being removed from his mother’s care, along with his siblings.

Police officers found photos of the baby’s bruises on the mum’s phone along with internet searches about the cause of bruises in babies. They also discovered conversations between her and the baby’s father about the root of the injuries.

In interview she told officers she’d been aware that her baby had been uncomfortable when feeding because of the bruises on his body.

Mitigating, David Wolchover said his client had co-operated with the authorities following the incident and had engaged with support services. In a statement to probation officers she had said: “I wasn’t good enough and I’m sorry. I only want what’s best for my kids. They’re my life.”

Sentencing, Her Honour Judge Adrienne Lucking said that the defendant’s own vulnerabilities caused by a chaotic upbringing and violent relationships had contributed to her offending. She said she was clearly remorseful and posed no danger to members of the public.

She gave her 25 per cent credit for her guilty plea and sentenced her to nine months in prison, suspended for two years. The woman will also have to complete a six-month mental health treatment programme and 60 rehabilitation requirement days.

The baby and his siblings are now living separately from their mother.