Published: 13 October 2015
A couple from Guildford who were wrongly accused of abuse have been told they are 'unlikely to see their child again' despite new evidence clearing them of any wrong doing.
In 2012, the couple took their 6-week-old child to their local accident and emergency after discovering blood in the infant's mouth after feeding. Staff at the hospital raised concerns about the child's welfare after they discovered what they thought were fractures and bruises and the couple were both charged with child cruelty a few days later, with the infant being taken into care.
The staff carried out an X-ray on the child and they discovered what they thought was a metaphyseal fracture that was beginning to heal, which can sometimes be an indication that the child has suffered some form of physical abuse.
The case was taken to Guildford Crown Court where it ultimately collapsed due to new medical evidence coming to light which showed that there were no signs of child cruelty or abuse.
A spokesperson for the Crown Prosecution Service said that they were charged with child cruelty after medical evidence supported the charge, however the case was reviewed following "new medical evidence which concluded that there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction on any of the charges".
The new medical evidence in question was that the child suffered from Von Willebrands II, a blood disorder which can cause bruising more easily, as well as a vitamin D deficiency that can cause rickets in infants. The prosecution commissioned an expert radiologist who gave evidence in court that it was unlikely that there had ever been any real fractures at all.
The couples lawyer has told them that despite being cleared, it is highly unlikely that the decision will be overturned and that rulings like these are usually final.
"These innocent parents have been spared a criminal conviction and a prison sentence for a crime they never committed. Their life sentence is that they are likely never to see their baby again", said Garden Court Chambers QC Michael Turner.
Earlier this year, the adoption of their child was agreed by the Family Court however the couple, who have stayed together despite their ordeal, are now trying to win back custody of their child. Their lawyers criticised the decision to finalise the adoption before the court had made its final ruling on their criminal charges.
The mother of the child said, "We took our child to the hospital seeking help and they stole our baby from us.I feel completely let down by the system, well and truly let down. It’s been a long three years trying to battle this and we’re going to fight to try to get our child back."
The couple, both in their mid 20's, were granted supervised contact with their child, however that lasted until about 12 months ago. As a couple they have remained strong and have never doubted or accused each other of abuse, however they are yet to have another child as the allegations against them would have meant that a new baby would have been taken into care.
The couple have vowed to fight to win back their child and have said that they will take their situation to parliament to try and force through new legislation if their appeal against the adoption is unsuccessful.
If you are facing any issues with child custody or residency then K J Smith Solicitors are here to help. Our team of family law professionals have experience in dealing with a range issues relating to matters involving children and will handle the situation with the utmost sensitivity and care.
For more information or to arrange a free 45 minute consultation with our team, please contact K J Smith Solicitors on 01491 630000 (Henley on Thames), 020 7070 0330 (London), 0118 418 1000 (Reading), 01753 325000 (Windsor), 01256 584000 (Basingstoke) or 01483 370100 (Guildford) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.