B e f o r e :
| A Local Authority
|- and -
( a child through her Children's Guardian)
Mr Van Beseouw, counsel for mother
Mr Bainham, counsel for father
Mr Jones, the Child's solicitor taking his instructions from the Guardian, Ms McCabe
Hearing dates: 17 and 18 January 2018
Crown Copyright ©
Her Honour Judge Watson:
The Slip in the Bath
"Baby N was sitting in the bath and all of a sudden she slipped. She didn't go under the water but ended up on her side in the bath. I was worried that she had banged her head slipping in the bath and therefore quickly picked her out of the bath, wrapped her up and took her into the bedroom".
Mother had told the hospital staff and the police in her first voluntary interview that she had not seen it happen because she had turned away to reach for the shampoo but she later said that was not true.
The Fall from the Bed
"I sat her on the bed and bent her forward to check the back of her head and to check if she was ok at which point she seemed to slip off the bed, she simply fell feet first and her knees were the first part of her body to come into contact with the floor then went on to her belly. Baby N did not roll sideways off the bed, she simply slipped feet first off the bed and fell to the floor. Her knees making contact with the thin carpet. I have two mattresses on the bed because of my rheumatoid arthritis. I understand the height from the top of the bed to the floor is about 29.5 inches. I tried to catch Baby N as she fell but it happened in a moment and I was not able to stop her falling."
"After the fall Baby N was crying. It was not her normal cry. I thought she was crying because of the shock of the fall. It is difficult to be certain how long she cried but it was for between 5 and 10 minutes. She cried whilst I dressed her but stopped afterwards when I cuddled and fed her. Baby N was in a legless baby grow as I fed her so I could see her legs. I did not notice any bruises"
"During the night I do believe she woke up between 3a.m and 4a.m.I gave her some water and she went back to sleep until 7am"
"On Sunday morning she woke up as usual, had her breakfast and went back to sleep. Father came home from work and he had a play with her. During Sunday I changed her vest and her nappy. She seemed fine. I didn't put her into a baby grow with legs so I didn't therefore touch her legs. For part of the day Baby N was sitting up playing. She did look uncomfortable at some points but she was not crying. I did keep an eye on her because I was worried in case she had banged her head and I wanted to make sure she hadn't got any signs of head injury".
"On Monday she woke up. After her morning sleep she was sat playing with me. I rolled the ball and it hit her leg above the knee and she cried. I then went to touch the leg and she cried. I thought she must have a problem with it. This was the first time that I was aware she had any injury to her leg. I hugged Baby N and calmed her down. I then went to wake up my husband and told him that Baby N seemed to have a problem with her leg. We both decided we needed to take her to hospital".
The Medical Opinions
Dr Karl Johnson, Consultant Paediatric Radiologist, Birmingham Children's hospital
Dr Alun Elias-Jones, Consultant Paediatrician and safeguarding lead for Leicestershire and Rutland
Adam Oates, Consultant Paediatric Radiologist, Birmingham Children's Hospital
–fracture of the distal metadiaphysis region of the left femur
–associated mild angulation
–associated oedema within the adjacent soft tissues
–cortical disruption consistent with a transverse fracture
–modest impaction (suggesting the bones are compressed in the vertical plane due to axial loading)
Analysis and conclusion