Two-year-old who needed major surgery after stepfather attack to live with father
A two-year-old boy who needed major surgery after being kicked and punched by a man his mother lived with should move to his father’s home, a High Court judge says.
Mr Justice Williams heard how the boy had been admitted to hospital suffering from a liver laceration, numerous bruises and healing fractures to his ribs and shoulder.
Doctors said without treatment, the boy would have died.
The judge has decided that the boy was kicked and punched by his stepfather.
He also concluded that the boy’s mother failed to protect him.
The judge had analysed the case at a private family court hearing in Birmingham in May and has outlined detail in a ruling published online.
Council social services bosses with responsibility for the boy had asked the judge to make findings, on the balance of probabilities, about the cause of injuries so they could take decisions about his future.
Mr Justice Williams, who is based in the Family Division of the High Court in London (pictured), has approved their plan for the boy to leave the care of his mother and stepfather and live with his father.
The judge said the family involved could not be identified in media reports of the case.
He has given no detail of where family members live and has not named the council involved.
The judge said police had investigated and said the boy’s stepfather and mother had been arrested and questioned.
But he gave no indication of whether anyone had been prosecuted.
Mr Justice Williams said the boy had been admitted to hospital in late 2018, a few months past his second birthday.
He had been taken into interim council care, pending long-term decisions, a few days later.
The judge analysed evidence from doctors and the boy’s mother and stepfather before reaching conclusions.
He said evidence showed that the boy, who is now approaching his third birthday, had twice been attacked by his stepfather in late 2018.
The boy’s mother had “good reason” to believe that her partner was being abusive, said the judge.
She had also failed to get “timely medical treatment” for her son, he added.
The boy’s father had criticised a GP who examined injuries the youngster had suffered during the summer of 2018.
He wanted to know why “further steps” had not been taken to establish the cause of those injuries.
Mr Justice Williams said the evidence did not allow him to conclude that those injuries were the result of an assault and he did not criticise the GP.
A specialist had told the judge that those injuries could have been accidental.
Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2019, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Kate Collins / PA Wire.