Two-year-old girl who suffered ‘appalling injuries’ probably killed by adoptive father, judge rules

A two-year-old girl who died weeks into lockdown after suffering a serious brain injury was probably killed by her adoptive father, a High Court judge has ruled.

Mr Justice Williams heard that the little girl had died in late May 2020, days after being admitted to hospital with “appalling injuries”.

The judge has concluded that her adoptive father had broken the little girl’s arm and shoulder blade, shortly after lockdown began in March 2020.

He said evidence showed that the man had later twice fractured the little girl’s skull.

The judge said the second skull fracture had caused a serious brain injury which killed the little girl.

He said the man had also behaved violently to the girl’s adoptive mother and was a “potentially very dangerous individual”.

Mr Justice Williams has outlined detail of the case in a written ruling published following a private family court hearing in Canterbury, Kent.

Social services bosses at Kent County Council (pictured), who have welfare responsibilities for other children in the family, had asked him to make findings of fact on the balance of probabilities.

Mr Justice Williams, who is based in the Family Division of the High Court in London, has not named the family involved.

He said the man and woman had lived in Afghanistan and informally adopted the girl before moving to the UK.

The judge referred to the little girl as “Z” in his ruling and said she had had been taken to a hospital in Dartford, Kent.

He said police had investigated but did not say whether anyone had been charged with any offence.

“The father inflicted injuries on Z by breaking her arm, her scapula and causing a subdural bleed shortly after lockdown commenced in March 2020,” said Mr Justice Williams.

“He later fractured her skull.

“A few days later he lashed out at her causing her head to impact on a solid surface which led to a further skull fracture and a serious brain injury which killed her.

“In addition to these appalling injuries causing the death of his adoptive child, he behaved violently to the mother on several occasions.”

The judge added: “The father is a potentially very dangerous individual to children and to the mother.”

He said the girl’s adoptive mother had “conspired” to protect the man from the “consequences of his actions”.

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