Couple’s daughter suffered knife would during ‘heated’ row – judge told

A couple’s daughter suffered a “very serious” knife wound while they were involved in a “heated” row in their kitchen-diner, a High Court judge heard.

Mrs Justice Lieven heard how a 9cm knife had entered the little girl’s lower back and perforated her bowel.

She said the youngster, now four, had been injured during the summer of 2022.

Council social services bosses had asked the judge to make findings about how the girl was hurt – to help staff make decisions about future care.

The judge considered evidence at a recent private hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London and has outlined detail of the case in a written ruling published online.

She said “only the parents” were “in the room at the critical time” and said it was impossible that the girl “could somehow have done it accidentally to herself”.

But she said it was “not possible to determine” whether the girl’s mother or father had “propelled the knife”.

She said she had concluded that both parents had lied when giving evidence to her.

Mrs Justice Lieven said the child could not be identified in media reports.

But she said social services bosses at Derbyshire County Council had welfare responsibilities for girl and had asked her to make findings of fact.

She said police were also investigating.

“(The girl) incurred a very serious injury, whereby a 9cm knife entered her lower back and went through her abdomen and perforated her bowel,” said Mrs Justice Lieven.

“The parents allowed a situation to develop where they were having such a heated row that somehow a very sharp knife found its way into (their daughter’s) abdomen and they refuse to tell the truth about what happened.”

The judge added: “I have concluded that it is not possible to determine which of the parents propelled the knife.”

She went on: “I therefore find that they are both in the pool of perpetrators and have both actively failed to protect (their daughter).”

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