CARE PROCEEDINGS: Re A (Child Abuse)

19 SEP 2007

(Court of Appeal; Thorpe, Longmore and Maurice Kay LJJ; 19 September 2007)

The judge's findings that the mother had caused certain injuries to the child, inflicted during the child's stay in hospital, but that neither parent could be exonerated with regard to earlier injuries to the child, were not illogical. The judge had not intended to state that the mother and father were equally responsible for the injuries to the child. It was manifest that of the two the mother was most likely to have inflicted the earlier injuries. At the end of the fact-finding hearing the father should have applied for amplification of certain parts of the judgment and the local authority should have enquired whether the judge had been saying that both parents had been equally liable. It could confidently be said that if the judge had been asked to amplify certain parts of the judgment, regarding exoneration, she would have said that the mother was the more likely perpetrator of the earlier injuries.

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