The Most Common Manifestation of NAI
Children live rough-and-tumble lives. They fall over. They get knocked about. They suffer bumps, breaks and bruises. Accidents can happen and sometimes the consequences of these accidents can be severe. The current climate of fear generated by Social Services means that these breaks and bruises are sometimes misinterpreted as signs of abuse, and attributed to “Non-Accidental Injury.”
In our years of experience in addressing cases of Non-Accidental Injury, we have seen many where parents have been so accused; we have seen and addressed pretty much the full catalogue of injuries that can be classified as non-accidental in nature, including various instances of bruising to a child.
Where you find yourself accused of inflicting Non-Accidental Injuries of any kind upon you child, Brendan Fleming Solicitors can offer you immediate support, advice and assistance. Our experts have years of experience in the area of Non-Accidental Injury which can be brought to bear to help defend your case. To benefit from our expertise, contact us today. Call us on 0121 683 5000, or click through to our contact form using the button below.
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Why You Need Brendan Fleming Solicitors for Your Case
Brendan Fleming, [is] the most formidable of the few British solicitors prepared to fight for parents whose children have been seized by social workers for seemingly no good reason.
– Christopher Brooker, The Telegraph 2013.
Brendan Fleming speaking at the Stop Forced Adoption conference and covering many aspects of care proceedings.
We know that you love your child. We know that you would do anything to prevent them from coming to harm. When someone turns to us for help with their Non-Accidental Injury case, these are the stable data from which we operate. Unfortunately, Social Services have adopted a different, more accusative attitude. It is the local authority that accuses you of non-accidental injury NOT the police.
We have a reputation for standing up to the local authority. We fight tooth and nail for positive outcomes in EVERY case we take on.
Our 24 hour helpline is open for you and here you will find the most important information boiled down to just a few short pages to explain what happens in these types of cases.
We can successfully fight your Non-Accidental Injury Case. Contact us today to find out what we can do to help you. Call us on 0121 683 5002 (out of hours mobile or for texting: 07730 143 432) or click through to our contact form using the button below.
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A Dedicated Non-Accidental Injury Department
We are committed to redressing the injustice of parents being falsely accused of causing Non-Accidental Injury to their children. Our commitment is such that we have established a dedicated Non-Accidental Injury Department to address such cases. The department is manned with our leading specialists in the area, with years of cumulative experience in successfully overturning wrongful accusations of Non-Accidental Injury.
Where we can, we will work to have such accusations overturned at the level of investigation, before the case is even brought before the court.
Case History In Re W:
In this case we represented a young mother in respect of her son. The child had sustained bruising to his cheeks, forehead and pinnae of the ears.
These were observed by the Health Visitor during a visit and a referral was made to children’s services. The child was removed from the care of the mother and taken to the hospital to be examined. The mother was not present when the initial history was given to the hospital staff. The clinician who saw the child concluded that the injuries were suspicious in nature due to their location. The child was placed in foster care by agreement whilst investigations took place. The mother’s explanation for the injuries was that this child would bang his head in frustration. This explanation was not accepted by the Paediatrician appointed by the Court. As a result of which the Court could not decide between the mother and father who had caused the injuries and therefore made a Lancashire Finding.
A Parenting Assessment was carried out of the parents and concluded that the child could not be returned to the care of the parents as they did not accept that they had caused injuries to their son. The case was concluded with the child being placed with a family member under a Special Guardianship Order. That was not the end of the matter. The mother and father still faced criminal proceedings for the injuries. During those proceedings the Paediatrician from the family proceedings and other experts concluded that the bruises could have been sustained accidentally and said that the finding of Non Accidental Injury should be revisited.
An application was made to the Court for the Finding of Fact Hearing to be re-opened. A further Paediatrician was instructed who concluded that the injuries could have been sustained accidentally by the explanation of head banging and due to the child’s behaviour as described by the mother and other carers.
The findings of Non Accidental Injury were set aside.
Case History In Re T:
In this case we represented a mother in respect of her very young baby. He had sustained bruising to his genitalia.
The mother had taken the baby to the doctors because she was concerned about the markings and the presentation of his genitalia. The parents were not able to explain where the bruising had come from. The baby was placed in the care of a family member whilst investigations were ongoing. Apart from the bruising, this was a baby where there were no other concerns. A Paediatric Report was obtained confirming that the bruising was caused by rough handling. The father accepted at Court after receipt of the report that he thought that he could have caused the injuries during a nappy change. This was accepted by the Court and the baby was returned to the mother’s care shortly following the hearing.
The case was concluded with the baby remaining in the care of the mother under a 12 month Supervision Order so that she could be assisted with the father’s contact with the child and whilst further risk assessments of him were carried out.
Case History In Re F:
In this case we represented a father in respect of his very young baby. Both Mother and father were accused of causing bruising to the baby.
It was later confirmed by the hospital that the alleged bruises were not in fact bruising they were Mongolian Blue Spots. Baby returned to the care of the parents under a 6 month Supervision Order
Case History In Re W:
We acted for mother in a case involving areas of petechial bruising to the stomach and legs. The child was immediately presented to hospital given his young age, where more appeared while the child was waiting to be seen. He was examined and it was observed that in the ensuing 24 hour period almost all of the bruises disappeared completely, and the very faint remainder resolved shortly thereafter. Despite this, it was concluded that the marks had been bruises by the treating paediatrician and possible NAI was reported to Children’s Services.
The matter issued and a jointly instructed paediatric expert concluded that the marks were bruises, likely caused by very brief excessive gripping over clothing causing the petechial bruising that rapidly resolved. She acknowledged, as most experts will these days, that it is near impossible to date bruises because it is such an inexact science. That being said, the timeframe of the bruises appearing and disappearing was consistent with what our client had stated in terms of her actions in reporting the bruises on discovery and taking the child straight to hospital.
The mother accepted the expert’s opinion on the basis that she was an expert and therefore she must be right. She had ruled out all of the possible explanations provided by the parents and mother was also willing to accept this. The mother contended that she had not knowingly caused the bruises to the child and could not point to any specific event, but accepted that as this was her first child she could have caused the bruises by accident through inexperienced handling. The father was willing to accept the same.
The Local Authority stuck rigidly to the view of the expert that the person causing the bruises would have known they were causing them at the time, and therefore the parents concessions were not enough to satisfy them that a fact finding was not required.
Our client the mother had been the model parent throughout. She had shown genuine heartbreak and concern for her baby throughout and devoted herself like no other to work alongside the Local Authority professionals. She was committed to contact and demonstrated exemplary parenting. Due to this the Local Authority confirmed at the fact finding that they would not pursue any findings against our client and were only seeking findings against the father.
The court was invited to formally exculpate our client of any wrongdoing, which it did when the Judgement was given and all of the findings were made against the father. The child returned to the sole care of our client that same day. This case concludes at the end of June with the child to remain in the sole care of our client.
To see how we can similarly help you with your case, contact us today. Call us on 0121 683 5000, or click through to our contact form using the button below.Contact Us Now
Bruising in an infant always raises concern, as such a child is considered unable to inflict the injuries upon themselves; not being mobile and not having the required physical force. Caution calls into question whether the bruises must have been inflicted upon them. With older children the issue becomes whether the bruises are from ‘normal’ childhood injuries occurring through normal activities and normal play. However, even mobile children who present excessive or unexplained bruising are cause for concern.
Bruising can occur on all parts of the body; it is not specific. Bruises from impact trauma are common on leading surfaces overlying bone edges such as the shins, forearms, brow and chin. Bruising to other areas are more alerting. For example: genital bruising, bruising to the pinnae of the ears, the fleshy parts of the cheek, the back, abdomen, etc. are viewed as suspicious for Non-Accidental Injury.
Bruises can come in all shapes, sizes and colours. Non-Accidental Injury cases often involve bruises that have formed the typical hand/grab mark pattern with the linear distinction of the fingers and ‘classic’ palm-print area; these are usually petechial in nature, indicating rapidly applied pressure as opposed to trauma caused by impact with an unyielding/semi-yielding object i.e. being hit with something. Bruising which is bilateral, regular or symmetrical raises concerns. Often a bruise is clear enough to identify an instrument used to inflict trauma.
Methods to date the age of a bruise are inexact, but finding multiple bruises of various colours on the same area will suggest they are not from a single, isolated incident.
The Solution To Your Non-Accidental Injury Case
If you have been accused of abusing or injuring your child, you must contact our specialist team today.
Whether you are merely under investigation for suspected abuse or injury, or whether this has moved forward into legal proceedings, we can provide the expert legal representation you need.
If you feel confused or upset with your current solicitor’s handling of your case and are looking to engage a specialist Non-Accidental Injury firm, fill out the form below or give us a call.
We will help you fight your case. Where we can, we will prevent your child being taken from you. Contact us today. Call us on 0121 683 5000, or complete the contact form below: