Wrongly Accused of Child Abuse?

It is a nightmare that in the modern, almost paranoid, society every parent has come to dread: over concern for your child’s health, you take them to the hospital and, seemingly out of nowhere, find yourself accused of inflicting a “non-accidental injury” and threatened with having your child taken away from you and placed into care.

“Non-accidental injury” is a medical term used to denote an injury to a baby or child that cannot be explained by an accident that usually happens to a child of that age and where the responsible adults do not have a viable explanation of how the injury occurred.

It usually unfolds in this way: as a precautionary measure, whenever an infant’s parents are concerned enough about their child’s health to take them to hospital, full-body X-rays are taken. These X-rays can uncover fractures of which there have been no external indicators and thus have gone previously undetected. The concerned parents can then find themselves under questioning by the police as to how the fracture occurred with the warning, “If you are unable to give an explanation for how this happened you are likely to lose your child.” As the injury may have gone undetected previously, it is often hard for the parent to identify how this injury may have occurred, and any falls or incidents in the previous weeks that may be put forward as an explanation are recorded by police. If the doctor believes that the proferred explanations are inconsistent with the injury, Social Services will commence care proceedings.

If you have a non-accidental injury case or proceedings we can help!

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It is even at this early stage that the Local Authority may separate the child from the parent if there are no friends or family able to accommodate the child; and court proceedings will commence.

The proceedings usually roll out in this fashion: various “experts” will be instructed to give their opinion on whether the parent’s explanations are consistent with the injuries and whether the injuries are non accidental. A “fact finding” hearing will be held “in chambers” by a Family Court Judge, wherein he will listen to what the parents and the experts have to say; and, typically but unfortunately, will prefer the expert opinion over the testimony of the parents. The Judge’s decision that the injury is “probably” non accidental will lead to the making of permanent arrangements for the child’s future, often involving the child being adopted.

The tragedy and injustice of the situation is that the expert opinion is just that: opinion. An opinion is not a fact and as such is not always right. The experts may not be provided with full medical records on which to base their opinion; or they may misinterpret X-rays, CT scans and blood results. Additionally, an expert may, from the outset, be looking at the case with a somewhat jaundiced eye: if he approaches the case from the viewpoint that abuse has occurred, rather than from a wholly objective viewpoint with no presuppositions, he may be looking to find evidence that supports this viewpoint, rather than taking into account other medical conditions which may explain the symptoms.

As a case in point, the parents of a four-month old infant, Jayden Wray, stood accused of shaking him to death. They were recently cleared by an Old Bailey jury when it came to light that the child had been suffering from rickets, a vitamin D deficiency causing the skulls of children to weaken and their bones to easily break — symptoms which closely mimic those of a deliberately shaken baby.

Brendan Fleming Solicitors have seen too many cases where critical medical evidence has been ignored in a fact finding hearing and are therefore commencing an action in the European Court of Human Rights.

We will need to see:

Transcripts of Judgements, Expert Opinions, Medical Evidence and X-rays. The more information you have, the better; and therefore a first step would be to obtain your files from your previous representatives.

Please contact us with the subject “false fact find” with as much information as you are able to provide, including the details of your previous representatives and the name of the hospital which carried out the skeletal survey.

If you have a non-accidental injury case or proceedings we can help!

Unexplained Fractures in Babies – Wrongly Accused of Child Abuse

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Since the death of Baby P, professionals appear to be on red alert to child abuse.  Skeletal surveys (full body X-rays) are taken of infants as a precaution, whenever parents are concerned about their health enough to take their child to the hospital.

Possibly thousands of children and babies are living a normal everyday life with undetected non displaced fractures.  Often there are no external signs the child has a fracture and it is only when they have an X-ray that the fracture is discovered.  The concerned parents are then questioned by police as to how the fracture occurred with the warning “If you are unable to give an explanation for how this happened you are likely to lose your child”.  Parents then consider everything that the child has experienced in the previous weeks and offer various falls and incidents as possible explanations which are recorded by police.  If the initial view of the Doctor is that the explanation is not consistent with the injury, Social Services will commence care proceedings.

The Local Authority will often separate the child from their parent at that stage, if there are no available friends and family able to accommodate the child and court proceedings will commence.  Various “experts” will be instructed to give their opinion on whether the parent’s explanations are consistent with the injuries and whether the injuries are non accidental.

The Family Court Judge, will hold a “fact finding” hearing “in chambers” which will mean listening to the parents and the experts and typically preferring the expert opinions.  The Judge will decide that the injury is “probably” non accidental and then proceeding to making permanent arrangements for the child’s future, which often involves the child being adopted.

The tragedy of this situation is that experts are not always right.  Often experts are not provided with full medical records, or they misinterpret X-rays, CT Scans and blood results.  Expert Opinions can often be based on a particular train of thought which does not take into account various possible medical conditions.  In the recent case of Jayden Wray, deceased, the radiologist failed to diagnose that the child was suffering from Rickets.

Brendan Fleming Solicitors have seen too many cases where critical medical evidence has been ignored in a fact finding hearing and are therefore commencing an action in the European Court of Human Rights.

We will need to see:

Transcripts of Judgements, Expert Opinions, Medical Evidence and X-rays.  The more information you have the better and therefore a first step would be to obtain your files from your previous representatives.

Please contact us with the subject “false fact find” with as much information as you are able to provide, including the details of your previous representatives and the name of the hospital which carried out the skeletal survey.

Brendan Fleming Victory Sees Mother Reunited with Children

Recent work on a case by Brendan Fleming has seen a mother wrongfully accused of causing non-accidental injury to her children cleared of all charges and her children returned to her.

The client’s children were taken from her thirteen months ago and she had been formerly represented by another solicitor, who she described as “having failed her;” but as soon as the case was taken over by Brendan, she was delighted to see that immediate progress was made in the case.

With Brendan’s tireless purpose to get to the bottom of the case and prove the mother innocent of the crimes she had been accused of, evidence that had been overlooked new releases official web site lmfaofans.us was dragged into the light of day for inspection, where the truth could no longer be avoided. The result? Total acquittal: the client was cleared completely of all charges and her children are coming home.

The client described the service she received from Brendan as “fantastic: the best I’ve ever seen.” She added, “I owe them everything. I cannot fault them at all. I am so very grateful: without them, my kids wouldn’t be coming home.”

Brendan Fleming Solicitors have specialised in Family Law for a number of years. They have handled many Child Care cases and have amassed a formidable reputation as the families’ champion, firmly believing that the best place for a child to be raised is in their own home with their own parents.

If you find yourself wrongly accused of physically abusing your child, contact us now and let us know how we can help you.

 

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