Our dedicated Non-Accidental Injury Department is comprised of specialists with years of experience in overturning accusations of Non-Accidental Injury:

Zoë Brettle

Zoë joined the firm in April 2012. Zoë completed her degree at Wolverhampton University, achieving a First Class Honours degree in 2009. Zoë then went on to complete a full time Legal Practice Course which further confirmed her interest in Family Law. Zoë commenced her employment as a Trainee Solicitor and qualified as a solicitor in  2013. Zoë currently has her own case load of Public and Private Law matters.

In her spare time, Zoë likes to keep active and enjoys walking her dog, going to Zumba and taking part in charity events.   She also loves to travel and socialise with friends and family.

Sioned Hetherington

Sioned graduated from the University of Wales, Swansea with a 2.1 BA Honours in History in 2009. Having completed her degree she took a gap year for a well-earned break, before joining Brendan Fleming Solicitors as a paralegal in March 2010.

She enrolled at the Birmingham College of Law in September 2010, passed the Graduate Diploma in Law in July 2011 and subsequently passed the Legal Practice Course in October 2013. She now holds a further LLB post-graduate degree in Law, and fully qualified as a solicitor in May 2015.

Sioned works within the public care department with the majority of her work load involving representing parents in cases of alleged non-accidental injury against children. She has a particular interest in cases involving brain trauma and head injuries.

Rebecca Ward

Rebecca first joined Brendan Fleming as a paralegal in 2008 and since that time, driven by her indomitable enthusiasm and commitment to her work, has gone from strength to strength, having now fully qualified, and been formally admitted to the Roll as a solicitor.

She is a true solicitor in the Brendan Fleming style: a star of the firm with a terrific and effervescent personality. Working in the area of complex cases, Rebecca specializes in the area of non-accidental injury, where she works very hard for her clients.

She is highly thought of by both colleagues and clients alike. As one client put it: “She was so compassionate to us as a family and dealt with us on a very caring basis. She went far and above what a normal solicitor would have done…. She was wonderful with our children.”

Here are just some of the results they have achieved over the years:

Re A: In this case we represented a father.  Parents had been accused of causing acute subdural haemorrhages and bilateral retinal haemorrhages in their very young baby by way of trauma of shaking.  The case was heard in the High Court.  A number of medical experts were instructed to assist the Court into the causation of these injuries including a Paediatric Haematologist, Paediatric Neuro-Surgeon, Paediatric Neuro-Radiologist, Neonatologist, Paediatrician and a Paediatric Ophthalmologist.  The child and his sibling were placed in foster care whilst the investigations were undertaken.  The medical experts could not find a medical explanation for the injuries sustained by the child.  During the course of the Finding of Fact Hearing father conceded that he had been reckless with the child throwing him in the air whilst playing with him, got distracted by another child and did not catch the child resulting in the child falling some height onto the bed.  The Court found that the cause of the injuries were accidental.  Both siblings were swiftly returned to the care of the mother.  Awaiting publication.

Re M: In this case we represented a mother.  Her very young baby, who had suffered with a number of conditions since birth, was presented to hospital and examinations revealed subdural haemorrhages, bilateral retinal haemorrhages, fractures and bruising.  The case was heard in the High Court. A number of experts were instructed to assist the Court as to the causation of these injuries including a Paediatric Radiologist, Paediatric Neuro-Surgeon, Neonatologist, Paediatric Ophthalmologist, Paediatrician and Paediatric Haematologist.  No medical cause was identified for the cause of the injuries to the child.  Father accepted that he was responsible for causing the fractures to the legs.  The Court found that the father was also responsible for causing the other injuries to the child.  Mother was found to have failed to protect.

Re S: In this case we represented a father.  His very young baby had sustained subdural haemorrhages and retinal haemorrhages.  The history provide was that the baby’s sibling had accidentally dropped the baby.  The baby was immediately presented to hospital as she appeared floppy and pale.  She was observed and discharged.  Parents were not satisfied that their baby was well and presented the baby back to the hospital.   Further examination revealed that she had sustained a subdural haemorrhage.  This explanation was not accepted by the hospital who examined the baby and they were accused of shaking their baby.   The baby was discharged from hospital into the care of the Maternal Grandparents supervising the parents at their property to enable the baby to remain with the family.  This case was considered by the High Court.  A number of medical experts were instructed including Paediatric Haematologist, Paediatrician, Paediatric Ophthalmologist, Paediatric Neuro-Surgeon, Paediatric Neuro-Radiologist and a Geneticist as mother and another sibling had a genetic condition which was also inherited by the baby.  After receiving some of the reports from the medical experts the Judge dealing with the matter discharged the application of the Local Authority as it was accepted that the cause of the injuries was the incident initially provided.  No Findings Made.

Re Q: In this case we represented a father.  His very young baby had sustained a subdural haemorrhage.  The case was considered by the High Court.  The parents could not provide an explanation for this injury and were accused of shaking their baby.  The baby was placed in the care of the Maternal Grandmother.  A number of medical experts were instructed including a Neuro Surgeon and Neonatologist. It was advised that a Neuro-Radiologist should also be brought in to assist.  It was identified that the child suffered with a rare vascular disorder which was responsible for the injuries sustained.  The Local Authority withdrew their application for a Care Order and the baby returned home to the care of her parents.

Re B: In this case we represented a father.  Parents were accused of shaking their baby after he was presented to hospital with subdural haemorrhages and bilateral retinal haemorrhages.  Initially, the baby was placed in foster care but following a successful family assessment he was placed with the Maternal Grandparents.  The case was considered by the High Court.  A number of medical experts were instructed to assist the Court including a Paediatrician, Paediatric Neuro-Surgeon, Paediatric Neuro-Radiologist, Paediatric Ophthalmologist, Haematologist and a Forensic Pharmacologist.  After considering the evidence at the Finding of Fact Hearing the Court found the injuries had been sustained by accident by the mother in a state of panic when she believed that her child was not breathing and therefore feared that he was dying.  The Local Authority’s application for a Care Order was dismissed.  No Findings were made.  The child returned home to his parents.  Awaiting Publication.

Re M: In this case we represented a father.  Mother and father were accused of shaking their young baby.  The baby had also sustained fractures and bruising which the parents were accused of being responsible for.  The case was considered in the High Court.  A number of medical experts were instructed including a Paediatrician, Paediatric Ophthalmologist, Paediatric Neuro-Surgeon, Paediatric Neuro-Radiologist and a Paediatric Radiologist.  The medical experts were unanimous in their view that the injuries were Non Accidental in nature.  Mother was found to have caused all of the injuries.  If was accepted that father was present during the time-frame in which the injuries could have been caused.  Father was exonerated.

Re T:  In this case we represented a mother.  There were 4 children.  One child had sustained burns to the hands and another child had sustained fractures.  A Paediatric Radiologist and Paediatrician were instructed to report on the case.  A Fact Finding Hearing was held in which another family member was intervened as being a potential perpetrator for the causation of the fracture.  The Court concluded that the father was responsible for the burns and that he had been reckless in regards to causation and the seeking of medical treatment.  The Court could not determine between the father and the family member as to who caused the fracture to the other child.  Mother was exonerated.  The children had remained in the care of the mother since the commencement of the proceedings.  Father moved out of the property and following a risk assessment after the Finding of Fact Hearing he was allowed to return to the family home over a period of time.  A Supervision Order was made for 12 months.

Re F:  In this case we represented a father in respect of his very young baby.  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.

The testimonials from their clients speak far more for their abilities than anything we could say about them:

“My wife and I have been through the most challenging chapter in our married family life.

“We were very desperate to get legal help, had searched everywhere, and asked anyone we knew. Brendan Fleming Solicitors was the name that everyone was talking about. We decided right there and then that we wanted Brendan’s help.

“I met Zoë, who is a very warm and professional solicitor. She made us realize that there is still hope and we have rights to fight for. She was very approachable and she is always readily available every time we need help.

“Our children are back home in their own country, thanks to Brendan Fleming Solicitors.”

our clients, Mr & Mrs M

“Every member of staff that I have met at Brendan Fleming Solicitors has been professional and has been able to explain the legal processes and procedures in a way that I was able to understand what was happening.

“I would especially like to thank Zoë Brettle who has always found the time to talk and to reply to any of my concerns. Zoë has excellent communication skills; not only with myself, but also in forwarding information and knowledge of my case to colleagues representing me in court, so that all knew my case and my wishes regarding the future of my grandson.

“Zoë has always been positive, enthusiastic and professional, whilst remaining realistic about the outcome.

“I cannot thank the team enough for their support and understanding when I found myself in circumstances I never dreamt my family would be involved in. I only wish my daughter had chosen Brendan Fleming Solicitors to represent her, and maybe her future would have been more positive.

“Thank you again.”

our client, Mrs McG.

“I would like to thank Zoë for representing me, reassuring me and upholding my rights to the best of her capability. Having had a discussion with Zoë, I finally felt empowered and positive about getting my family back together.

“On behalf of my family, I would like to thank you for your excellent service from the start.”

our client, Mr M.

“Keep on doing what you are doing. The service has been first class.”

our client, Mr W.

“Turning to Brendan Fleming Solicitors was the best thing I have ever done. They were supportive from the very beginning; they even listened to my moaning and were always understanding!

“I met Zoë Brettle and from the outset she helped me and my family get through a horrible ordeal. She was always at the end of the phone and always professional. I also made a friend. My partner and I can’t thank her enough.

“We would recommend Brendan Fleming Solicitors to anyone. You won’t find solicitors like this anywhere else. I couldn’t begin to put into words how brilliant these people are.

“Thank You, Zoë .”

our client, Miss E.

“Thank you in behalf of my family. We can’t thank you well enough for all the help you have provided. Without you, we might have not achieved this positive outcome.”

our client, Mr M.

“Zoë was very helpful, friendly, and informative. I was made to feel that she has confidence in what she is dealing with.”

our client, Ms D.

“I just wanted to thank Zoë for everything she has done. She has been so kind, helpful and supportive.

“This has been such a difficult year for us as a family. Losing my dad was devastating; closely followed by the threat of the girls going into care, it has been overwhelming. The impact it’s had on them, me, my mum and my brother is hard to describe.

“I am so lucky to have had Zoë to fight my corner and make sure I could keep contact with the girls. She has been at the end of the phone, kept me up to date, and her reassurance was needed more than she’ll ever know.

“My family and I would like to thank Zoë so very much for doing such a terrific job in making sure that the girls are still in our lives.

“So from the whole family, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you Zoe. You have been a star.”

our Client, Mr B

“If I had not changed solicitors I would not have my children with me now.  I am so happy with the service; it’s been fantastic.

“Sioned is an amazing person, she really fought with everything she had for me. I can’t thank her enough.

“I have been recommending the firm to anyone I think needs help as I am so happy with the service.

“I can’t find the words to say how happy I am.”

our client, Samantha

“The service and support from Brendan Flemings was great.

“Sioned was great. She was really nice and understanding. They definitely put 110% into it and fought really hard. I would recommend Brendan Fleming Solicitors to others and have already done so.”

Our client, Miss U.

“Brendan Fleming Solicitors was recommended to me by a friend and police officer after my children were taken into care. I found it really easy when I contacted you.

“I was very happy with the support and advice Sioned gave me: the criminal charges were dropped, care proceedings were never issued and the children were returned home with no further social services or police involvement. You are doing a very good job from my point of view. Keep it up, please. And thank you!”

Our client, Mr F.

“I was recently instructed by Sioned on the matter of a client in Hull.

“I just wanted to say how impressed I was with Sioned. She acted on my requests for further information extremely promptly and dealt with difficult areas of advice with the client in a manner which demonstrated not only a thorough knowledge of the case and the issues involved, but also insight and sensitivity.

“Sioned had clearly worked hard on this matter and had built a very good relationship with the client.

“It was a pleasure to work with her, and I look forward to working with her again in the future.”

Our legal colleague, Ms B.

“My case is being taken care of by Sioned, who is lovely. I didn’t understand what certain things meant with regard to my case but Sioned explained them all and made things much clearer for me, which is brilliant. All the advice I have been given has been very good.”

Our client, Ms T.

“After being plunged into what can only be described as the most traumatic situation an innocent mother can experience, I made a call to Brendan Fleming solicitors. It turned out to be the best call I ever made.

“I was overwhelmed by the kind and friendly attitude of Sue Hayes who handled my call at a most unsociable hour and who gave me very practical advice at a time when I was highly emotional and not thinking straight. She gave me the strength to fight against a very confusing system and to get my daughter home where she belonged.

“My case was passed to Rebecca Ward as a case worker, who from the first interaction gave me confidence that she was very much on-side and that we would get through it together.

“Throughout the process Rebecca has been on hand day and night, incredibly supportive and proactive; which in my opinion has made all the difference to my case.  At a time when my integrity was being questioned, Rebecca believed in me and continually gave me the strength and encouragement to fight to be proactive in proving my innocence. As well as gaining legal advice, I felt I gained a friend. She remained professional at all times and saw it through to the end when we received the news that Social Services admitted they were wrong and dropped the case.

“My family is now reunited and happy. And it is with humble gratitude that I say thank you to all at Brendan Fleming, in particular Sue and Rebecca, for their continued support and for helping us to fight for what is right.”

Our client, Joanne

“Thank God we have solicitors who will work for us! I felt really happy with the appointment and felt really reassured by Rebecca and Brendan. I couldn’t sleep the night before, but felt much more at ease after the appointment. Both were really helpful and, by the service so far, I would thoroughly recommend Brendan Fleming Solicitors to others”

Our clients, Mrs LW and Miss KB

“I was extremely happy with the service I have been given. I was recommended to you by another client, after initially receiving poor representation in my case by another solicitor. I found Rebecca, in particular, to be easy to talk to and confide in; and I am more than grateful for the hard work she and the team put in for me. Thank you!”

Our client, Kelly, Northfield

“We just wanted to say a massive thank you for everything you have done for us and for Jacob. You have been so supportive and we cannot thank you enough. We knew that you would always answer any questions we had and would help us in any way possible.”

Our clients, Peter and Claire

“Rebecca was fantastic. When I went into the office, everyone was friendly and polite and it is a comfortable and welcoming place to be.”

Our client, Shelley

”Rebecca Ward: what a lovely lady! She was so compassionate to us as a family and dealt with us on a very caring basis. She went far and above what a normal solicitor would have done… she was wonderful to with our children.”

Our client, Tracy

“The office is really nice and in a great location. Rebecca and Rachel are great: really good and helpful and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to

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