02 May Re H
We represented the father in this case concerning his young twin babies. One twin presented with bruising to his legs (the other was noted to be without any marks or bruises) and as the parents were not able to offer an explanation to satisfy the treating clinicians, Children’s Services were informed and proceedings were issued. The children were briefly moved to a foster placement but after the initial hearing, it was agreed that the children could be returned home to the parents, provided either sets of grandparents lived in with the parents in order to supervise them with the children. The parents offered various explanations for how they may have caused the bruises but neither could say for definite who are what caused them. The twin who presented with the bruises had significant physical health problems due to both babies being born very premature and he required ongoing physiotherapy. He had a propensity to go very stiff during handling as a result of his medical condition and it was thought, among other possible explanations, that one or other of the parents may have caused the bruises without realising that they may have been using too much pressure to handle him during these episodes. The parents advanced four possible explanations and it was accepted by the Local Authority that one or other of the explanations was the likely cause and that the parents could not honestly say which one of them caused them, but they accepted that one of them must have done unintentionally. As a result, the Local Authority did not pursue any findings against the parents in light of their concessions and the fact finding hearing was vacated. The supervision at home was reduced and the matter concluded with a 6 month SO to the Local Authority with complete withdrawal of the supervision of the family members.