Non-Accidental Injury Cases in Children
What would you do if you had been told your child has had a non-accidental injury? What if you had no explanation for this injury and was then told your child needs to be removed from your care whilst this is investigated!
Camella Cephas, Associate Solicitor in WSP Solicitors Family Law Department examines non-accidental injury and provides details of a recent successful case where the firm obtained the best outcome for the children and parents.
What is a Non-Accidental Injury?
A non-accidental injury (NAI) is defined as an injury that is purposefully inflicted upon a child.
What are some common types of Non-Accidental Injuries?
- Head injuries
- Skin injuries such as bruising, burns and bites
- Bone injuries such as fractures
- Brain injuries
- Fabricated or induced illnesses
What should you do if you suspect Non-Accidental Injury in a child?
If you have any concerns, you should immediately seek medical assistance. If your child is diagnosed with an NAI and social services become involved, please get in touch with us at WSP who can advise and assist you through this difficult and emotive process.
Case Study: Non-Accidental Injury Case for WSP Solicitors
Camella recently worked on a successful case involving accusations of non-accidental injury. The case was very complex for a variety of reasons.
A family brought their 3-month old child to hospital due to the baby not feeding properly. Whilst in hospital some injuries were discovered on the baby including some bruising to their arm and a fracture in their leg. The parents were unable to provide any explanation for these injuries which satisfied the paediatrician also English was not the families first language.
Due to the injuries suspected to have been caused by the parents, the baby and their 2-year-old sibling was removed from their parent’s care and placed in to foster care. The parents maintained their innocence in the matter throughout. WSP Solicitors were instructed to work on behalf of the Mother to seek the return of her children.
A variety of experts were instructed to help with the case including a Paediatrician and Radiologist. Despite both taking the view that the injuries could not be caused by birth, Camella perused an application for an Obstetrician who specialises in pregnancy and birth as the Mother had given birth alone in the car. With the help of an experienced barrister the Judge allowed the application. The Obstetrician report confirmed that it was possible that some of the injuries could have been caused by birth. There were further concerns as to the handling of the baby during the time at hospital when a heel prick was undertaken and as such the NHS had to provide statements to the Court.
At the final hearing it was put before the Court on behalf of the parents that the injuries were as a result of birth and a cultural winding technique which was used by Father. Therefore, not an inflicted injury but as a result of a sheer accident. The Court determined this was not a non-accidental injury and the threshold had not been caused. The children were rightfully returned home to their parents.
Throughout the process all documents were translated into another language for the clients and all meetings were held with the use of interpreters; adding another layer of complexity to what was already a complex case.
The Mother was overjoyed with the work Camella and WSP Solicitors put in and was very pleased with her successful outcome in having their children return home.
“I could not take my children back if I did not have Camella and her team. They are amazing, very professional, but friendly. They have great communication and I was always kept fully aware of everything. I would definitely use again if I have any problem in the future (hopefully not), and recommend them to everyone. Thanks Camella and WSP solicitors again, you saved my life.”
For more information on WSP Solicitors Children and Family Law services please visit our dedicated web pages here. Alternatively, you can contact the team here or by calling us on 01452 411601.