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Child cruelty sentences for baby’s parents

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A father assaulted his baby son while the boy’s mother failed to keep him safe in a “shocking and upsetting” case of child cruelty.

The mother in her 30s and the father in his late 20s lived in Peterborough at the time though cannot be named for legal reasons.

The boy, who was just four months old, was admitted to hospital with a fractured left femur in the early hours of 2 January 2019.

Both parents gave an explanation to hospital staff that the youngster had been having his nappy changed by his father at around midnight when he heard a “pop”.

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The boy’s mother allegedly then went to check on him and noticed the boy’s leg was “floppy” and he was not moving it.

The parents took their child to hospital, but doctors did not believe their story. Further scans carried out the following day, on 3 January, revealed at least two older fractures to the young boy’s leg and arm, and a possible fracture to his ankle.

Medical experts believed the boy’s injuries were non-accidental and his parents, who were his only carers and who had no other children at the time, were not telling the truth.

Both parents were arrested and in interview both denied causing the injuries or knowing who had caused them.

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However, on 4 July at Cambridge Crown Court, the day the pair’s trial was due to begin, the father pleaded guilty to causing or allowing a child to suffer serious physical harm, while the mother admitted child cruelty.

They were sentenced at the same court on September 2, where the father was handed one year and 10 months in prison.

The mother was sentenced to 15 months in prison, suspended for two years. She was also ordered to complete a rehabilitation activity requirement and a 12-month mental health treatment programme. 

DC Kev Foxcroft, who investigated, said: “This was a shocking and upsetting case in which a boy of just four months old suffered significant injuries. His parents were the people he relied upon to keep him safe, and they failed to do this.

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“Thankfully, he is now thriving in a safe and happy environment, but there was real potential for the outcome to have been far worse, if the appropriate agencies had not become involved when they did.  

“I’d like to praise the actions of the health professionals who noticed when something didn’t seem quite right, and urge anyone who is concerned for the welfare of a child to report it. We all have a responsibility to protect children in our communities.”

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