Northampton parents locked up after allowing their baby boy to suffer multiple bone fractures

Northampton Crown Court NNL-140423-093950001
Northampton Crown Court NNL-140423-093950001

Two parents from Northampton have been locked up after admitting causing or allowing their baby boy to suffer multiple bone fractures.

The man and woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared at Northampton Crown Court on Friday.

The court heard the boy was taken to Accident & Emergency at Northampton General Hospital and was found to have suffered bruising on his cheek and jaw.

Claire Howell, prosecuting, said social services became involved and the parents explanation was that the baby had “hit himself” to cause the injuries.

The pair also said the injuries may have been caused while they were keeping his head steady during winding and bathing.

Mrs Howell said this explanation was found to be “acceptable” and the baby was allowed to continue living with his parents.

Health visitors made regular checks of the baby’s condition throughout the following two months but, two months later, the mother of the baby called an ambulance because she said her son was not moving his right arm properly.

The mother said her baby had caught his arm between bars of his cot, but X-rays revealed a the baby had suffered a displaced shoulder fracture, a broken rib, two broken legs and a broken toe.

Experts concluded the majority of the fractures were “non-accidental” and the leg injuries were consistent with the baby’s foot being gripped, twisted and pulled.

Mrs Howell said: “At hospital a full skeletal survey revealed multiple fractures that had been caused in separate incidents.

“It was found to be highly improbable the shoulder injury was caused by the baby getting its arm stuck in the bars of the cot.”

Judge Rupert Mayo, sentencing, said the charge the pair had pleaded guilty to was an “immensely serious one”.

He said: “His injuries would have led to him crying out in pain and demanding support and protection.

“You have accepted that the protection you should have had for your own child was overridden as you allowed him to become injured on more than one occasion.”

Judge Mayo sentenced the father to 23 months in prison. He is likely to serve half his sentence in jail and the rest on licence.

The mother was locked up for 18 months. She is also likely to serve half her sentence before being released on licence.

The baby boy cannot be identified for legal reasons, which is why the media cannot report the names of his parents.

A spokesman for the Local Safeguarding Children Board Northamptonshire (LSCBN) said a serious case review was being conducted into the case.