Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Woman 'Kills Baby Son on At-Risk Register'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Woman 'Kills Baby Son on At-Risk Register'

Article excerpt


A BABY boy had his back broken at the climax of eight months of violence leading to his death, the Old Bailey heard today.

The 17-month-old had been placed on Haringey council's child protection register eight months before he died, the jury was told.

The mother and her partner were on police bail after being arrested on suspicion of assaulting the child before his death.

Doctors and social workers had seen the toddler in the run-up to his death, the court heard. They feared that the mother could neglect and physically abuse the baby.

Yet "Baby P" was still returned to his mother and died in circumstances which would be "likely to fill any reasonable person with revulsion", the court heard.

When he died last August at North Middlesex Hospital the evidence of the violence he suffered included: Eight fractured ribs.

He had swallowed a broken tooth.

Two of his fingernails and the tips of two other fingers were missing. A toenail was missing.

Ulcerated lesions on his scalp and the membrane between his upper lip and gum was torn.

But most horrifically the baby's back was broken, said Sally O'Neill QC, prosecuting.

"That particular injury requires an extremely forceful hyperextension of the spine by, for example, forcing a child's back over your bent knee or over a banister rail.

"The effect of that particular assault would have been to cause paralysis from the level of the injury down."

The baby's mother took P to the Child Development Centre to assess his development two days before his death.

Baby P was seen by Dr Sabah Alzayyat, a locum consultant paediatrician, who noted a number of bruises but decided not to give him a full systemic examination because P was "miserable and cranky." Yet many of the injuries P suffered including the fractured ribs and the paralysis from the spine injury were caused at least 48 hours before his death.

"This would have been evidenced at the very least by floppiness and could not fail to have been observed by a competent doctor who had examined P properly," said Miss O'Neill. …

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