We lost our kids for 5 years after wrongful ‘shaken baby’ conviction

We lost our kids for 5 years after wrongful ‘shaken baby’ conviction

Dread for dad jailed after saving daughter’s life

Ben, Jennie and Izzy Butler

Reunited … Ben and Jennie with their second child, Izzy
Sonja Horsman
By ANTONELLA LAZZERI
Published: 17th October 2012

FIVE years ago doting dad Ben Butler saved his baby daughter’s life when she stopped breathing – and soon found himself in JAIL.

After clearing tiny Ellie’s airway, Ben rushed her to hospital, where doctors found head injuries similar to those caused when a baby is shaken.

To his horror, he was accused of grievous bodily harm and cruelty — crimes for which he was eventually convicted and sent to prison.

He had to stay on a wing full of PAEDOPHILES — and share his cell with a convicted child abuser.

Ellie's cyst

Kept from jury … Ellie’s cyst, circled
Sonja Horsman

Meanwhile, beautiful Ellie and her sister Izzy were put in foster care.

And it was all a terrible mistake.

Ben’s conviction was quashed in 2010 after new medical evidence showed six-week-old Ellie’s injuries were caused by a traumatic birth.

An appeal judge described the case as a “gross miscarriage of justice”.

But Ben, 33, and girlfriend Jennie Gray, 32, had to battle for two more years in the Family Court to get their girls back home.

They finally won that ruling just last week.

Removals man Ben said yesterday: “We should be over the moon. But my fear is we will never, ever be able to be a real family again.

“Ellie has been away from us for over five years. And Izzy came home last week and for the first few days was confused and upset.

“It tore me apart to see her sitting there crying for her foster parents.

“My fear is that although I’ve been cleared my family has been destroyed forever.”

The nightmare began in February 2007 when Ben, who was then separated from Jennie, took charge of baby Ellie for a night.

Graphic designer Jennie had no qualms about leaving the newborn.

She recalled: “If anything, he was an over-protective dad.

“He would text me things like, ‘I think I’ve given her too much milk!’”

Ben said: “From the moment I saw her I fell in love. I just adored her and wanted to be a hands-on dad. I saw her as much as I could, even having her overnight if I could.”

That night in February, Jennie dropped Ellie off as usual.

Ben said: “I tried to give her her feed but she didn’t want it.

“So I placed her in her car seat on the floor right by me. She seemed OK so I started to play a computer game on the telly.

“Then I suddenly saw her little arms were flopped down by her sides.

“When I went to her she had gone all limp, really white and was making a funny noise as if she was struggling to breathe.

“I started screaming at my flatmate to call 999. He did and on the emergency call tape you can hear me in a blind panic, giving her mouth-to-mouth and everything.

“Then at one stage I pushed my finger down her throat and she suddenly gasped and started breathing again.

“That gasp — it’s so loud you can even hear it on the 999 tape.”

It later turned out that Ellie had a cyst in her throat, that quick-thinking Ben had pushed out of the way.

The cyst is clearly visible on a scan taken in hospital — but it was NEVER shown to the original jury.

Ben, of Sutton, Surrey, said: “If they had seen it I believe they would never have found me guilty.

“Instead of trying to kill her, I saved her life.”

Police and social workers were called in despite doctors at first telling the parents that they believed — correctly — that the brain bleeding and swelling they picked up had been caused at birth.

Ben Butler and daughter

‘Gross miscarriage of justice’ … Ben has finally got his kids back, two years after his acquittal
Sonja Horsman

Furious Jennie, who had noticed the baby sometimes had breathing problems but was told by the doctor and the midwife not to worry, said: “Ellie had no other injuries, no bruises, no fractures, nothing.

“That is almost unheard of in shaken babies.”

Ben added: “Two weeks later I was arrested and charged with GBH with intent.

“Jen wouldn’t go against me, so Ellie was taken into care.

“At one stage Jen was told by social workers, ‘If you say Mr Butler is guilty, you have more chance of getting your baby back.’”

Jennie added: “I know some people say I should have done that so I could have my child — but I couldn’t do that to Ben. It wasn’t right.

“I had to pack up all her little things and then hand them over to the foster carer.

“When I left her home I just collapsed screaming on her doorstep.

“I missed all her milestones — her first smile, her first steps.”

While awaiting trial the Family Court ruled Ben could see Ellie twice a year for four hours.

Jennie was allowed contact with her baby six times a year for two hours at a time — but felt she could not keep protesting.

Weeping, the mum said: “I had to do everything social services said because I was so scared of Ellie being adopted and then I would have lost her forever.”

Finally in March 2009 Ben faced trial at Croydon Crown Court.

He said: “It all revolved around medical evidence. But unless you were a qualified medic I can’t see how you’d understand any of it.”

To his horror he was found guilty and sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment.

Ben said: “I had to serve my time on the nonces’ wing.

“It was hideous, being in with men that had done unspeakable things to children.

“I never spoke a word to any of them the whole time.

“I couldn’t even have a photo of Ellie in there in case any paedos got off on it.”

Finally after three-and-a-half months he was freed, pending appeal. He could not wait to see his little girl again. She was now growing up with Jennie’s parents.

He said: “I was allowed to go and see Ellie but she didn’t even know who I was — it was heartbreaking.”

Brought back together by their battles, he and Jennie started seeing each other again and she became pregnant.

She revealed: “I was terrified that social services would take my baby away.

“So I registered under a false name 60 miles away from where I was living.

“I kept the pregnancy a secret from everyone.

“I had Izzy, but when the baby was six months old someone tipped off social services.

“I was driving down the motorway and six police cars started chasing me.

“They pulled me over and arrested me on suspicion of child neglect.

“They wouldn’t even let me say goodbye to Izzy.”

Ellie Butler

Recovered … Ellie today as a healthy five-year-old
Sonja Horsman

So Izzy too went into care — to strangers, this time. And she stayed there despite Ben’s conviction being overturned in 2010.

By this time Ben was an expert on shaken babies.

He said: “I had spent years researching shaken baby syndrome on the internet.

“There wasn’t a case like ours ever. In all cases of shaken baby syndrome the baby had either died, or been brain damaged.

“Ellie was perfect. I also had medical experts who testified about her cyst and how I had probably saved her life.”

The family was finally reunited by High Court judge Mrs Justice Hogg, who ruled that the local authority — which had argued Izzy, now three, was still at risk — must hand the youngster back.

The judge concluded: “It is a joy for me to oversee the return of a child to her parents.”

But while Izzy is back, Ellie, now five, is so attached to her grandparents that Ben and Jennie fear bringing her back home full-time immediately.

Furious Ben said: “My life, Jennie’s life and the girls’ lives have been virtually destroyed.

“Whatever chance we had of being a family was taken away — I have never seen Izzy at Christmas, or on her birthday.”

Jennie admitted: “At times I felt I couldn’t go on. I just wanted to die but Ben kept me alive. He said we had to fight, fight, fight.

“But we really don’t know how the future will go — I fear Ellie has been away from us too long.”

‘Expert’ opinion in the dock

By JANE ATKINSON

Louise Woodward

Early conviction … Louise Woodward

DOCTORS first identified “shaken baby syndrome” in the late Sixties.

The symptoms were laid down as brain swelling, bleeding between the skull and brain and bleeding in the retinas.

It was a diagnosis that explained the deaths of babies who had all these injuries but no external bruising or fractures.

Natural causes were not considered.

But new evidence suggests bleeding in the brain can happen WITHOUT trauma.

The syndrome hit the headlines in 1997 when 19-year-old British au pair Louise Woodward was convicted of involuntary manslaughter by a court in Massachusetts.

The victim was eight-month-old Matthew Eappen, who died from injuries an expert said was characteristic of the syndrome.

Soon others were also being accused.

In 1999 Michael Faulder from Gateshead was jailed for two-and-a-half years after being wrongly accused of almost shaking his seven-week-old son to death. It took him six years to clear his name.

He had dropped the baby accidentally while placing him in a buggy.

In 2000 Lorraine Harris of Derbyshire was convicted of manslaughter and given a three-year sentence over the death of her 16-week-old son Patrick.

Her conviction was quashed in 2005 by the Court of Appeal when her lawyers argued that medical opinion on shaken baby syndrome had changed since her conviction.

Read more: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/woman/real_life/4593440/Father-who-overturned-Shaken-Baby-conviction-fears-family-life-ruined.html#ixzz29eZUrkYr

Abuse: the worst accusation to level at a parent

Abuse: the worst accusation to level at a parent
Taking your child to hospital can leave you open to being accused of causing their injuries.

Doctors give a baby a check-up Photo: ALAMYBy James Le Fanu

7:30AM GMT 26 Dec 2011

Parents nowadays are inundated with so much well-meaning advice from so many sources, it seems almost impertinent to proffer any more. But they do need to be aware of how to combat the hazards, when taking their children to hospital, of being accused of having caused their injuries.

Six years ago in this column, I described the case of a young couple, Mary and Andrew, who took their four-week-old son, Josh, to hospital after noting while changing his nappy that there was something “funny” about the upper part of his leg. This was duly X-rayed, revealing not just a fractured femur but several more around the growing ends of his bones, or metaphyseal fractures.

The police were summoned and the couple taken to the local station, where they were locked in separate cells and charged with assault and grievous bodily harm. Their son’s injuries, they learnt, were apparently “characteristic” of being deliberately inflicted by violent shaking and wrenching and twisting of the limbs.

Josh, however, was clearly not a battered baby in any commonsensical understanding of the term, being well cared for by affectionate parents and without the slightest hint of the sort of circumstantial evidence – bruising, pain and swelling of the limbs – that might reasonably be expected were these fractures caused by excess physical force.

The pattern of injuries is much more suggestive of some unknown, undiagnosed or overlooked disturbance of bone development in the early weeks of life. But the parents’ protestations of innocence naught availeth against the medical experts and, as with so many others similarly accused, they were convicted and their son taken into foster care.

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And so it has gone on, causing more grief and suffering than can be imagined to all concerned – until a landmark trial at the Old Bailey earlier this month involving another young couple, Rohan Wray and Chana Al-Alas, who were accused of murdering their four-month-old son Jayden. Concerned he was not well, they had initially taken him to casualty at London’s University College Hospital where they were told he had flu, then to their GP three days later, who could find nothing seriously amiss but advised they take him back to hospital – which they duly did.

Soon after, he had a prolonged seizure before lapsing into a coma. Further investigations revealed a fracture of the skull, a number of several metaphyseal fractures, and swelling and bleeding on the surface of the brain. His condition deteriorated further and he was transferred to Great Ormond Street Hospital, where he died two days later.

The parents were duly charged with having deliberately caused these fatal injuries in the short period between taking him to their GP and then on to hospital for the second time. The implausibility of this scenario, and the suspicion that there might be something else to account for his injuries, was heightened with the surprise finding of the autopsy that he had rickets, the widespread softening of the bones due to vitamin D deficiency.

The trial opened at the beginning of October and ran for six weeks, with 60 medical and professional witnesses giving evidence. The jury heard of the good moral standing of the couple, the lack of circumstantial evidence of neglect, how lack of oxygen during his seizure could have damaged the brain – and, most significantly, how recent research in the United States has confirmed that vitamin D deficiency can indeed result in those “characteristically abusive” metaphyseal fractures.

The case collapsed and, with the charges withdrawn, the couple walked free. No medical experts are going to admit they might have been wrong, for to do so would be to concede that they had been instrumental in so many other miscarriages of justice in the past. But it would be good to think that the outcome at the Old Bailey might finally signal the end of these wrongful accusations – a cheery note on which to close the year.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/children_shealth/8971201/Abuse-the-worst-accusation-to-level-at-a-paren

Couple win back children from social services after High Court battle

Couple win back children from social services after High Court battle

A couple whose two daughters were taken away by social services have been praised by a judge for “weathering the storm” of a lengthy High Court battle to win them back.

The Court of Appeal ruled that the father had a right to know his secret accuser's identity

A father who was wrongly convicted of cruelty to one of his two daughters and had them taken away by social services has won their return after a High Court legal battle. Photo: Alamy

10:31PM BST 12 Oct 2012

Ben Butler, 32, and his former partner, Jennie Gray, also 32, lost their children after he was accused of shaking their baby Ellie when she was seven weeks old. There followed a nightmare that lasted five and a half years.

Mr Butler served time in jail on a wing for paedophiles, while Miss Gray decided to terminate a third pregnancy fearing this child would also be taken away from her, leading to serious complications which mean she cannot have any more children.

Mr Butler had his convictions for cruelty and causing grievous bodily harm to his daughter quashed by the Court of Appeal in June 2010.

However, he and Miss Gray, from Sutton, Surrey, then had to fight for more than two years before the Family Division of the High Court in London ruled that Ellie, now five, and her younger sister, Isabella, three, should be returned to them.

In a judgment made public on Friday, Mrs Justice Hogg said it was a rare “joy” for her to oversee a child being reunited with her parents.

The judge exonerated the father over the “shaken baby” allegations and the mother from accusations that she failed to protect Ellie from abuse.

Recognising that Mr Butler and Miss Gray had been through an “extraordinarily difficult time”, Mrs Justice Hogg said: “The parents have weathered the storm. They have each been resilient and determined, and shown tenacity and courage.

“I hope now that the record is put straight, that with their tenacity they will be able to put behind them those difficulties and look forward to a more positive future.”

The parents’ long ordeal began in February 2007 when Mr Butler noticed that Ellie had gone limp and was gasping for air.

She was taken to St Helier Hospital in Sutton, where doctors diagnosed bleeding on the brain, bleeding in the eye and swelling of brain tissue, the “triad” of injuries seen as indicators of a shaken baby who has been deliberately injured.

Mr Butler insisted he had not hurt his daughter and Miss Gray supported him. A different team of doctors said Ellie’s head injury was in fact caused at birth, and she went on to make a full recovery.

However, the father was arrested, charged and found guilty at Croydon Crown Court in March 2009. He was jailed for 18 months and sent to Littlehey Prison in Cambridgeshire, where he shared a cell with a man who had been convicted of sexual assault.

Mr Butler, a former removal man, was cleared after the Court of Appeal ruled that the trial judge’s summing-up to the jury was defective and the conviction was unsafe.

He said after his acquittal: “These three-and-a-half years have been horrendous. I can’t believe that it’s taken so long to clear my name.

“I can’t believe so much money has been wasted on prosecuting an innocent person when there was so much evidence that it wasn’t a shaken baby case.”

Sutton Council’s social services continued to argue that the family court should uphold the abuse findings it originally made against Mr Butler and endorse the local authority’s plans for Isabella’s adoption.

The council contended that Isabella was “at significant risk of harm” in her mother’s care and she had lied about the extent of her continuing relationship with Mr Butler.

However, Mrs Justice Hogg ruled that the local authority could not establish that Ellie had been shaken and said its findings must be set aside.

She concluded in her judgment: “It is seldom that I see a ‘happy end’ in public law proceedings. It is a joy for me to oversee the return of a child to her parents.

PAIN BRENDAN FLEMING CASE-Adoption halted as court told baby milk led to ‘innocent’ couple being accuse of abuse

Vitamin supplements in baby milk may have led an innocent couple being condemned for battering their newborn son, a top family judge has heard

Adoption halted as court told baby milk led to 'innocent' couple being accuse of abuse

Adoption halted as court told baby milk led to ‘innocent’ couple being accuse of abuse Photo: ALAMY

By , Social Affairs Editor

11:58AM BST 20 Sep 2012

The boy, who cannot be named, was taken away from his parents and was poised to be adopted after multiple broken bones were put down to child abuse.

But Lord Justice McFarlane halted the process yesterday after hearing how an extraordinary combination of medical events could have led to a case of congenital rickets being overlooked.

The parents, who have fought a three-year custody battle, have been given a final chance to get their son back.

It came after lawyers had what they described as a “light bulb moment” and understood the full significance of the child’s medical records.

Michael Shrimpton, for the family, who are from the north of England, told the Court of Appeal in London that there is evidence that the boy was born with a Vitamin D deficiency, inherited from his mother, leading to “soft bones” and rickets.

It suggests that the broken bones could have occurred during his difficult forceps birth, or even in the womb.

Blood tests to check for signs of vitamin deficiency, when the boy was four weeks old were normal.

But the court heard hat it is possible that it was “masked” by the formula milk given to him by his mother – which contained Vitamin D supplements.

He added that there was “striking” evidence of severe abnormalities in the functioning of the baby boy’s liver, an organ instrumental in processing Vitamin D.

The judge temporarily halted the adoption process and ordered urgent medical reports.

Having a child taken away is an “exceptionally awful” ordeal, he remarked, adding that it was essential to examine whether the Vitamin D deficiency explanation for the boy’s injuries was “more than an intellectual possibility”.

He also noted that there was no evidence of emotional difficulties, domestic violence, alcohol or drug abuse, or any signs of dysfunction within the family, to indicate a risk of child abuse.

Mr Shrimpton said that one of the country’s top endocrinologists, Professor Stephen Nussey, who has carried out pioneering work on the causes and effects of Vitamin D deficiency, will be instructed to carry out that task if he is available at short notice.

Observing that medical knowledge on the causes of infant injuries is in a state of constant movement, the barrister added: “This is an important case. It is starting to take on the appearance of a leading test case”.

After hearing expert evidence in June last year, a judge at Sheffield High Court ruled that one or other of the parents must have been responsible for the baby’s injuries. The same judge refused to change her mind earlier this year and freed the boy for adoption.

However, Lord Justice McFarlane observed: “Medical knowledge of how some children may have bones that are more susceptible to injury than normal children has moved on”.

Emphasising the extreme urgency of the case in light of plans for the boy’s imminent adoption, the judge gave the parents 28 days to obtain a report from Professor Nussey, or another expert, in support of their case.

The local authority involved in the case had informed the Appeal Court that suitable adoptive parents have already been found for the boy but no further steps in the process would be taken prior to the court ruling on the case.

The case will return to the Appeal Court once the expert medical report has been obtained.

Baby is taken from parents after social workers ‘mistook rickets for child abuse

An extraordinary sequence of medical events led to a case of congenital rickets being viewed as horrific child abuse by social workers, experts and a judge, and the baby boy being taken from his distraught family and put up for adoption.

Now, however, the parents have been given a final chance to get back their little boy – now aged almost three – from the care system.

This comes after lawyers had a “light bulb moment” and understood the full significance of the youngster’s medical records.

Michael Shrimpton, for the family, who come from the Sheffield area, told London’s Appeal Court that there is evidence that the boy was born with a Vitamin D deficiency, inherited from his mother, and that this led to “soft bones” and rickets.

Although blood tests carried out on the baby boy when he was four weeks old were normal, the barrister said his congenital condition would by then have been “masked” by the formula milk given to him by his mother, which contained Vitamin D supplements.

Mr Shrimpton argued that rickets was the true explanation for multiple broken bones suffered by the baby, which could have been caused during his difficult forceps birth or even in-utero while his mother was still pregnant.

The barrister pointed to “striking” medical records which showed severe abnormalities in the functioning of the baby boy’s liver, an organ which is instrumental in the processing of Vitamin D.

Now, with the boy on the verge of being adopted, Lord Justice McFarlane has intervened in the case, directing that the evidence be reviewed by a fresh medical expert.

Mr Shrimpton said that one of the country’s top endocrinologists, Professor Stephen Nussey, who has carried out pioneering work on the causes and effects of Vitamin D deficiency, will be instructed to carry out that task if he is available to do so at short notice.

Observing that medical knowledge on the causes of infant injuries is in a state of contant movement, the barrister added: “This is an important case.

“It is starting to take on the appearance of a leading test case.”

After hearing expert evidence in June last year, a judge at Sheffield High Court ruled that one or other of the parents must have been responsible for the baby’s catalogue of injuries.

The same judge refused to change her mind earlier this year and went on to free the boy for adoption.

However, Lord Justice McFarlane observed: “Medical knowledge of how some children may have bones that are more susceptible to injury than normal children has moved on”.

He added that there was no evidence of emotional difficulties, domestic violence, alcohol or drug abuse, or any other signs of dysfunction within the family, which could indicate a risk of child abuse.

Emphasising the extreme urgency of the case, in light of plans for the boy’s imminent adoption, the judge gave the parents 28 days to obtain a report from Professor Nussey, or another expert, in support of their case.

Recognising the parents’ “exceptionally awful” experience in having their child taken from them, the judge said that the court would carefully examine whether the Vitamin D deficiency explanation for the boy’s injuries was “more than an intellectual possibility”.

The local authority involved in the case had informed the Appeal Court that suitable adoptive parents have already been found for the two-year-old boy, but no further steps in the process would be taken prior to the court ruling on the case.

The case is set to return to the Appeal Court once the expert medical report has been obtained.

In December last year, figures obtained by the Yorkshire Post revealed a sharp increase in the number of cases of rickets across the region.

State to indict father in ‘shaking twins’ affair

State to indict father in ‘shaking twins’ affair

http://www.jpost.com/NationalNews/Article.aspx?id=278755

  • Alison Stevens Parents Against Injustice speaking on Southside broadcasting radio.

  • Alison Stevens Parents Against Injustice speaking on Southside broadcasting radio.1

  • Alison Stevens Parents Against Injustice speaking on Southside broadcasting radio.

  • Fractured Leg, Fractured Family: A Misdiagnosis Leads to Allegations of Child Abuse

    http://jjie.org/fractured-leg-fractured-family-misdiagnosis-leads-allegations-of-abuse/43001
    Fractured Leg, Fractured Family: A Misdiagnosis Leads to Allegations of Child Abuse

  • Fractured Leg, Fractured Family: A Misdiagnosis Leads to Allegations of Child Abuse

    http://jjie.org/fractured-leg-fractured-family-misdiagnosis-leads-allegations-of-abuse/43001

    Fractured Leg, Fractured Family: A Misdiagnosis Leads to Allegations of Child Abuse

  • mbc in a week: Brittle Bone Disease – العظام الزجاجية

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=_dpalWQU1Q0
    mbc in a week: Brittle Bone Disease – العظام الزجاجية

  • mbc in a week: Brittle Bone Disease – العظام الزجاجية

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=_dpalWQU1Q0

    mbc in a week: Brittle Bone Disease – العظام الزجاجية

  • We lost our kids for 5 years after wrongful ‘shaken baby’ conviction

    We lost our kids for 5 years after wrongful ‘shaken baby’ conviction

    Dread for dad jailed after saving daughter’s life

    Ben, Jennie and Izzy Butler

    Reunited … Ben and Jennie with their second child, Izzy
    Sonja Horsman
    By ANTONELLA LAZZERI
    Published: 17th October 2012

    FIVE years ago doting dad Ben Butler saved his baby daughter’s life when she stopped breathing – and soon found himself in JAIL.

    After clearing tiny Ellie’s airway, Ben rushed her to hospital, where doctors found head injuries similar to those caused when a baby is shaken.

    To his horror, he was accused of grievous bodily harm and cruelty — crimes for which he was eventually convicted and sent to prison.

    He had to stay on a wing full of PAEDOPHILES — and share his cell with a convicted child abuser.

    Ellie's cyst

    Kept from jury … Ellie’s cyst, circled
    Sonja Horsman

    Meanwhile, beautiful Ellie and her sister Izzy were put in foster care.

    And it was all a terrible mistake.

    Ben’s conviction was quashed in 2010 after new medical evidence showed six-week-old Ellie’s injuries were caused by a traumatic birth.

    An appeal judge described the case as a “gross miscarriage of justice”.

    But Ben, 33, and girlfriend Jennie Gray, 32, had to battle for two more years in the Family Court to get their girls back home.

    They finally won that ruling just last week.

    Removals man Ben said yesterday: “We should be over the moon. But my fear is we will never, ever be able to be a real family again.

    “Ellie has been away from us for over five years. And Izzy came home last week and for the first few days was confused and upset.

    “It tore me apart to see her sitting there crying for her foster parents.

    “My fear is that although I’ve been cleared my family has been destroyed forever.”

    The nightmare began in February 2007 when Ben, who was then separated from Jennie, took charge of baby Ellie for a night.

    Graphic designer Jennie had no qualms about leaving the newborn.

    She recalled: “If anything, he was an over-protective dad.

    “He would text me things like, ‘I think I’ve given her too much milk!’”

    Ben said: “From the moment I saw her I fell in love. I just adored her and wanted to be a hands-on dad. I saw her as much as I could, even having her overnight if I could.”

    That night in February, Jennie dropped Ellie off as usual.

    Ben said: “I tried to give her her feed but she didn’t want it.

    “So I placed her in her car seat on the floor right by me. She seemed OK so I started to play a computer game on the telly.

    “Then I suddenly saw her little arms were flopped down by her sides.

    “When I went to her she had gone all limp, really white and was making a funny noise as if she was struggling to breathe.

    “I started screaming at my flatmate to call 999. He did and on the emergency call tape you can hear me in a blind panic, giving her mouth-to-mouth and everything.

    “Then at one stage I pushed my finger down her throat and she suddenly gasped and started breathing again.

    “That gasp — it’s so loud you can even hear it on the 999 tape.”

    It later turned out that Ellie had a cyst in her throat, that quick-thinking Ben had pushed out of the way.

    The cyst is clearly visible on a scan taken in hospital — but it was NEVER shown to the original jury.

    Ben, of Sutton, Surrey, said: “If they had seen it I believe they would never have found me guilty.

    “Instead of trying to kill her, I saved her life.”

    Police and social workers were called in despite doctors at first telling the parents that they believed — correctly — that the brain bleeding and swelling they picked up had been caused at birth.

    Ben Butler and daughter

    ‘Gross miscarriage of justice’ … Ben has finally got his kids back, two years after his acquittal
    Sonja Horsman

    Furious Jennie, who had noticed the baby sometimes had breathing problems but was told by the doctor and the midwife not to worry, said: “Ellie had no other injuries, no bruises, no fractures, nothing.

    “That is almost unheard of in shaken babies.”

    Ben added: “Two weeks later I was arrested and charged with GBH with intent.

    “Jen wouldn’t go against me, so Ellie was taken into care.

    “At one stage Jen was told by social workers, ‘If you say Mr Butler is guilty, you have more chance of getting your baby back.’”

    Jennie added: “I know some people say I should have done that so I could have my child — but I couldn’t do that to Ben. It wasn’t right.

    “I had to pack up all her little things and then hand them over to the foster carer.

    “When I left her home I just collapsed screaming on her doorstep.

    “I missed all her milestones — her first smile, her first steps.”

    While awaiting trial the Family Court ruled Ben could see Ellie twice a year for four hours.

    Jennie was allowed contact with her baby six times a year for two hours at a time — but felt she could not keep protesting.

    Weeping, the mum said: “I had to do everything social services said because I was so scared of Ellie being adopted and then I would have lost her forever.”

    Finally in March 2009 Ben faced trial at Croydon Crown Court.

    He said: “It all revolved around medical evidence. But unless you were a qualified medic I can’t see how you’d understand any of it.”

    To his horror he was found guilty and sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment.

    Ben said: “I had to serve my time on the nonces’ wing.

    “It was hideous, being in with men that had done unspeakable things to children.

    “I never spoke a word to any of them the whole time.

    “I couldn’t even have a photo of Ellie in there in case any paedos got off on it.”

    Finally after three-and-a-half months he was freed, pending appeal. He could not wait to see his little girl again. She was now growing up with Jennie’s parents.

    He said: “I was allowed to go and see Ellie but she didn’t even know who I was — it was heartbreaking.”

    Brought back together by their battles, he and Jennie started seeing each other again and she became pregnant.

    She revealed: “I was terrified that social services would take my baby away.

    “So I registered under a false name 60 miles away from where I was living.

    “I kept the pregnancy a secret from everyone.

    “I had Izzy, but when the baby was six months old someone tipped off social services.

    “I was driving down the motorway and six police cars started chasing me.

    “They pulled me over and arrested me on suspicion of child neglect.

    “They wouldn’t even let me say goodbye to Izzy.”

    Ellie Butler

    Recovered … Ellie today as a healthy five-year-old
    Sonja Horsman

    So Izzy too went into care — to strangers, this time. And she stayed there despite Ben’s conviction being overturned in 2010.

    By this time Ben was an expert on shaken babies.

    He said: “I had spent years researching shaken baby syndrome on the internet.

    “There wasn’t a case like ours ever. In all cases of shaken baby syndrome the baby had either died, or been brain damaged.

    “Ellie was perfect. I also had medical experts who testified about her cyst and how I had probably saved her life.”

    The family was finally reunited by High Court judge Mrs Justice Hogg, who ruled that the local authority — which had argued Izzy, now three, was still at risk — must hand the youngster back.

    The judge concluded: “It is a joy for me to oversee the return of a child to her parents.”

    But while Izzy is back, Ellie, now five, is so attached to her grandparents that Ben and Jennie fear bringing her back home full-time immediately.

    Furious Ben said: “My life, Jennie’s life and the girls’ lives have been virtually destroyed.

    “Whatever chance we had of being a family was taken away — I have never seen Izzy at Christmas, or on her birthday.”

    Jennie admitted: “At times I felt I couldn’t go on. I just wanted to die but Ben kept me alive. He said we had to fight, fight, fight.

    “But we really don’t know how the future will go — I fear Ellie has been away from us too long.”

    ‘Expert’ opinion in the dock

    By JANE ATKINSON

    Louise Woodward

    Early conviction … Louise Woodward

    DOCTORS first identified “shaken baby syndrome” in the late Sixties.

    The symptoms were laid down as brain swelling, bleeding between the skull and brain and bleeding in the retinas.

    It was a diagnosis that explained the deaths of babies who had all these injuries but no external bruising or fractures.

    Natural causes were not considered.

    But new evidence suggests bleeding in the brain can happen WITHOUT trauma.

    The syndrome hit the headlines in 1997 when 19-year-old British au pair Louise Woodward was convicted of involuntary manslaughter by a court in Massachusetts.

    The victim was eight-month-old Matthew Eappen, who died from injuries an expert said was characteristic of the syndrome.

    Soon others were also being accused.

    In 1999 Michael Faulder from Gateshead was jailed for two-and-a-half years after being wrongly accused of almost shaking his seven-week-old son to death. It took him six years to clear his name.

    He had dropped the baby accidentally while placing him in a buggy.

    In 2000 Lorraine Harris of Derbyshire was convicted of manslaughter and given a three-year sentence over the death of her 16-week-old son Patrick.

    Her conviction was quashed in 2005 by the Court of Appeal when her lawyers argued that medical opinion on shaken baby syndrome had changed since her conviction.

    Read more: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/woman/real_life/4593440/Father-who-overturned-Shaken-Baby-conviction-fears-family-life-ruined.html#ixzz29eZUrkYr

  • INFLICTED BRAIN INJURIES DO NOT DISCARD DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS

    http://www.jpands.org/vol15no1/innis.pdf

    INFLICTED BRAIN INJURIES DO NOT DISCARD DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS

  • INFLICTED BRAIN INJURIES DO NOT DISCARD DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS

    http://www.jpands.org/vol15no1/innis.pdf

    INFLICTED BRAIN INJURIES DO NOT DISCARD DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS

  • VACCINES APPARENT LIFE THREATENING EVENTS BARLOWS DISEASE AND QUESTIONS ABOUT SHAKEN BABY SYNDROME

  • VACCINES APPARENT LIFE THREATENING EVENTS BARLOWS DISEASE AND QUESTIONS ABOUT SHAKEN BABY SYNDROME

  • Bone Diseases That Lead To False Allegations Of Non-Accidental Injury

    Bone Diseases That Lead To False Allegations Of Non-Accidental Injury

    http://www.zimbio.com/Osteogenesis+Imperfecta/articles/joTVp6tF8SX/…

  • Bone Diseases That Lead To False Allegations Of Non-Accidental Injury

  • Hogg J sets aside findings of abuse and clears way for family to be reunited

    http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/Resources/JCO/Documents/Judgments/lb-sutton-gray-butler-judgment-12102012.pdf

    Hogg J sets aside findings of abuse and clears way for family to be reunited

  • Hogg J sets aside findings of abuse and clears way for family to be reunited

    http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/Resources/JCO/Documents/Judgments/lb-sutton-gray-butler-judgment-12102012.pdf

    Hogg J sets aside findings of abuse and clears way for family to be reunited

  • Bitter pills

  • Temporary Brittle Bone Disease and Infant Fractures

    Temporary Brittle Bone Disease and Infant Fractures
    http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2005/10/5/125542.shtml

  • Temporary Brittle Bone Disease and Infant Fractures

    Temporary Brittle Bone Disease and Infant Fractures

    http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2005/10/5/125542.shtml

  • Temporary Brittle Bone Disease and Infant Fractures

    http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2005/10/5/125542.shtml

    Temporary Brittle Bone Disease and Infant Fractures

  • Child Abuse Is Erroneously Over-Diagnosed

    Child Abuse Is Erroneously Over-Diagnosed
    http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2008/06/01/child-abuse-

  • Child Abuse Is Erroneously Over-Diagnosed

  • Couple win back children from social services after High Court battle

    Couple win back children from social services after High Court battle

    A couple whose two daughters were taken away by social services have been praised by a judge for “weathering the storm” of a lengthy High Court battle to win them back.

    The Court of Appeal ruled that the father had a right to know his secret accuser's identity

    A father who was wrongly convicted of cruelty to one of his two daughters and had them taken away by social services has won their return after a High Court legal battle. Photo: Alamy

    10:31PM BST 12 Oct 2012

    Ben Butler, 32, and his former partner, Jennie Gray, also 32, lost their children after he was accused of shaking their baby Ellie when she was seven weeks old. There followed a nightmare that lasted five and a half years.

    Mr Butler served time in jail on a wing for paedophiles, while Miss Gray decided to terminate a third pregnancy fearing this child would also be taken away from her, leading to serious complications which mean she cannot have any more children.

    Mr Butler had his convictions for cruelty and causing grievous bodily harm to his daughter quashed by the Court of Appeal in June 2010.

    However, he and Miss Gray, from Sutton, Surrey, then had to fight for more than two years before the Family Division of the High Court in London ruled that Ellie, now five, and her younger sister, Isabella, three, should be returned to them.

    In a judgment made public on Friday, Mrs Justice Hogg said it was a rare “joy” for her to oversee a child being reunited with her parents.

    The judge exonerated the father over the “shaken baby” allegations and the mother from accusations that she failed to protect Ellie from abuse.

    Recognising that Mr Butler and Miss Gray had been through an “extraordinarily difficult time”, Mrs Justice Hogg said: “The parents have weathered the storm. They have each been resilient and determined, and shown tenacity and courage.

    “I hope now that the record is put straight, that with their tenacity they will be able to put behind them those difficulties and look forward to a more positive future.”

    The parents’ long ordeal began in February 2007 when Mr Butler noticed that Ellie had gone limp and was gasping for air.

    She was taken to St Helier Hospital in Sutton, where doctors diagnosed bleeding on the brain, bleeding in the eye and swelling of brain tissue, the “triad” of injuries seen as indicators of a shaken baby who has been deliberately injured.

    Mr Butler insisted he had not hurt his daughter and Miss Gray supported him. A different team of doctors said Ellie’s head injury was in fact caused at birth, and she went on to make a full recovery.

    However, the father was arrested, charged and found guilty at Croydon Crown Court in March 2009. He was jailed for 18 months and sent to Littlehey Prison in Cambridgeshire, where he shared a cell with a man who had been convicted of sexual assault.

    Mr Butler, a former removal man, was cleared after the Court of Appeal ruled that the trial judge’s summing-up to the jury was defective and the conviction was unsafe.

    He said after his acquittal: “These three-and-a-half years have been horrendous. I can’t believe that it’s taken so long to clear my name.

    “I can’t believe so much money has been wasted on prosecuting an innocent person when there was so much evidence that it wasn’t a shaken baby case.”

    Sutton Council’s social services continued to argue that the family court should uphold the abuse findings it originally made against Mr Butler and endorse the local authority’s plans for Isabella’s adoption.

    The council contended that Isabella was “at significant risk of harm” in her mother’s care and she had lied about the extent of her continuing relationship with Mr Butler.

    However, Mrs Justice Hogg ruled that the local authority could not establish that Ellie had been shaken and said its findings must be set aside.

    She concluded in her judgment: “It is seldom that I see a ‘happy end’ in public law proceedings. It is a joy for me to oversee the return of a child to her parents.

  • PAIN BRENDAN FLEMING CASE-Adoption halted as court told baby milk led to ‘innocent’ couple being accuse of abuse

    Vitamin supplements in baby milk may have led an innocent couple being condemned for battering their newborn son, a top family judge has heard

    Adoption halted as court told baby milk led to 'innocent' couple being accuse of abuse

    Adoption halted as court told baby milk led to ‘innocent’ couple being accuse of abuse Photo: ALAMY

    By , Social Affairs Editor

    11:58AM BST 20 Sep 2012

    The boy, who cannot be named, was taken away from his parents and was poised to be adopted after multiple broken bones were put down to child abuse.

    But Lord Justice McFarlane halted the process yesterday after hearing how an extraordinary combination of medical events could have led to a case of congenital rickets being overlooked.

    The parents, who have fought a three-year custody battle, have been given a final chance to get their son back.

    It came after lawyers had what they described as a “light bulb moment” and understood the full significance of the child’s medical records.

    Michael Shrimpton, for the family, who are from the north of England, told the Court of Appeal in London that there is evidence that the boy was born with a Vitamin D deficiency, inherited from his mother, leading to “soft bones” and rickets.

    It suggests that the broken bones could have occurred during his difficult forceps birth, or even in the womb.

    Blood tests to check for signs of vitamin deficiency, when the boy was four weeks old were normal.

    But the court heard hat it is possible that it was “masked” by the formula milk given to him by his mother – which contained Vitamin D supplements.

    He added that there was “striking” evidence of severe abnormalities in the functioning of the baby boy’s liver, an organ instrumental in processing Vitamin D.

    The judge temporarily halted the adoption process and ordered urgent medical reports.

    Having a child taken away is an “exceptionally awful” ordeal, he remarked, adding that it was essential to examine whether the Vitamin D deficiency explanation for the boy’s injuries was “more than an intellectual possibility”.

    He also noted that there was no evidence of emotional difficulties, domestic violence, alcohol or drug abuse, or any signs of dysfunction within the family, to indicate a risk of child abuse.

    Mr Shrimpton said that one of the country’s top endocrinologists, Professor Stephen Nussey, who has carried out pioneering work on the causes and effects of Vitamin D deficiency, will be instructed to carry out that task if he is available at short notice.

    Observing that medical knowledge on the causes of infant injuries is in a state of constant movement, the barrister added: “This is an important case. It is starting to take on the appearance of a leading test case”.

    After hearing expert evidence in June last year, a judge at Sheffield High Court ruled that one or other of the parents must have been responsible for the baby’s injuries. The same judge refused to change her mind earlier this year and freed the boy for adoption.

    However, Lord Justice McFarlane observed: “Medical knowledge of how some children may have bones that are more susceptible to injury than normal children has moved on”.

    Emphasising the extreme urgency of the case in light of plans for the boy’s imminent adoption, the judge gave the parents 28 days to obtain a report from Professor Nussey, or another expert, in support of their case.

    The local authority involved in the case had informed the Appeal Court that suitable adoptive parents have already been found for the boy but no further steps in the process would be taken prior to the court ruling on the case.

    The case will return to the Appeal Court once the expert medical report has been obtained.

  • The Unexonerated: Factually Innocent Defendants Who Plead Guilty

  • The Unexonerated: Factually Innocent Defendants Who Plead Guilty

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2103787

    The Unexonerated: Factually Innocent Defendants Who Plead Guilty

  • New doubts in ‘shaken baby’ fatalities

  • New doubts in ‘shaken baby’ fatalities

  • Baby is taken from parents after social workers ‘mistook rickets for child abuse

    An extraordinary sequence of medical events led to a case of congenital rickets being viewed as horrific child abuse by social workers, experts and a judge, and the baby boy being taken from his distraught family and put up for adoption.

    Now, however, the parents have been given a final chance to get back their little boy – now aged almost three – from the care system.

    This comes after lawyers had a “light bulb moment” and understood the full significance of the youngster’s medical records.

    Michael Shrimpton, for the family, who come from the Sheffield area, told London’s Appeal Court that there is evidence that the boy was born with a Vitamin D deficiency, inherited from his mother, and that this led to “soft bones” and rickets.

    Although blood tests carried out on the baby boy when he was four weeks old were normal, the barrister said his congenital condition would by then have been “masked” by the formula milk given to him by his mother, which contained Vitamin D supplements.

    Mr Shrimpton argued that rickets was the true explanation for multiple broken bones suffered by the baby, which could have been caused during his difficult forceps birth or even in-utero while his mother was still pregnant.

    The barrister pointed to “striking” medical records which showed severe abnormalities in the functioning of the baby boy’s liver, an organ which is instrumental in the processing of Vitamin D.

    Now, with the boy on the verge of being adopted, Lord Justice McFarlane has intervened in the case, directing that the evidence be reviewed by a fresh medical expert.

    Mr Shrimpton said that one of the country’s top endocrinologists, Professor Stephen Nussey, who has carried out pioneering work on the causes and effects of Vitamin D deficiency, will be instructed to carry out that task if he is available to do so at short notice.

    Observing that medical knowledge on the causes of infant injuries is in a state of contant movement, the barrister added: “This is an important case.

    “It is starting to take on the appearance of a leading test case.”

    After hearing expert evidence in June last year, a judge at Sheffield High Court ruled that one or other of the parents must have been responsible for the baby’s catalogue of injuries.

    The same judge refused to change her mind earlier this year and went on to free the boy for adoption.

    However, Lord Justice McFarlane observed: “Medical knowledge of how some children may have bones that are more susceptible to injury than normal children has moved on”.

    He added that there was no evidence of emotional difficulties, domestic violence, alcohol or drug abuse, or any other signs of dysfunction within the family, which could indicate a risk of child abuse.

    Emphasising the extreme urgency of the case, in light of plans for the boy’s imminent adoption, the judge gave the parents 28 days to obtain a report from Professor Nussey, or another expert, in support of their case.

    Recognising the parents’ “exceptionally awful” experience in having their child taken from them, the judge said that the court would carefully examine whether the Vitamin D deficiency explanation for the boy’s injuries was “more than an intellectual possibility”.

    The local authority involved in the case had informed the Appeal Court that suitable adoptive parents have already been found for the two-year-old boy, but no further steps in the process would be taken prior to the court ruling on the case.

    The case is set to return to the Appeal Court once the expert medical report has been obtained.

    In December last year, figures obtained by the Yorkshire Post revealed a sharp increase in the number of cases of rickets across the region.

  • Adoption halted as court told baby milk led to ‘innocent’ couple being accuse of abuse

    Adoption halted as court told baby milk led to ‘innocent’ couple being accuse of abuse

    Vitamin supplements in baby milk may have led an innocent couple being condemned for battering their newborn son, a top family judge has heard

    Adoption halted as court told baby milk led to 'innocent' couple being accuse of abuse

    Adoption halted as court told baby milk led to ‘innocent’ couple being accuse of abuse Photo: ALAMY

    By , Social Affairs Editor

    11:58AM BST 20 Sep 2012

    The boy, who cannot be named, was taken away from his parents and was poised to be adopted after multiple broken bones were put down to child abuse.

    But Lord Justice McFarlane halted the process yesterday after hearing how an extraordinary combination of medical events could have led to a case of congenital rickets being overlooked.

    The parents, who have fought a three-year custody battle, have been given a final chance to get their son back.

    It came after lawyers had what they described as a “light bulb moment” and understood the full significance of the child’s medical records.

    Michael Shrimpton, for the family, who are from the north of England, told the Court of Appeal in London that there is evidence that the boy was born with a Vitamin D deficiency, inherited from his mother, leading to “soft bones” and rickets.

    It suggests that the broken bones could have occurred during his difficult forceps birth, or even in the womb.

    Blood tests to check for signs of vitamin deficiency, when the boy was four weeks old were normal.

    But the court heard hat it is possible that it was “masked” by the formula milk given to him by his mother – which contained Vitamin D supplements.

    He added that there was “striking” evidence of severe abnormalities in the functioning of the baby boy’s liver, an organ instrumental in processing Vitamin D.

    The judge temporarily halted the adoption process and ordered urgent medical reports.

    Having a child taken away is an “exceptionally awful” ordeal, he remarked, adding that it was essential to examine whether the Vitamin D deficiency explanation for the boy’s injuries was “more than an intellectual possibility”.

    He also noted that there was no evidence of emotional difficulties, domestic violence, alcohol or drug abuse, or any signs of dysfunction within the family, to indicate a risk of child abuse.

    Mr Shrimpton said that one of the country’s top endocrinologists, Professor Stephen Nussey, who has carried out pioneering work on the causes and effects of Vitamin D deficiency, will be instructed to carry out that task if he is available at short notice.

    Observing that medical knowledge on the causes of infant injuries is in a state of constant movement, the barrister added: “This is an important case. It is starting to take on the appearance of a leading test case”.

    After hearing expert evidence in June last year, a judge at Sheffield High Court ruled that one or other of the parents must have been responsible for the baby’s injuries. The same judge refused to change her mind earlier this year and freed the boy for adoption.

    However, Lord Justice McFarlane observed: “Medical knowledge of how some children may have bones that are more susceptible to injury than normal children has moved on”.

    Emphasising the extreme urgency of the case in light of plans for the boy’s imminent adoption, the judge gave the parents 28 days to obtain a report from Professor Nussey, or another expert, in support of their case.

    The local authority involved in the case had informed the Appeal Court that suitable adoptive parents have already been found for the boy but no further steps in the process would be taken prior to the court ruling on the case.

    The case will return to the Appeal Court once the expert medical report has been obtained.

  • Bite Mark Analysis: The Biggest Fail of All Failed Evidence

  • Bite Mark Analysis: The Biggest Fail of All Failed Evidence

  • North West region records highest number of unexplained infant deaths

  • Vitamin D Deficiency in Critically Ill Children

    Vitamin D Deficiency in Critically Ill Children

    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2012/08/01/peds

  • Vitamin D Deficiency in Critically Ill Children

    Vitamin D Deficiency in Critically Ill Children

  • State to indict father in ‘shaking twins’ affair

    State to indict father in ‘shaking twins’ affair

    http://www.jpost.com/NationalNews/Article.aspx?id=278755

  • State to indict father in ‘shaking twins’ affair

    State to indict father in ‘shaking twins’ affair

    http://www.jpost.com/NationalNews/Article.aspx?id=278755

  • State to indict father in ‘shaking twins’ affair

    State to indict father in ‘shaking twins’ affair

  • Shaken Baby Syndrome, Abusive Head Trauma, and Actual Innocence: Getting It Right

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2048374
    Shaken Baby Syndrome, Abusive Head Trauma, and Actual Innocence: Getting It Right

  • Shaken Baby Syndrome, Abusive Head Trauma, and Actual Innocence: Getting It Right

  • THE CASE FOR SHAKEN BABY SYNDROME REVIEW

    THE CASE FOR SHAKEN BABY SYNDROME REVIEW

    http://www.mjlr.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Burg_45.3.pdf

  • THE CASE FOR SHAKEN BABY SYNDROME REVIEW

  • DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN INFLICTED AND NON INFLICTED BRAIN INJURY IN CHILDREN

    DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN INFLICTED AND NON INFLICTED BRAIN INJURY IN CHILDREN

    http://adc.bmj.com/content/94/11/860.full.pdf+html

  • DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN INFLICTED AND NON INFLICTED BRAIN INJURY IN CHILDREN

  • Uncertainty in classification of repeat sudden unexpected infant deaths in Care of the Next Infant programme

    http://www.bmj.com/rapid-response/2011/11/01/sudden-infant-death-explained
    Uncertainty in classification of repeat sudden unexpected infant deaths in Care of the Next Infant programme

  • Uncertainty in classification of repeat sudden unexpected infant deaths in Care of the Next Infant programme

    http://www.bmj.com/rapid-response/2011/11/01/sudden-infant-death-explained

    Uncertainty in classification of repeat sudden unexpected infant deaths in Care of the Next Infant programme

  • A new cause for retinal haemorrhage and disc oedema in child abuse

    http://www.nature.com/eye/journal/v18/n1/full/6700480a.html
    A new cause for retinal haemorrhage and disc oedema in child abuse

  • A new cause for retinal haemorrhage and disc oedema in child abuse

    http://www.nature.com/eye/journal/v18/n1/full/6700480a.html

    A new cause for retinal haemorrhage and disc oedema in child abuse

  • TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY AND SHAKEN BABY SYNDROME

    http://www.actamedicaportuguesa.com/pdf/2011-24/5/805-808.pdf

    TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY AND SHAKEN BABY SYNDROME

  • TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY AND SHAKEN BABY SYNDROME

    http://www.actamedicaportuguesa.com/pdf/2011-24/5/805-808.pdf

    TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY AND SHAKEN BABY SYNDROME

  • MULTI FRACTURES OF THE LONG BONES IN INFANTS

  • MULTI FRACTURES OF THE LONG BONES IN INFANTS

  • Shaken baby syndrome: a search for truth

  • Shaken baby syndrome: a search for truth

  • Dad vows to fight Starship slur

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/6995376/Dad-vows-to-fight-Starship-slur

    We lost our kids for 5 years after wrongful ‘shaken baby’ conviction

    We lost our kids for 5 years after wrongful ‘shaken baby’ convictionDread for dad jailed after saving daughter’s life

    Reunited … Ben and Jennie with their second child, IzzySonja HorsmanBy ANTONELLA LAZZERIPublished: 17th October 201223

    FIVE years ago doting dad Ben Butler saved his baby daughter’s life when she stopped breathing – and soon found himself in JAIL.

    After clearing tiny Ellie’s airway, Ben rushed her to hospital, where doctors found head injuries similar to those caused when a baby is shaken.

    To his horror, he was accused of grievous bodily harm and cruelty — crimes for which he was eventually convicted and sent to prison.

    He had to stay on a wing full of PAEDOPHILES — and share his cell with a convicted child abuser.

    Kept from jury … Ellie’s cyst, circledSonja Horsman

    Meanwhile, beautiful Ellie and her sister Izzy were put in foster care.

    And it was all a terrible mistake.

    Ben’s conviction was quashed in 2010 after new medical evidence showed six-week-old Ellie’s injuries were caused by a traumatic birth.

    An appeal judge described the case as a “gross miscarriage of justice”.

    But Ben, 33, and girlfriend Jennie Gray, 32, had to battle for two more years in the Family Court to get their girls back home.

    They finally won that ruling just last week.

    Removals man Ben said yesterday: “We should be over the moon. But my fear is we will never, ever be able to be a real family again.

    “Ellie has been away from us for over five years. And Izzy came home last week and for the first few days was confused and upset.

    “It tore me apart to see her sitting there crying for her foster parents.

    “My fear is that although I’ve been cleared my family has been destroyed forever.”

    The nightmare began in February 2007 when Ben, who was then separated from Jennie, took charge of baby Ellie for a night.

    Graphic designer Jennie had no qualms about leaving the newborn.

    She recalled: “If anything, he was an over-protective dad.

    “He would text me things like, ‘I think I’ve given her too much milk!’”

    Ben said: “From the moment I saw her I fell in love. I just adored her and wanted to be a hands-on dad. I saw her as much as I could, even having her overnight if I could.”

    That night in February, Jennie dropped Ellie off as usual.

    Ben said: “I tried to give her her feed but she didn’t want it.

    “So I placed her in her car seat on the floor right by me. She seemed OK so I started to play a computer game on the telly.

    “Then I suddenly saw her little arms were flopped down by her sides.

    “When I went to her she had gone all limp, really white and was making a funny noise as if she was struggling to breathe.

    “I started screaming at my flatmate to call 999. He did and on the emergency call tape you can hear me in a blind panic, giving her mouth-to-mouth and everything.

    “Then at one stage I pushed my finger down her throat and she suddenly gasped and started breathing again.

    “That gasp — it’s so loud you can even hear it on the 999 tape.”

    It later turned out that Ellie had a cyst in her throat, that quick-thinking Ben had pushed out of the way.

    The cyst is clearly visible on a scan taken in hospital — but it was NEVER shown to the original jury.

    Ben, of Sutton, Surrey, said: “If they had seen it I believe they would never have found me guilty.

    “Instead of trying to kill her, I saved her life.”

    Police and social workers were called in despite doctors at first telling the parents that they believed — correctly — that the brain bleeding and swelling they picked up had been caused at birth.

    Parents take son to hospital for bump on the head and are stopped from seeing their kids alone for seven months following false abuse claims

    Parents take son to hospital for bump on the head and are stopped from seeing their kids alone for seven months following false abuse claimsChris and Julia Norton were ­interviewed by police and forced to sign over the ­children to Julia’s parents

    Torn apart: Julia and Chris Norton who’s son Harry age 2 has a brittle bone conditonSunday Mirror/Roland LeonA couple were banned from being alone with their two young children after they were wrongly accused of abusing their baby.

    Worried Chris and Julia Norton took 10-week-old Harry to ­hospital when a lump appeared on his head… but doctors blamed THEM for causing the injury.

    Harry was later ­diagnosed with osteogenesis ­imperfecta, a rare brittle-bone disease which means a light touch can snap his bones. But it was seven months before the ordeal was over. In that time, social services were called and Harry and older sister Vicky were placed on the “at-risk” ­register.

    Chris and Julia were ­interviewed by police and forced to sign over the ­children to Julia’s parents. The family had to move in with the parents just to be with Harry, now two, and Vicky, four.

    Julia, 38, from St Ives, Cambs, said: “The accusations against my husband and I were like a sick joke. We were so scared.”

    The disturbing story is part of a rising trend of cases. The number of children taken into care is set to hit a new high in a surge known as the Baby P ­Effect after the horrifying 2007 death of 17-month-old Peter ­Connelly.

    Julia and Chris, 46, first took Harry to Hinchingbrooke ­Hospital in Cambridge after a bruise ­appeared on his chest in 2009.

    Doctors thought it was an ­allergic reaction to a spider bite and he was sent home. But more bruises followed. And when the lump ­appeared on his head, his anxious parents took him back to hospital. Julia said: “The doctor asked if we knew where it had come from. Then she said they were trained to suspect abuse.  I  couldn’t believe we were accused of ­harming our baby.”

    After the family moved in with Julia’s parents, she wasn’t even allowed to change Harry’s nappy on her own. “The children weren’t allowed to sleep in the same room as us either,” she said.

    All allegations against Julia and Chris have been dropped and they are speaking out now to raise ­awareness of parents wrongly ­accused of harming their children.Matthew Winn, of Cambs ­Community Services NHS Trust, said: “We are sorry… we’ve worked with the Nortons to introduce improvements to prevent distress to other families in future, while not ­compromising child safety.”

    UK couple cleared of son’s murder calls for probe

    UK couple cleared of son’s murder calls for probeAP) — A young British couple has been reunited with their infant daughter after a long legal battle that dragged on even after they were cleared of murdering their 4-month-old son.

    Rohan Wray and Chana Al-Alas

    Rohan Wray, 22, and Chana Al-Alas, 19, were charged with murder after their son Jayden suffered a fractured skull and died of brain damage in 2009.

    The baby boy was diagnosed post-mortem with severe rickets, which causes bones to become soft and which some experts said was the cause behind Jayden’s fractures.

    Jayden’s parents blame the hospitals that treated their son for failing to spot the rickets, but the hospitals say they worked very hard to save his life, and medical professionals continue to disagree over what caused the baby’s death.

    A judge’s ruling in their favour at the High Court’s Family Division on Thursday allowed Al-Alas to be reunited with Jayda, the little girl she had been forced to relinquish to state custody immediately after giving birth in October 2010 amid the murder case.

    The mother and daughter had remained apart, even after Al-Alas was cleared in the criminal case, because of a civil suit filed in family courts by the London Borough of Islington alleging that, despite having rickets, Jayden suffered fractures caused by “non-accidental injury” and “died as a result of inflicted trauma caused to him whilst in the care of the parents.”

    The judge handling the civil suit found those allegations to be unproven in a ruling issued Thursday and made public Friday, leading baby Jayda to be returned to her parents.

    A lawyer for Al-Alas said Friday it’s not yet clear if her client and Jayden’s father will sue the hospitals after going through a two-and-a-half year ordeal.

    “It’s whether they want to go through another four years of litigation,” said Al-Alas’ lawyer, Ann Thompson. “They’ve got a little baby back at home with them and they’re really enjoying her. They just want to enjoy that.”

    The initial decision to file criminal murder charges, even after the post-mortem identified rickets, showed that police were trying to force a theory of trauma when other explanations were apparent, according to Thompson.

    Rickets causes problems in bone development and can result in soft or deformed bones, like bowed legs or a curved spine. It is most commonly caused by a lack of calcium and vitamin D; in rare cases, it is the result of a genetic disorder.

    Cases of the disease have been rising in the U.K. in recent years, and doctors have told parents to ensure their children get enough nutrients and sunlight. Children of Asian, African-Caribbean and Middle Eastern descent are at higher risk because their skin is often darker and they need more sunlight to get enough vitamin D.

    At the six-week criminal trial, 60 medical professional and expert witnesses failed to agree on the cause of Jayden’s death. Al-Alas and Wray were ultimately cleared of the criminal charges.

    The couple now accuse Great Ormond Street and University College Hospital of jumping to conclusions about child abuse without properly investigating, saying the hospitals should be investigated for failing to spot rickets.

    But the hospitals – expressing sympathy for the family – have defended their treatment.

    Great Ormond Street said in a statement that Jayden’s was a complicated case where the physical signs were much clearer post mortem.

    The hospital said it “never took any position on whether any specific person caused these injuries” and that the “sad clinical outcome” for Jayden would not have been any different if rickets had been diagnosed.

    University College Hospital said in a statement that its clinicians “acted with Jayden’s interests at heart.”

    Accused of killing our son… then robbed of our newborn daughter: The couple wrongly blamed for shaking their rickets-stricken baby to death relive their horrific ordeal

    Accused of killing our son… then robbed of our newborn daughter: The couple wrongly blamed for shaking their rickets-stricken baby to death relive their horrific ordeal

    • Rohan Wray and Chana Al-Alas endured murder trial over death of Jayden
    • Police and doctors adamant they had beaten him and damaged his brain
    • But cleared after post-mortem revealed he had bone-weakening disease
    • Then forced to face another hearing to win back custody of daughter Jayda
    • ‘We’ve had no apologies from those who caused us this unforgivable agony’

    By Sue Reid

    PUBLISHED: 01:34, 24 April 2012 | UPDATED: 01:37, 24 April 2012

    Jayda Wray came home on Good Friday for the first time.

    The excited little girl, wearing a bright red cardigan, was carried through the front door by her father and mother, who had waited since the day she was born for the precious moment.

    At their neat London home, the young  parents watched wide-eyed Jayda play with new toys laid out on the floor.

    ‘Agony’: Rohan Wray and Chana Al-Alas reunited with baby daughter Jayda, who was taken away from them after the couple were wrongly accused of murdering their son, JaydenThat evening, they bathed their little girl before she went contentedly to sleep.

    ‘When she woke the next morning she was so happy, as if she had been with us all her life,’ says her 22-year-old father Rohan now.

    More…

    Yet behind this image of contented family life is a story so horrendous it’s hard to believe it happened in Britain in the 21st century. It has frightening echoes of Stalin’s Russia or the events in a Kafka novel.

    Jayda was taken by social workers from her mother, Chana, now 19, the minute she was born in October 2010 and has, at 17 months old, only just been returned.


    No apologies: Chana cuddles a two-month-old Jayden, who doctors and police believed had been gripped and twisted so brutally by his parents that it shattered bones throughout his body. They were cleared after it later transpired he had the bone-weakening disease ricketsChana was not even allowed to hold her daughter before she was given to a foster family who hoped to adopt her.

    For she and Rohan had been accused of one of the worst crimes imaginable: shaking and beating to death Jayda’s older brother, Jayden, a year and a half earlier, when he was four months old.

    Scotland Yard detectives and doctors at the world famous children’s hospital, Great Ormond Street, believed the couple had gripped and twisted Jayden so brutally that bones throughout his body shattered, while blows to his head damaged his brain.

    It was only after a six-week murder trial at the Old Bailey last year that the couple were cleared of all wrongdoing.

    The judge ordered the jury to find them not guilty because a post-mortem revealed for the first time that Jayden had been born with rickets — a serious disease, linked to a lack of vitamin D, which causes seizures, weakens children’s skulls and causes their bones to break easily.

    These are symptoms that closely mimic those of a deliberately shaken baby.

    Cruel: After arresting them for grievous bodily harm, the Metropolitan police stopped the couple from seeing Jayden (pictured) before he died, three days after falling ill at homeDoctors had, it transpired at the hearing, missed a vital clue when Jayden became ill and died three days later. They failed to detect Jayden had rickets, caused because Chana had so little vitamin D in her body that her son had not received it in the womb, or when she breastfed him.

    But despite the couple being exonerated in December, their local authority in Islington continued to suspect them of causing Jayden’s death. Social workers refused to hand over their daughter, still with foster parents, and made them face a second hearing in a family court which ended just before Easter.

    At the end of this hearing, High Court judge Mrs Justice Theis also ruled the couple were blameless, and said Jayda should go home immediately. And last week, the judge made public an important written judgment on the Wray family’s case.

    It highlighted a growing epidemic of rickets among children in Britain, often caused by them or their mothers being deprived of sunlight in countries of the northern hemisphere.

    The judge called for more research so medics spot rickets and do not jump to conclusions that a child with broken bones has been abusedThe judge called for more research so medics spot rickets and do not jump to conclusions that a child with broken bones has been abused. She also pinpointed a failure by doctors to treat Jayden for seizures, often provoked by a vitamin D deficiency. This, she said, led to brain damage, which in turn may have played a role in the boy’s death.

    But what happened to the Wray family is not an isolated case. The return of rickets — thought to have been eradicated in this country a century ago — has led to an alarming rise in false allegations of parents shaking children to death.

    Yet when Jayden was rushed by his parents to University College Hospital in London on July 22, 2009, rickets wasn’t detected from an X-ray.

    The child, who was soon having seizures and becoming dangerously ill, was rushed to London’s Great Ormond Street, where radiologists also examined X-ray images. They, too, failed to spot he had rickets.

    When, later the same day at Great Ormond Street, scans showed a multitude of fractures all over Jayden’s body and head, the finger of blame was pointed directly at Rohan and Chana.

    ‘Dangerous allegations’: Rohan and Chana at the Old Bailey, where they had to endure a six-week murder trial before being found not guilty when evidence revealed Jayden had been ill rather than abusedSome might say it is easy to understand how the medics, when examining a young child with what looked like serious shaking injuries, thought the parents had hurt him. Yet that can hardly excuse their failure to diagnose his rickets — and the horrific ordeal the couple suffered.

    Jayden’s parents were accused by doctors of breaking his skull, his knee, elbow, shoulder, hip, ankle and wrist. Medics believed he had been intentionally shaken, and had his head hit on something hard.

    The Metropolitan police were called in, and the couple were arrested at the hospital in the middle of the night, and charged with causing him grievous bodily harm.

    Police stopped them from seeing their son before he died, on July 25, 2009, three days after falling ill at home. Cruelly, they were barred from a cot-side christening of Jayden by a vicar, which they had requested. It was watched only by nurses.

    ‘We never saw Jayden alive again from the moment of our arrest, because doctors and police thought we might harm him again’Rohan Wray

    ‘We never saw Jayden alive again from the moment of our arrest, because doctors and police thought we might harm him again,’ recalls Rohan. ‘The next time we were close to Jayden was at his funeral just before Christmas last year, when we’d been cleared of murder and his body was released by Scotland Yard.

    ‘Yet we have received no apologies from those who caused us this unforgivable agony. There are medical staff who, we believe, should be disciplined over Jayden’s death. Since the tragedy of Baby P, doctors, the police and social workers have become over-keen to snatch children from innocent parents.’

    And Chana adds: ‘These people in positions of authority made allegations against us without any proof, or discovering Jayden had rickets. This is dangerous.’

    Rohan and Chana met through friends when Chana was 14 and still a schoolgirl. When she gave birth to Jayden aged 16, he was a much-wanted and loved baby.

    The young parents attended all the antenatal appointments at the hospital or GP’s surgery. And after he was born, no one — from the health visitor to local doctors — saw as much as a bruise on the boy.

    The couple’s nightmare started when they woke at five one morning in July 2009. They found Jayden, who slept in a cot in their room, with his tongue stuck to the top of his mouth and refusing to be breastfed.

    Rohan says: ‘We thought he looked very sleepy, and saw his mouth would not open properly. But he had suspected flu a week or two before, and we thought he was still ill.’

    Second torment: Rohan and Chana after their victory in the High Court, where they had to face similar accusations after the local authority refused to hand back their daughter, JaydaRohan walked around with his son in his arms. The couple put Jayden in his baby bouncer, and tried waving a set of keys, his favourite plaything, in front of his face. The boy reached out for them, and followed them with his eyes. But still he refused to breastfeed.

    The couple then rang University College Hospital near their home. But when Rohan described his son’s symptoms to a doctor, he was told it did not sound like ‘anything serious’ and to take the baby to a GP.

    Rohan phoned his local doctor’s surgery for an appointment the instant it opened at 8.30am.

    The doctor they saw, a student in his second year of training, examined the baby and found little amiss. But he told them to go to University College Hospital paediatric walk-in clinic to double-check on him.

    They travelled there by bus, and a paediatric specialist said there was nothing wrong with the child, apart from him not opening his mouth. One doctor even pronounced him as ‘fit as a fiddle’.

    Crucially, nothing was ever done at the hospital to deal with the seizures he had started having.

    During the day, doctors decided to scan Jayden’s body. While rickets was never suspected, those initial scans showed Jayden had a fracture to his skull and that his arms were broken.

    By 6pm, his condition had worsened and doctors said they wanted to send him to Great Ormond Street. They warned his parents that the baby might not even make the journey by ambulance. CCTV hospital footage shows Chana collapsing to the floor in grief.

    That night, at Great Ormond Street, a paediatric consultant also told the couple that Jayden was unlikely to survive.

    Rohan says: ‘It was like, “Oh sorry to be so blunt, but you know your son is going to die.” I asked the consultant what had caused this — and he just glared at me as if he believed we had done something to our son.’

    It emerged at the criminal and family court hearings that the consultant had that night written in the child’s medical records: ‘In the absence of any explanation, this has all the features of inflicted head trauma.’

    The couple were later arrested by police, alerted by the hospital, for suspected grievous bodily harm.

    Two days later, they were told Jayden had died. The following year the police changed  the charges to murder. Chana — by then seven months pregnant with Jayda — was sent to Holloway prison to await a Crown Court hearing.

    Rohan was also sent to prison for two months at the start of the murder inquiry. At other stages, he had to wear a tag, obey a strict curfew and for a time was banned from seeing or speaking to Chana.

    When she gave birth to Jayda, their daughter was taken from her, and the couple were only allowed to see her, supervised, for a few hours a week. They were barred from visiting her on Christmas Day two years running.

    Rohan says: ‘I blame University College Hospital for killing our child.

    ‘We want an investigation into how Jayden died — and why our daughter was taken from us. We are taking legal advice on suing the police, and the hospitals that treated him.’

    There may be some who still doubt the couple’s innocence, but the fact is they have been cleared — twice.

    Their solicitor, Jenny Wiltshire, says: ‘So many lessons must be learned. Doctors should be aware of the dangers of vitamin D deficiency in mothers and their babies and must be trained to spot signs of rickets on X-rays.’

    It was only by chance that an eminent paediatric pathologist, Dr Irene Scheimberg, was called to give evidence at the couple’s murder trial. She conducted a post-mortem on Jayden and found ‘obvious sign of rickets’, including weak bones and a weak skull.

    Rohan says: ‘If Dr Scheimberg had not done the autopsy, we would have been found guilty of murder and Jayda would have been put up for adoption.

    ‘Not only would we have lost our son, but we would never have seen our daughter again.’

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2134226/Jayden-Wray-death-Couple-wrongly-blamed-shaking-rickets-stricken-baby-death-relive-horrific-ordeal.html#ixzz1sxr2f3Q6

    Baby’s parents demand rickets death hospital inquiry

    Baby’s parents demand rickets death hospital inquiry

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    Rohan Wray and Channa Al-Alas said they felt like one doctor was accusing them of harming their child

    Continue reading the main story Related Stories

    A young couple acquitted of murdering their four-month-old son have called for an inquiry into two London hospitals responsible for his care.

    Rohan Wray, 22, and Chana Al-Alas, 19, of London, were accused of abusing baby Jayden but his fractures were later found to have been caused by rickets.

    They told the BBC that the Great Ormond Street and University College hospitals should have diagnosed the disease.

    The hospitals have defended their care of Jayden before his death in 2009.

    A University College Hospital spokesman said its clinicians “acted with Jayden’s interests at heart”.

    “We regret that we were unable to reverse his deteriorating condition despite our intensive efforts in the short time he stayed with us. We would like to offer our sincere condolences to Jayden’s parents,” he said.

    Continue reading the main story Analysis Andrew Hosken BBC Today programmeIt is difficult to hear of a more astonishing ordeal than that endured by the parents of baby Jayden.

    Accused of murdering their first child who died of natural causes, the couple had to suffer the shock of seeing their second baby taken away in the delivery room and taken into care.

    They were acquitted of murder at the Old Bailey last December but have not been able to speak until now due to their family court battle to have their baby daughter Jayda returned to them.

    That fight ended successfully on Thursday. For almost three years, they were treated as murder suspects not only by police and medical experts but also strangers in the street who recognised them from newspaper reports.

    Both parents want their story told and an inquiry held to help other innocent parents in similar circumstances.

    Solicitors and other medical experts say there are many other parents also accused of abuse and murder of children where rickets is later found to be the cause.

    Great Ormond Street said the rickets abnormalities had been less obvious to hospital radiologists than at the later autopsy and that it regretted the family’s distressing time.

    Criminal charges against Jayden’s parents were dropped in December 2011, after witnesses were unable to agree on the cause of the boy’s death. But civil action was then taken by the local authority, Islington, which said Jayden had died from trauma inflicted on him by his parents.

    ‘Horrible two years’

    On Thursday, family court judge Mrs Justice Theis cleared Jayden’s parents of responsibility for the death of their son and criticised the two hospitals for what she described as sub-optimal care.

    Jayden had a fractured skull and died from brain damage and swelling. He had been suffering from severe rickets, a disease caused by vitamin-D deficiency that causes bones to become soft.

    In their first broadcast interview, given to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Jayden’s mother and father voiced their anger at Great Ormond Street and University College hospitals.

    They described being asked at University College Hospital (UCH) if they knew how Jayden’s injuries had occurred.

    “I said apart from him rolling over in his cot and hitting his head on the side of the bars I can’t think of any other explanation because we haven’t dropped him, nothing’s dropped on him,” Mr Wray said. “The look from them was that simply they didn’t believe my explanation.”

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    Dr Arun Ghosh, GP explains why some people are more likely to get rickets

    The couple said they believed that Jayden would still be alive had his condition been correctly diagnosed at UCH and that they blamed both hospitals for his death.

    Ms Al-Alas said they were prevented from seeing Jayden after he was transferred to Great Ormond Street and later learned the hospital had spent four hours getting his injuries scanned.

    “He wasn’t being treated then. They didn’t know his brain readings – they wasn’t checking that – they was just concentrating on getting the right pictures and he could’ve been treated then as well.” Lessons needed to be learned, she said.

    Mr Wray said it had been a “horrible, horrible two years”.

    “I really feel that they didn’t really know what they were doing and they just pre-judged us way too early,” he said. “You should actually be treated as innocent until proven guilty and not guilty until proven innocent.”

    ‘Nightmare went on’

    In a statement, a Great Ormond Street Hospital spokesman said the decision to prosecute Jayden’s parents was taken by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) after rickets had been diagnosed following Jayden’s death.

    “It is therefore fair to say that GOSH’s radiological opinion was not the determining factor in that decision. Nor would a diagnosis of rickets at GOSH have altered the clinical outcome,” he said.

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    “It is not for the trust to decide legal issues of criminal responsibility. We never took any position on whether any specific person caused these injuries.”

    A CPS spokesman said: “In bringing this prosecution we considered all of the evidence in detail and our policy on non-accidental head injuries, and were satisfied that there was a realistic prospect of conviction. There was no criticism of the CPS by the judge for bringing this case.”

    In her High Court ruling, Mrs Justice Theis said she could not be satisfied “on the balance of probabilities” that any of the fractures or the “traumatised fissure” were “as a result of inflicted deliberate harm caused to Jayden by either of these parents”.

    Mrs Justice Theis concluded that more research was needed on the impact of vitamin D deficiency and rickets on babies aged under six months.

    The couple’s daughter, who has been in the care of Islington since her birth in October 2010, has now been returned to them.

    LB of Islington v Al Alas and Wray [2012] EWHC 865 (Fam)-RICKETS CASE CHILD FINALLY RETURNED

    http://www.familylawweek.co.uk/site.aspx?i=ed97208

    LB of Islington v Al Alas and Wray [2012] EWHC 865 (Fam)-RICKETS CASE

    Baby Jayden case renews concerns over rickets and ‘child abuse’ allegations

    Baby Jayden case renews concerns over rickets and ‘child abuse’ allegations

    Fears grow that rising levels of vitamin-D deficiency may be leading to more cases of rickets being misdiagnosed as child abuse

    Rohan Wray and Chana al-Alas, who were cleared of murdering four-month-old Jayden

    Rohan Wray and Chana al-Alas have just had their second child returned to them by the court after she was taken into care at birth following Jayden’s death. Photograph: Sean Dempsey/PA

    Concern is mounting about dangerously low levels of vitamin D in pregnant women and two hospitals’ failure to identify rickets after the death of Jayden Wray, a baby who suffered from the disease.

    Chana al-Alas, who was just 16 when she fell pregnant, and her partner Rohan Wray, then 19, were acquitted at the Old Bailey last December of killing Jayden. Multiple fractures found after his death in 2009 were caused by congenital rickets, which was undetected in his 18 weeks of life, and not by abuse, the court found.

    The couple, now 19 and 22, had their second child returned to them by the family court this week. Jayda, now 18 months old, was taken into care at birth for her own safety because of the allegations against her parents.

    Questions are being asked about the levels of specialist expertise of the radiology departments at two London hospitals, University College London and Great Ormond Street hospital (GOSH), which failed to identify rickets in baby Jayden while he was alive.

    At the family court, Mrs Justice Theis said there had been only one other case in the last 30 years of such severe rickets in so young a baby. “This case has demonstrated the difficulties in identifying rickets just by images. In this case it was queried by the radiologist at UCLH, missed by the radiologists at GOSH and picked up by the paediatric pathologist,” she said in her written judgment, but she added that the baby received “sub-optimal care” from the two hospitals.

    Great Ormond Street said that Jayden had a full skeletal survey on 23 July 2009 that found multiple fractures but said it would not have been obvious to hospital radiologists that these were caused by weak bones. “It is clear to us from the judgment that this was an atypical case where abnormalities were much less visible on the radiology, than were shown by the postmortem,” GOSH said in a statement.

    It had subsequently commissioned an independent review of radiology issues arising from the case by Dr Stephen Chapman, of Birmingham Children’s hospital. This said: “It would have been best practice to raise the possibility of an underlying bone disease in the report (eg. vitamin D deficiency/rickets) …” but concluded that it was “not an obvious case of rickets”.

    But a former GOSH paediatric radiologist, Karen Rosendahl, disputed that, in general, cases of rickets were necessarily hard to detect on a survey. She saidtold the Guardian: “It’s very often not particularly difficult to see but you need experience. It’s complex. You need five to 10 years of experience to get the diagnosis correct.”

    Rosendahl, who specialises in multi-skeletal (MSK) radiology, claimed in a BBC London documentary this week that GOSH had not replaced experienced MSK radiologists who had left in recent years, and this had led to misdiagnosis in cases of suspected child abuse.

    Dr Rosendahl, who is now a consultant paediatric radiologist at Haukeland University hospital in Bergen, Norway, having left GOSH in April 2010, told the BBC: “I have concerns about children’s safety. One particular case was misdiagnosed and had the wrong sort of treatment. Another case was misdiagnosed as abuse when it wasn’t abuse.”

    The hospital said it accepted that it had lost MSK specialists but strongly rejected the claim and said that child protection work was a core part of the work of all its paediatric radiologists. GOSH said the decision to prosecute Jayden’s parents for causing his death was taken by the Crown Prosecution Service after rickets had been diagnosed at a postmortem examination. “It is therefore fair to say that GOSH’s radiological opinion was not the determining factor in that decision. Neither would a diagnosis of rickets at GOSH altered the sad clinical outcome.”

    The Jayden case is the latest in a line of high-profile controversies to hit Great Ormond Street. In May 2009 it was criticised by the NHS regulator over a catalogue of errors and failures,which meant serious injuries inflicted on Peter Connelly, the toddler known as Baby P, were not spotted. Peter had died in 2008 at the hands of his mother and her lodgers, shortly after being examined by a GOSH doctor in Haringey, north London.

    A year later MPs called for an investigation after 50 GOSH consultants signed a letter of no-confidence in the chief executive, Jane Collins amid allegations of “fear and intimidation” at the trust. This week a BBC London documentary alleged GOSH had bullied staff and tried to cover up clinical failures, charges the hospital rejected.

    Alas breast-fed Jayden, but this made his condition worse because her own vitamin D levels were so low. There is growing concern about deficiencies in mothers and their babies. Last year, Andrew Walker, coroner for north London, wrote to the health secretary, Andrew Lansley, asking him to ensure “greater public awareness” of the issue after a three-month old boy died of an infection to which low levels of vitamin D contributed. In February, the UK’s four chief medical officers issued an important reminder to GPs of the need for pregnant and breastfeeding women to take supplements. Breast-fed babies and those whose mothers did not take supplements should also be given vitamin D.

    Rare Disease Mimics Child Abuse and Tears Family Apart

    Rare Disease Mimics Child Abuse and Tears Family Apart

    PHOTO: David and Tiffany O'Shell of Henderson, Colo., with their daughter, Alyssa.

    David and Tiffany O’Shell of Henderson, Colo., with their daughter, Alyssa. (Courtesy of Paul Cuin)
    – / +
    April 4, 2012

    William “Dave” O’Shell, distraught over charges of child abuse that were being leveled against him, snapped on June 30, 2008, killing his wife, Tiffany O’Shell, in their Henderson, Colo., home before taking his own life.

    Just a few weeks earlier, their green-eyed, 3-month-old daughter, Alyssa, had been placed in a foster home because x-rays revealed 11 broken bones and doctors assumed that she had been beaten.

    But they were wrong.

    On the same day as the murder-suicide, a doctor at Colorado Children’s Hospital suspected something else and was later proved right: Alyssa had a rare genetic disorder that caused her bones to fracture — one that authorities had confused for abuse.

    Alyssa died of spinal muscular atrophy on Oct. 28, 2008, but the tragedy has rippled through a family and an aggressive social services system that is meant to protect children.

    Now, four years later after all lawsuits have been unsuccessful, Alyssa’s maternal grandparents are saying the tragedy could have been averted.

    “We were looking for action. We could care less about the money,” said Paul Cuin, Tiffany O’Shell’s adoptive father. “We wanted someone to sit up and say, ‘This is wrong and we need to change things.’”

    Cuin said there were no avenues for the O’Shells, both respected police officers, to plead their innocence.

    “If our kids had some sort of outlet or grievance process or gone to someone, we would have a whole different story today,” he said. “The system has to change.”

    A judge gave Cuin, 59, and his wife, Jackie Cuin, 50, custody of Alyssa after the death of their daughter and son-in-law, despite the objections of social services, according to a story first published in the Denver Post.

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    The newspaper obtained medical, social services and police records in their investigation, as well as court documents on the Cuins’ lawsuits.

    “They were wonderful parents,” said Paul Cuin, who is a supermarket manager. “We never had a single doubt in our minds [over whether] abuse was involved. We knew from the beginning, they loved that baby.”

    They nursed Alyssa until her death and are convinced that if doctors knew more about SMA, the disease might never again be confused with child abuse.

    Spinal muscular atrophy, or SMA, is a genetic neuromuscular disease characterized by muscle atrophy and weakness. It is caused by a mutation in the gene on the long arm of chromosome 5, which makes a protein that is important in the cells of the spinal cord and lower brain stem.

    It is not always a death sentence, but those with the most serious form, like Alyssa, can suffer respiratory failure.

    The disease is the leading genetic cause of death in infants and toddlers, affecting as many as 10,000 to 25,000 children and adults in the United States, according to the SMA Foundation.

    “It took seven months to diagnose my 12-year-old daughter, and my husband comes from a family of scientists and we live in New York City,” said Loren Eng, president of the SMA Foundation. “So few doctors are aware of the disease and it causes a wide variety of symptoms. It’s really an awareness problem.”

    Dr. Darryl De Vivo, a professor of neurology and pediatrics at Columbia University, said SMA can “masquerade to some degree” as child abuse, “at least to the uneducated eye.”

    “The nature of this disease is such that it allows the bone to be unduly susceptible to fractures in the normal handling of the infant,” he said.

    De Vivo added that with heightened awareness to child abuse, “people jump in and say guilty before being proven innocent.”

    The Colorado case began in on June 16, 2008, when Tiffany O’Shell noticed that Alyssa cried when she lifted her right leg. The baby was referred to Children’s Hospital of Colorado, where x-rays revealed fractures, but no bruises or abrasions.

    “We pleaded with the doctor at Children’s Hospital and social service to look for something else other than child abuse,” said Paul Cuin. “They should have waited and not jumped to conclusions.”

    Elizabeth Whitehead of Children’s Hospital Colorado said the hospital would not comment “on alleged child abuse cases, past or present.”

    Child protective services took Alyssa immediately and placed her in a foster home. Her grandparents were ruled out as guardians because Jackie Cuin had spent time babysitting the child and was considered a suspect

    Social Services Thought I Was Beating My Kids

    http://www.checkorphan.org/grid/news/people/social-services-thought…

    Social workers took away our baby for nine months: With no evidence against them, couple were banned from looking after their son

    Social workers took away our baby for nine months: With no evidence against them, couple were banned from looking after their son

    By Tom Kelly

    PUBLISHED: 23:15, 23 March 2012 | UPDATED: 23:17, 23 March 2012

    Outrage: David and Julie Nevin had their son taken from them by social workers for nine months after they were wrongly accused of having hit himOutrage: David and Julie Nevin had their son taken from them by social workers for nine months after they were wrongly accused of having hit him

    When Julie Nevin put her only son to bed in late December 2010, he was seven months old.

    The next time she was allowed to perform that simple act, Reilly was a 16-month-old toddler.

    She and her husband David lost nine months of their little boy’s life after social services took him away over a minor bruise on his forehead.

    They believed Mr and Mrs Nevin may have slapped their beloved son, with the couple at one point being arrested on suspicion of assault and subjected to the humiliation of police taking their DNA, fingerprints and mugshots – despite all the initial checks coming back clear.

    The couple’s nightmare only ended when a consultant paediatrician belatedly conceded that the bruising had most likely been caused by the little boy accidentally bumping into the metal legs of the family’s sofa – as they had originally suggested.

    A judge dismissed the council’s application for a care order, ruling that Reilly was already a ‘well-cared for child’, and his parents were allowed to take him home.

    Last night the Nevins told how their lives had been ‘turned upside down’ by the horrific experience, and called for an urgent overhaul of the child protection system.

    Mrs Nevin, 40, who works for the Red Cross, said: ‘Reilly left us as a baby and came back as a toddler. We have had to start all over again. For nine months we came back to an empty house, it was very distressing.’

    ‘The whole system is loaded against parents. You are guilty until proven innocent. Nobody believed us apart from our GP. Our backgrounds and medical history were checked and there was nothing.’

    Catch up: David and Julie are finally getting some time to play with their sonCatch up: David and Julie are finally getting some time to play with their son

    She added: ‘We felt we were stuck in a system in which social workers were ticking the right boxes just to make them look as if they were working.’
    The couple’s ordeal began on Christmas Eve 2010, when Reilly woke up at the family’s semi-detached bungalow in the village of Rhos, near Swansea, with a minor bruise on his forehead.

    Mrs Nevin called her husband, a manager in a dairy company, who advised her to take Reilly to their family doctor to be on the safe side. The GP concluded he was a ‘well, bright and lively’ child who had probably hurt himself rolling around the sitting room floor, and that there was no evidence that the injury was deliberate.

    But five days later, Mrs Nevin took Reilly for a check-up at a medical centre, and staff referred him to the paediatric assessment unit at Morriston Hospital in Swansea. There, a consultant paediatrician suggested a slap could have caused the bruise, describing it as a ‘non-accidental suspicious injury’.

    The couple were allowed to see their son… but were supervised at all times

    His parents rejected this and gave other possible explanations, including him hitting his face on the metal legs of the sofa, or on his cot bars, or on his toys.

    But Mrs Nevin said: ‘Although the paediatricians did not say it in so many words, they thought we had slapped him.’

    Reilly stayed in hospital for two nights for observation and tests, including one for shaken baby syndrome, which all came back clear. Despite this, the devastated couple were told they were not allowed to take Reilly home because of concerns about his safety.

    Arrangements were made for the baby to stay with relatives, initially his uncle and aunt. Reilly then spent the next nine months being fostered by Mrs Nevin’s parents, who live a few miles away from Rhos, with a social worker acting as his legal guardian.

    The couple were allowed to see their son, but only on a strict schedule, and they had to be supervised at all times. They visited each day but overnight stays were banned.

    Innocent: Reilly had a bruise on his forehead - which social services believed may have been caused by a slapInnocent: Reilly had a bruise on his forehead – which social services believed may have been caused by a slap

    Mr Nevin, 48, said: ‘On the first day, we got back home and we just hugged each other in the kitchen and cried. Even though it was New Year’s Eve, we were in bed by 8pm and cried all night.’

    Then in February last year, the couple were arrested for suspected assault. A few weeks later however, police told the Nevins the case was being dropped because of lack of evidence. Despite this, social services still sought a care order and told the couple Reilly might be put up for adoption.

    Over the next few months, the couple, who have been married for nearly four years, attended the family court in Swansea four times to try to get Reilly back. A second consultant paediatrician, instructed by Reilly’s guardian, initially told the hearing the bruising was caused ‘most probably by a hand slap’.

    Mr and Mrs Nevin are still recovering from the pain of being separated from Reilly for nearly a year

    But after various alternatives were put to him he changed his evidence, conceding the bruising was narrower than he would have expected if Reilly had been slapped. He eventually said he believed the most likely cause was Reilly bumping against a sofa leg.

    District Judge Jane Garland-Thomas dismissed the care order application, ruling that Neath Port Talbot Council had failed to prove the injury was non-accidental and that there was ‘no evidence whatsoever’ of any other causes of concern.

    She added: ‘Reilly was a well-cared for and no doubt still is a well-cared for baby and these parents have been totally compliant and engaged fully with the social services.’

    Scene: Morriston Hospital in Swansea, where it was suggested that Reilly may have been struck on the headScene: Morriston Hospital in Swansea, where it was suggested that Reilly may have been struck on the head

    Finally, on September 27 last year, the couple were able to take Reilly home.

    Nearly six months later, Mr and Mrs Nevin are still recovering from the pain of being separated from Reilly for nearly a year.

    They have written to the Prime Minister asking for changes to child protection procedures, highlighting the ‘stress, heartache, family upset and depression’ they suffered.

    Mrs Nevin, who was prescribed anti-depressants, said: ‘He is the most loved child ever. But I still don’t think I have got over it. I am even afraid to take Reilly to the doctor now.’

    A spokesman for Neath Port Talbot Council said: ‘We take safeguarding of children extremely seriously. We are satisfied that all appropriate actions were taken.’
    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2119580/Social-workers-took-away-baby-months-With-evidence-couple-banned-looking-son.html#ixzz1q2XtGztD

    Portslade mum blames care threat ordeal on the Baby P effect

    Portslade mum blames care threat ordeal on the Baby P effect

    1:20pm Tuesday 13th March 2012 in News

    CRUMBLED: Emily Boyle said she endured three months of hell CRUMBLED: Emily Boyle said she endured three months of hell

    A college worker says her fight to keep her three children out of care was “every mother’s worst nightmare”.

    Emily Boyle, from Franklin Road in Portslade, said she endured three months of hell after being accused of breaking her infant daughter’s arm.

    The mother-of-three had to spend three months living with a foster family in Crawley with the threat of losing her children hanging over her before a judge ruled that the injuries were the result of an accident.

    The family’s trouble started on Saturday October 29 when Emily Boyle’s partner Robin Neal was feeding Miss Boyle’s youngest daughter.

    Mr Neal discovered a lump on the six-month-old baby’s right arm and they immediately took her to the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton where X-rays revealed she had a broken arm.

    Miss Boyle, a learning resource assistant at Sussex Downs College, was quizzed by doctors about how her daughter’s arm had been broken and they forwarded the case to social services and the police.

    Mother and daughter stayed in hospital for two days until November 1 when social services told her that they were going to go to court in the morning to obtain an emergency protection order to place her three children in care.

    Accident These orders can only be applied for if a council has reasonable cause to believe the child is a risk.

    The following day the care order application was dismissed but Miss Boyle agreed she and the children would move in with a foster family in Crawley so she could be supervised while further investigations were carried out.

    In February a week-long court session at Brighton Magistrates’ Court declared that the injuries had been caused by an accident.

    The 32-year-old said: “When they said they could take my children into care my whole world just crumbled and I felt my heart break into a million pieces.

    “I had a panic attack while looking into my eldest daughter’s eyes. She just beamed up at me, not knowing that they were trying to take her and her siblings away from me.

    “I work with vulnerable young adults who have been abused. I see what damage is done and I pick up the pieces, so to be accused of being the sort of person who harms children makes me sick.

    “I understand social services have a difficult job to do but it was the way they went about it. I think the outcry from Baby P made them act over the top.”

    A Brighton and Hove City Council spokesman said: “We are unable to comment on individual child protection cases, which have to be dealt with in strict confidentiality in the interests of the family concerned.”

     

     

     

    Couple denies abusing son as they battle state for custody

    Couple denies abusing son as they battle state for custody

    By Emily Sinovic KATU News and KATU.com Staff Published: Feb 28, 2012 at 11:01 PM PD

     

     

    The state has taken custody of Daniel and Linda Dossey’s baby boy, Joss, accusing them of abusing him. The couple deny they intentionally hurt their son.

    MCMINNVILLE, Ore. – The state accuses two McMinnville parents of abusing their child, but the couple insists they’re innocent.

    The state took custody of Linda and Daniel Dossey’s baby boy, Joss, after the couple brought him in with a fever in November and say doctors found what appeared to be fractures in the child’s leg and ribs. But the couple says their son has a medical condition called neonatal rickets.

    The couple says they were shocked after a doctor told them Joss had a broken femur.

    “We’re like he’s been kicking around fine,” said Linda. “He seemed a little fussy but not in pain.”

    Linda said the doctors’ response to the child’s injuries was it “must have been shaking. That this was (a) grabbing motion that must have occurred that caused the shaking.”

    The Dosseys say social services interviewed them and took Joss the next day.

    “We’re grasping for anything,” Linda said. “We know that our son has something medically wrong here. Figure it out.”

    Looking for an explanation, the couple found a specialist in Illinois who reviewed Joss’ medical file and diagnosed him with neonatal rickets, a rare medical condition that can cause weakened bones.

    The specialist testified on their behalf at a custody hearing last month but his expert opinion wasn’t enough to get their son back.

    “It hurts. That’s all you can say is it just hurts like beyond anything,” Daniel said.

    The Dosseys say there is no proof they abused their son but they have to go through mental evaluations with the state next month. Until then, Joss remains in foster care.

    “You’re innocent until proven guilty. We know we didn’t do anything, this will be easy, and then know that it’s not really that easy,” Linda said.

    DHS won’t comment on the case. According to OHSU, where Joss was treated before going to foster care, it cannot comment on the specific case but it follows state law, which requires reporting any suspected child abuse.

     

     

     

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