Tuesday 14 June 2022
This is an appeal the decision of HHJ Gibson, sitting in the Family Court, dated 3 February 2022. The applicant mother appeals the adverse findings made against her.
The child has remained in foster care in the interim and has supervised contact with each of his parents.
The trigger event for the proceedings was a referral from a community practitioner, following a community nursing immunisation appointment. At this appointment she observed multiple grey-blue bruises on the child’s back and torso. This resulted in an admission to hospital where they carried out a number of investigations. It was found that the child had sustained four fractures. The child was in the care predominantly of his parents, although there were short periods when he was also in the care of his maternal grandmother and his paternal grandmothers. In addition, the local authority had sought findings that he sustained further bruising and a cut to his lip in hospital, and further bruising. Since being in foster care he has sustained further bruising on a number of occasions. The Local Authority assert most of these have a known or presumed accidental cause. Genetic investigations undertaken in another country identified that he carries two variant genetic sequences: a heterozygous variant within the TGFBR2 gene and a mutation within the PNKBKP gene. The former gene is associated with Loeys-Dietz Syndrome, which is associated with a propensity to bruise, but not with a propensity to bone fracture.