Sheffield ‘baby abuse’ couple in fight to get child back

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A SHEFFIELD couple whose month-old baby was taken into care after they were accused of battering him have been given a final chance to win him back.

The couple, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were accused of horrific child abuse after multiple fractures were discovered and their child was put up for adoption.

But they claim their baby, who is now almost three, was born with congenital rickets.

The Appeal Court heard that there is evidence the youngster was born with a Vitamin D deficiency, inherited from his mother, which led to soft bones and rickets.

It is claimed that vitamin supplements in his baby milk masked the deficiency and led to the couple later being accused of abuse by social workers, experts and a judge.

The baby boy was then taken away from his distraught family.

But it has now emerged that lawyers had a ‘light bulb moment’ when they examined his medical records.

They have now launched an appeal against the care order.

Lord Justice McFarlane said: “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 signs of dysfunction within the family, to indicate a risk of child abuse in the case.

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 an expert report in support of their case.

Recognising the parents’ ‘exceptionally awful’ experience in having their child taken away from them, the judge said that the court would ‘carefully examine’ whether or not the Vitamin D deficiency explanation was ‘more than an intellectual possibility’.

The case was adjourned.