Three-year-old bruised and bitten by ill-treating mother and partner

A police light shining above a police car.

The child's mother attempted to take the child away, upon realising that social services were concerned. - Credit: Max Fleischmann on Unsplash

A couple were sentenced on Friday (April 8) following a period of mistreatment of a three-year-old, including bruising and biting.

The incidents began in October 2018, when the child's mother and her partner moved in together.

Both individuals lived in Peterborough at the time, and cannot be named for legal reasons.

In November 2018, an ambulance was called and it was believed that the child had fallen down the stairs whilst unsupervised. 

He was taken to hospital as a precaution, where it was later revealed that he had suffered bruising but no serious injuries.

Following this incident, social services recommended a stair-gate be fitted, which was never fitted.

In December 2018, the boy was taken to A&E for a second time by his mother, with bruises found on his face, neck, chest, jaw, wrist, eye, scalp, feet, back and chin.

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Further bruises were discovered on an unexpected visit from social services, this time around the toddler's left eye. 

It was claimed that the child had run into an open drawer the previous night, a referral was made that same day by Child's Social Care.

Knowing that there were concerns about her son's welfare, the mother took the child away from Cambridgeshire and ignored calls from social workers.

Cambridgeshire Police caught up with the duo the following day (December 22), with the toddler taken to Peterborough City Hospital to be checked over.

The youngster was found to have "substantial bruising" under his left eye, a mark on his forehead, patches of hair missing, bruises to the torso and legs, and a bite mark on his arm.

A full skeletal x-ray revealed two fractured ribs, and the mother's boyfriend later admitted to biting the three-year-old.

A day after being caught, the child was placed with foster carers.

The mother of the child and her former partner both pleaded guilty to assaulting, ill-treating or abandoning a child.

The mother pleaded guilty on the basis that, by December 2018, she had become concerned by the number of marks appearing on her son and accepted that her parenting fell short of what was expected of her.

Her partner pleaded guilty on the basis that his behaviour fell short of what is required for a child of that age, and that he failed to protect the boy on several occasions, including when he bit him.

On Friday (April 8), at Huntingdon Law Courts, the mother was sentenced to a two-year community order and ordered to complete 40 hours of unpaid work.

A mental health treatment order and a 40-day rehabilitation activity requirement was also included.

Her former partner was also handed a two-year community order, but must complete 70 hours of unpaid work and a 35-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

Detective constable Jim Huddlestone said: "This sentencing concludes a long, sad and shocking case in which a little boy suffered a series of injuries over a short period of time - just two months - and was neglected by both defendants.

“The boy’s mother and her partner at the time were the people he relied upon to keep him safe and they failed to do this in every way.

“Thankfully the toddler is now in a safe and happy environment and thriving; he has the best wishes of the whole department for his future.

“I’d like to commend the actions of the health and social care professionals, the officers in our child protection department and Det Sgt Greg Stanley, all of whom have contributed to the child being safe.

“I would urge anyone who is concerned for the welfare of a child to report it. We all have a responsibility to protect children in our communities.”