Lengthy Story but please read, I NEED advice!!!

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SunshineStarRainbow
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2018 5:10 pm

Lengthy Story but please read, I NEED advice!!!

Post by SunshineStarRainbow » Sun Sep 30, 2018 10:45 am

Back story;
2012; I met my daughters dad. We were in a relationship for some time and lived together for 9 months. He struggled with anger management and sometimes lashed out, at me or the property. I fell pregnant with our daughter and then he left me. I'd began speaking with an old friend and he began expressing interest in having a relationship with me. I told him I thought he was too immature for me, especially as I was now expecting a baby. He then went on to tell me that he had had a son who passed away. My heart plummeted for him, I couldn't imagine the heartache he'd experience. I warmed to him and we entered into a relationship. He was so supportive throughout my pregnancy. We got engaged and then married once my daughter was 6 months old and I was pregnant with our son. My daughters dad would visit my daughter from time to time but he went on to struggle with alcohol issues and then suffered a suicide attempt and we lost contact with him entirely. Unfortunately, my husband became abusive. On the first and second occasion I rang the police and he'd lie to them or charm them away from the door. I stopped calling after that. I also found out that his son that he had told me of never even existed; both this baby and his mother were fabrications from my husband to "get him what he wanted"; me.

On the 18th of August last year, I began a new job. It was the first job I'd been at since falling pregnant with my daughter in late 2015. When I returned from my first day at work, my son had a bruise on his forehead. I asked my husband what had happened. He told me he had accidentally bumped my sons head on a tap while bathing him. My son was happy enough and I had no reason, at the time, to not believe my husband. I then had a full week of training, whilst my children were in my husbands care. On Friday the 25th of August, whilst I was at work, my husband rang me telling me my son was not breathing. I urged him to call an ambulance. They stopped resuscitation shortly after I arrived at the hospital and my son passed away. He was 3 months and 16 days old. My daughter was 16 months old. It was later this day that I learnt that my son had healing rib fractures and I didn't have a clue. My daughter was then taken and I have been fighting for her return ever since. I stayed with my husband for 6 weeks after our son passed away and then he moved out. I began blaming and resenting him; he told me he'd left my son face down on the floor crying (he told the police he left him to "scream") and this was my sons last moments and I wasn't even there to be there with him - I wouldn't have left him, I couldn't and cannot comprehend why he left him. I began blaming him a year ago for my sons death and injury and why I'd lost both my children, my entire world, in a matter of hours. A few months after we separated, I fell pregnant again (despite being on contraception) but, as I know it was not me who hurt my son, I fully expected my daughter to be returned home once the proceedings had finished. I really believed that. I kept my new, unexpected little baby.

Of course, care proceedings began quickly. My daughters dad was contacted and he began contact with her. I too had contact with her. Meanwhile, whilst myself and my entire family fully engaged, my (ex) husband and his dad completely disengaged, insisting that this had nothing to do with them and making it blatantly obvious that they did not care nor were they interested in what had happened to my late son. Time and time again my ex failed to enter statements to the court whilst I was getting my statements in on time and providing my solicitor with evidence of the abuse he inflicted on me. I was placed on The Freedom Programme. I also completed a Child Protection course and a Baby and Child First Aid course. I was given a positive parental assessment and my contact progressed from a contact center to my parents home and everyone, social workers included, were talking about my daughter and my unborn son coming home to me. No one had heard from my ex at all. I noticed that he stated within his police interview "ribs crushed" and that in the medical report it says that the way in which my baby's injuries were inflicted upon him were through "compression" and this was the moment that it hit me hard that my (ex) husband must have hurt my baby boy and he knows it. The medical report regarding my sons fractures didn't come out until nearly 6 months after my son passed away but we were interviewed the day he passed away; my ex knew nearly 6 months before anyone else that my son's injury came about through "compression", in other words, "crushed".

We had an IRH court date in April, which my ex did not show up to and a witness summons was taken out on him. He was also given one more chance to enter a statement and an order was put in place to "prohibit" him from entering anything after the deadline he was given. The coroners report came out 2 days before the composite hearing was due to start. Within the report, it states that my babies "most likely mode of death" was "positional asphyxia" and it also discusses that my son had haemorrhaging to his vocal chords; my ex left our son face down on the floor to "scream" (to quote what he told the police). The entire thing is stomach churning. By this point I was 6 months pregnant with my unborn son and so ready to bring him and my daughter back home. On the day the composite hearing was due to start, my ex and his dad showed up with statements full of false accusations (including a denial of the explanation he gave me of my sons bruise) and, despite the order that had been put in place, they were allowed to enter these statements. I had absolutely no time to gather evidence to prove my credibility; up until this moment, my ex had been completely silent - how could I respond to anything when he was not saying anything? My legal team kept telling me that my ex not engaging was "working in my favour" and basically, when he turned up, every signle one of them were caught with their pants down. The hearing went ahead, in spite of this. The judge described it as "sabotage" and the composite hearing became a fact finding due to the time lost. It took the judge nearly 2 months to make a decision once the hearing had finished, but, he ended up leaving both myself and my ex in the pool and it's been devastating.

I immediately filed for an appeal and pursued it eagerly; despite my insisting that my ex was cross-examined about the "ribs crushed" comment, my barrister failed to and no one else seemed to pick up on the comment. All the evidence I had provided my solicitor never made it to the judge also and I cannot understand why. I knew this evidence would help prove I've been truthful about everything and so I had to get it to the court of appeal. I then gave birth to my son, who is currently with my daughter in my parents care. I began making phone calls to subject access and asking for reports from WWIN and my bereavement counsellor to provide to the court of appeal also, along with a multitude of messages to prove I've been telling the truth about my claims and not "exaggerating" my ex's abusive behavior. I would have done all of this in time for the hearing but how could I? I had no idea what I had to respond to. I gathered an entire file of information that had never before been seen by the judge, some because I had not yet acquired it and some because my solicitor failed me (photographs of bruises my ex had caused me, for instance). I also wanted to highlight quotes within the judgment; "nevertheless, her qualities as a mother would, findings aside, support a return of her daughter to her care"; evidencing how well I care for my children. Above all else though, I wanted to appeal this because my sons death was not discussed at all during the hearing and the more legal advice I get, the more I understand that that is wrong. While I was doing all of this I switched to a new solicitor. I also continue to have contact with my daughter at my parents home and began having contact with my son at my house, as well as being granted community contact with both of them. The social worker even told me, my mother and a midwife that she "doesn't believe it was me".

Unfortunately, as of a few days ago, my appeal was stopped. I was given the explanation that the judge had all of the evidence, but I know he did not; half of it wasn't even available until after the hearing! The welfare hearing for my daughter is in late October and the social worker is pushing for her to go to her biological dads care full time but I know I need to keep going and get my children home, even my daughters dad is saying "hopefully the police will do something".

Does anyone have any advice for me? I'm at a loss.

Miserylovescompany2
Posts: 64
Joined: Sun Jul 02, 2017 6:55 pm

Re: Lengthy Story but please read, I NEED advice!!!

Post by Miserylovescompany2 » Sun Sep 30, 2018 11:27 am

I have no advice. I wish I did. From what you have written I'd imagine you already know the personality traits of your deceased sons father - the chilling sob story (pity-ploy) he fabricated in order to get your empathy at the beginning of your relationship is truly sickening. I can not even begin to imagine how you even get through each day knowing what you know. All credit to you and your determination to get the truth acknowledged.

I hope you get justice for your son. Hopefully someone with more insight will signpost you soon?

SunshineStarRainbow
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2018 5:10 pm

Re: Lengthy Story but please read, I NEED advice!!!

Post by SunshineStarRainbow » Sun Sep 30, 2018 3:14 pm

I sincerely hope so. I'm thinking about going to an ombudsman. I need answers just as much as everyone else does and I just have to keep going, I know that much. I'd suffered a miscarriage and an ectopic pregnancy at the time that he told me that story, I really felt for him and it resounded with me on a personal level too, now more than ever. It is sickening but by the time I learnt the truth, our son was on his way and I guess I felt stuck. I still have such a strong bond with my daughter and my newborn son (he's 6 weeks old). I social worker even told the midwife that she doesn't believe it was me and rightfully so but somehow things got messy, fast and I'm giving my all to this.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Lengthy Story but please read, I NEED advice!!!

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:48 am

Dear SunshineStarRainbow

Thank you for posting again.

I can see from the lengthy back story that you have provided that there has been a lot going on for you.

My sincere condolences on the loss of your baby son.

It appears to me that from your post you believe that the decision that the judge made including you in the pool of perpetrators was the wrong decision. You have appealed the decision but this has been refused. You believe this to be wrong and an injustice based on the fact that evidence which would have led to a different decision came to hand sometime after the hearing. I am assuming that you sought leave to appeal and this was denied on the basis of the judgement provided to support your application for leave to appeal.

An appeal is usually considered on the basis of whether the judge at the hearing made a mistake in law or reached a decision ignoring the facts of the case. It appears that on the evidence available to the judge reached the decision that he or she did at the fact finding hearing.

The judge considering your application for leave to appeal seems to have made the decision based on the fact that the judge made the decision on the evidence available. An appeal is not really a rehearing of the case. You could if the decision was made only on the papers ask the court to fix a hearing so that other evidence can be provided to the court due to the change in circumstances.

Did you raise the issues you are referring to in your post in the grounds for appeal which you lodged with the court? For example, the fact that the judge did not consider your son’s death during the fact-finding hearing?

You do not say when the fractures to your baby were dated and since you both had care of your son until you went back to work I suppose the judge took the view that there was no clear evidence of when or who caused the injury and this led to the decision to keep you both in the pool of perpetrators although no finding of fact appears to have been made against either of you.
The information that has come to light for you to think that your ex-husband caused the injuries is based on the statement he gave to the police about your baby being ‘crushed’. You state in your post that he retracted from this.
You have referred to quotes from the judge about your ability to parent but this is against the finding that is, of being in the pool of perpetrators.

One the one hand you say that the social worker does not believe you harmed your son but on the other is pushing for your daughter to go to her father’s care. Having said that, they do need to take account of the judge’s decision from the fact-finding hearing
The final hearing is at the end of October so the new evidence to which you refer can be brought to the court’s attention then when in a statement.

The final decision about where your daughter will live rests with the judge after considering all the evidence and what is best for her long term care. Her welfare will be the paramount consideration in reaching that decision.

If you believe, having now had confirmation of the cause of death, that your ex-husband should be held responsible, then you might want to inform the police so they can look further into the matter.

I have given you very limited advice in respect of appealing as it is not an area of expertise within our advice service our remit relates to issues when children’s services has involvement with families. The best person to advice you about the appeal is the solicitor/barrister who represented at the fact finding hearing.

I hope it will be h helpful.

Best wishes

Suzie

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