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
Chris and Julia Norton were interviewed by police and forced to sign over the children to Julia’s parents
A 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.”
By Nick Owens