Parents found guilty over child neglect of baby boy

Albany Advertiser

The parents of an eight-month-old Denmark boy, who was found to have maggots in his ear along with bruises, bite marks and suspected limb fractures, have been found guilty of child neglect.

An Albany District Court jury took an hour today to acquit the two parents on the charge of engaging in conduct knowing that conduct man result in harm to the child but found guilty of the alternative charge of engaging in conduct that was reckless and may have resulted in the child suffering.

The child’s injuries were the subject of the 11-day trial that heard from various medical experts who examined the infant’s injuries.

The child was taken away from the parents in October 2015 after suspected bite marks were discovered by the child’s daycare centre and authorities became involved.

State prosecutor David Davidson said while the parents were not charged with inflicting the injuries, there was evidence from a former friend that the mother had bitten her son.

Mr Davidson said the parents’ battle with their drug addiction showed a lack of care for their child and there was numerous episodes of head trauma suffered in the child’s first seven months.

The jury heard when examined by a doctor, a rib, right forearm and lower leg fracture were identified and the child had bite marks and bruises, was undernourished and had to have the maggots removed from his ear.

Mr Davidson questioned why the parents did not notice the injuries on their child if they were attentive to the child’s needs such as food.

Closing the defence case yesterday, lawyer Paul Chapman said both parents had made a pact to abstain from drug use before the child was born and while he acknowledged there had been “slip ups” it did not affect their ability to care for their son.

He said there was little evidence of harm as the child showed no signs of pain from the suspected fractures and the father took a significant interest in his son’s needs.

Defence counsel for the mother Helen Prince said when all the evidence was examined it showed an 18-year-old mother engaged and doing everything she could for her child.

Judge Julie Wager ordered pre sentence reports before sentencing on April 13.

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