Parents regain custody of child

Otago Daily Times 20 Sept 2013
A former Dunedin couple have regained custody of their  daughter after two years, following a High Court decision overturning a care and protection order.

Justice Graham Panckhurst has ruled it was ”very unlikely” the parents deliberately inflicted the then 8-month-old’s injuries.

The couple, whose names are suppressed, lived in Dunedin when their baby was put into Child Youth and Family care after a hospital visit in July 2011 where she was found to has unexplained fractures.

Removing child from parents defended

After a family court hearing in December 2011, Judge Stephen Coyle found the injuries to be non-accidental, based on the specialist medical evidence given, and inflicted by her parents, despite ”a lack of evidence to suggest either were      anything other than caring parents”.

Guardianship of the baby was awarded to a family member in the North Island and the parents given access. The parents then sold their house in Dunedin and moved to the North Island to be near their daughter.

There was nothing to indicate a propensity to deliberately cause harm to their daughter. They had regular contact with friends, family and medical professionals so it was ”amazing” no sign of swelling, bruising or tenderness was observed, he said.