Surrey

Charges dropped against couple accused of 'baby abuse'

A couple whose baby was adopted when they were charged with child abuse have had the charges against them dropped.

Karrissa Cox and Richard Carter, of Guildford, faced assault charges after health staff found bruises on the baby and X-rays appeared to show fractures.

Defence lawyers argued the X-rays were consistent with rickets and the prosecution later said one of their experts could not be sure of fractures.

Jurors were told to record not guilty verdicts at Guildford Crown Court.

The couple had maintained their innocence for three years, but the adoption went ahead while the case continued against them.

Adoption fight ahead

In April 2012, the couple took their six-week-old baby to hospital after they spotted blood in the child's mouth.

But hospital staff noticed bruising and marks on the child's body, and X-rays were carried out which a radiologist said showed healing fractures on the baby's limbs.

The injuries were considered to be non-accidental, the court heard.

The child was first removed into foster care and then later adopted.

During the court case, defence lawyers said the X-rays were consistent with rickets, and the bruising with von Willebrand's disease.

Three weeks into the trial, the prosecution said one of their own medical experts could not be sure that X-rays showed fractures and therefore it would not be possible for a jury to reach a conclusion.

BBC reporter Sarah Campbell said the couple planned to appeal against their child's adoption, but legal experts believed it was extremely unlikely the pair would be successful.

'Removal appropriate'

The Crown Prosecution Service said the prosecution's case was based on "expert medical evidence which supported the original charges of cruelty".

A spokesman said: "The case was then reviewed following new medical evidence which concluded that there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction on any of the charges."

A Surrey County Council spokesman said: "With any case like this we only have one thing in mind and that's the welfare of the child.

"This case was examined carefully by the family court and having heard all the evidence, it took the view that it was appropriate for the child to be removed from their parents."

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