A MAN and a woman have been jailed after a child suffered a fractured skull while in their care.
Heather Haveron, 22, and Aaron Beresford, 21, pleaded guilty to wilfully assaulting a child under 14 years old.
Chester Crown Court heard how both defendants claimed the child, who cannot be named for legal reasons, suffered a fractured skull after falling from a collapsed Moses basket.
But John Wynn-Williams, prosecuting, said both defendants had sought to conceal events relating to the October 2 incident while the child was in their care by
“chopping and changing” their version of events in police statements and other accounts.
Both defendants had not sought medical intervention until the day after the incident, Mr Wynn-Williams said.
A hospital examination later revealed the child had suffered trauma to the head, but medical experts said the injuries to the child were unlikely to have been sustained as a result of a fall from a Moses basket.
While there was no suggestion that the defendants, both from Ellesmere Port, had been directly responsible for inflicting the injury to the child, the exact nature of events were unknown.
Matthew Corbett-Jones, defending Haveron, said she claimed she had not been present when the child fell to the floor.
Owen Edwards, defending Beresford, said the defendant maintained the child had fallen from the Moses basket.
Mr Wynn Williams said Haveron and Beresford had neglected the child by failing to seek immediate medical assistance after the incident. The child had become distressed as a result of the fall, the court heard.
Both defendants attended a GP surgery on October 3 where they told a doctor the child had fallen from a Moses basket when its stand collapsed.
Further concern was raised and the child underwent a hospital X-ray revealing the fracture. The child had since made a full recovery.
Mr Wynn-Williams told the court: “We say this was a case of wilful mistreatment in allowing the injury to happen and also failing to take immediate steps to ensure the child had medical assistance.”
The Recorder of Chester, Judge Elgan Edwards, described the case as a “depressing set of events”.
Sentencing both Haveron and Beresford to 20 weeks in prison, Judge Edwards said the child deserved to be protected and both defendants had shown little, if any, concern for the child who had been neglected after suffering a serious injury.
“Not only that, but you both proceeded to lie to try to cover your tracks.”
Judge Edwards said: “The only people who really know what went on is you two.”