Woman does not fit ‘abuser’ profile, lawyer claims

THE lawyer of a woman was arrested in Almeria accused of breaking several of her seven-month-old daughter’s bones says she does not fit the profile of an abusive mother.

The girl was taken to Torrecardenas Hospital ER in Almeria by her parents with a high fever and excessive mucus. During the exploration, staff detected several bruises on her chest, as well as fractures to the skull and ribs, some of them partially healed and others more recent. When asked about the injuries, the parents were unable to give a convincing answer and the hospital called the National Police, suspecting child abuse.

The 25-year-old mother was arrested and the father was charged. Both gave statements in which they denied any abuse and claimed that the injuries had been caused accidentally by falls or by the child’s older brother.

The woman also said that she had once dropped the baby when she was bathing her. A judge issued a 300-metre restraining order against the mother, and charged the father with moral responsibility as although it was not proved that he was responsible for the injuries, he was in the same place as the baby when they were caused. Both were released with charges but without bail. The Almeria National Police Special Family Attention Service has also questioned the doctors and the baby’s grandparents. For now, the baby is in the care of the Junta de Andalucia.

Meanwhile, her lawyer has said that he get the judge to take statements from all family members. He said that abusive mothers tend to have a history of drug or alcohol abuse, poor relationships with the child’s father or other family members, and a tendency to disregard aspects of the child’s wellbeing.

He claims this is not the case with this particular woman, who has another child aged four, who she said had recently got in the baby’s cot and was on top of her, shaking her. The mother said her son loved to play with his baby sister but sometimes didn’t know he was hurting her.

By Jennifer Leighfield

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