Baby left with homeless stranger, court hears

Last updated 10:15 29/01/2014

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A mother accused of neglecting her seriously injured 10-week-old son told police she left him in the care of a homeless woman who was not good with children.

The mother, 35, and her husband, 43, are on trial in the Napier District Court for wilfully neglecting the boy between his birth on January 26, 2011, and March 25, 2011.

The Crown alleges the boy suffered multiple fractures while living with his parents in Lower Hutt. It is unknown who caused the injuries or how they were caused, but the Crown says the boy would have been in great pain and his parents must have known he needed medical help.

X-rays revealed he had suffered seven fractures. Both legs had been broken in several places.

Yesterday the court heard from Detective Toni Leppien, who said the mother had gone to the Hastings police station to make a statement on August 8, 2012.

In a recorded interview played to the court, the woman told Leppien she could not believe her son had been so badly injured.

He appeared healthy, ate and slept well, and only cried when his nappy was changed, she said.

The mother said she and her husband had taken in a homeless woman for about five weeks from when the boy was 2 weeks old. He was left alone with the woman for an hour or two when the couple went shopping or fishing, she said.

The said the homeless woman, who was not known to either of the parents, "seemed like she didn't like kids".

The mother refused to tell Leppien how she met the woman.

The trial is likely to end today.

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- The Dominion Post

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