A court has heard how a mother waited six days before seeking medical attention for her two-and-a-half year old son, after she inflicted first and second degree burns on the toddler.
At Ennis Circuit Court, Judge Carroll Moran handed down a two year suspended sentence to a 26-year-old Clare woman for the neglect of her son in September and October 2009, reports the Irish Independent. Judge Moran said the woman pleaded guilty and was entitled to a discount because of that.
Judge Moran told the court she was satisfied that the burns “were non accidental, that is, they were done deliberately . . . I cannot speculate about what might have happened, unless there is evidence before me, in this case we just don't know. For this reason the accused hasn't been charged with anything other than neglect.”
The court heard how the boy, now aged five, suffered burns to both legs on September 27, but was not brought to a doctor until October 3.
The mother, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told police her son suffered the burns after he was wedged between his bed and a radiator while she was out of the house. But in his report, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon Peter Meagher said: "It is my firm opinion that these extensive mixed thickness burns were from a scald from boiling water.”
He states: "The explanation put forward by the mother has a very questionable validity.
"These burns would have been intensively painful due to their depth and should have been followed up by seeking emergency medical attention and the delay of a week before seeking medical attention is incomprehensible."
The defendant’s attorney, Mark Nicholas, said his client had told the Probation Service that at the time "she didn't think the burns were that bad."
Nicholas said his client, who is now seven months pregnant, was suffering from psychological issues at the time. He added she was in a zombie like state after the child suffered the burn wounds.