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The sad truth about some parents

12 June, 2008

A couple whose five-week-old son had eight broken bones were jailed yesterday and branded “failures as parents” by police. The boy had a broken collar bone, ribs and legs – one was broken in two places – and bleeding to the brain. His face and his groin were bruised, a court heard. Little Dale was too young to talk but his “dreadful” injuries spoke for themselves, it was said. Doctors said his injuries, particularly the ribs and collarbone, showed shaking or squeezing. His leg injury was consistent with a “grab and twist” action.

But both Kirsty Meeds and Terence Gilberthorpe blamed each other so it is still not known who inflicted the injuries. Gilberthorpe, 33, was jailed for two years and Meeds, 20, for 21 months by Sheffield crown court after being convicted of wilful neglect. Judge Trevor Barber said: “The fractures would have caused him extreme pain and it is a miracle the child is not permanently damaged.”

Det Con Michael Lewis said later the sentence “will hopefully give them time to reflect on their actions and their failures. “One of them knows what has taken place and both have failed in their duties as parents.”

Source: Daily Mirror 12th June 2008

You may be wondering why I’ve quoted a small story from today’s Daily Mirror into this post. Well those of you who know me, will know what I do for living and the type of people that I deal with on a day to day basis, you may notice that the story is related to Sheffield, which is where I work. So putting two and two together you may not be suprised to learn that Mr Gilberthorpe was once one of my students.

I am saddened by this story, I feel the utmost sympathy for the child involved, but what really makes me sad is that from my contact with Mr Gilberthorpe, over a period of time, I can honestly say that I am not in least bit suprised to read the circumstances behind his conviction and subsequent prison sentence.

I don’t know which is worse!

Some people should never have children, some people, regardless of age, remain children. Now I’m not the type of person that believes that if people cannot look after themselves, they shouldn’t be allowed to have children. I believe that everyone has the right to bear issue. What I do have a problem with is this: whose responsibility is it to ensure the safety and well being of a child? Should the responsibility lie with the parents and family of the parents, or should the buck stop at the state?

I’m not a parent and by a fluke of genetics probably never will be. I don’t know the answer to that question and that, more than anything else, makes me sad.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. 15 August, 2008 9:37 AM

    This is somthing I have been looking for a long time. Thanks!!!

    Mike Says: I’d be interested to know what you’ve been looking for and why?

  2. 16 June, 2008 5:55 PM

    I’m afraid that this is one occasion where the buck SHOULD stop at the state. Otherwise there will always be some children who have no hope of ever being saved from a life of terror.

  3. 13 June, 2008 9:33 PM

    I think there’s a big difference between being “failures as parents” and being extremely violent people who beat their children to (almost) death. They’re two completely different concepts. Some people might not be good parents, but they try and do their best.

    Excellent blog ! 😉

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