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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 July 2006, 16:03 GMT 17:03 UK
Baby 'at risk' month before death
Ceri Thomas (l) and Sarah Scott
Chloe's parents, Ceri Thomas and Sarah Scott, have now split up
A 14-week-old baby was placed on an "at risk" register a month before she died, an inquest has been told.

Health workers placed Chloe Thomas on the list in March 2003, but she had 40 fractures when she died the next month.

Cardiff Coroner's Court heard she suffered her injuries when her parents tried to teach her to walk.

Father Ceri Thomas, 23, was cleared of murdering Chloe, but was jailed after he admitted cruelty. Mother Sarah Scott, 19, admitted the same charge.

Chloe died after she stopped breathing at the family's home in Bridgend, south Wales, in April 2003.

'Turned slowly'

Thomas, from Bridgend, was jailed for three months over the cruelty charges in January this year and Scott, from Cardiff was given a three-year community rehabilitation order.

The family's health visitor, Anne Powell, told the Cardiff inquest on Tuesday that she had become concerned because Chloe had bruising to her fingers, a suspected fractured wrist, and a damaged area of skin to the base of her skull.

She said she had weighed Chloe on 19 February and 6 March 2003, and Chloe had only gained 2oz over the fortnight, when she would have expected a weight gain of 4-7oz per week.

She described how on 2 April she had seen Chloe at a baby clinic, and had become concerned that she was "holding her head to the left side".

She added: "She turned slowly, which concerned me enough to ask the GP to examine her."

Given tea

Ms Powell said the doctor hadn't found anything wrong with her neck, but told her the baby's focusing needed to be monitored.

But Ms Powell said that there had later been "concerns" about the baby who appeared distressed.

Chloe was X-rayed in hospital for a suspected wrist fracture and in March 2003 she was placed on the "at risk" register.

Also giving evidence at the inquest, child development advisor Lyn Poole said she had visited the family six times, but felt she was "not getting anywhere".

She also said Scott told her she was giving her baby daughter tea to drink.

She said: "I did have concerns about Sarah and how she was with Chloe, and her reluctance to discuss matters.

"Sarah informed me she was giving Chloe tea to drink and I explained to Sarah that she mustn't do this."

On Monday, the inquest heard that Thomas and Scott, who have now split up, begun walking Chloe when she was just 12 weeks old, leading to the baby suffering 40 fractures.

Chloe, an only child, died at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff in April 2003.

The hearing continues.




SEE ALSO
Baby died after 'walking lessons'
03 Jul 06 |  South East Wales
No prison for baby death cruelty
20 Feb 06 |  South East Wales
Father avoids baby murder charge
30 Jan 06 |  South East Wales

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