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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 July 2006, 19:49 GMT 20:49 UK
Mother 'feared' for abused baby
Ceri Thomas (l) and Sarah Scott
Ceri Thomas and Sarah Scott were convicted of cruelty
The mother of a baby who had 40 broken bones when she died has told an inquest she was scared for the child's safety at the hands of her former partner.

Chloe Thomas was 14 weeks old when she died in 2003 with 40 fractures to her skull, wrists, ribs, legs and shoulder.

Father Ceri Thomas, 23, was cleared in January of murder but was jailed after admitting cruelty. Mother Sarah Scott, 19, admitted the same charge.

Scott claimed that Thomas would pick the baby up roughly during arguments.

She told Cardiff Coroner's Court: "During one argument he said: 'You ain't having my daughter - she's coming with me,' and picked her up.

"He was holding her with his arm across her middle - her head was hanging down.

"I told him he shouldn't hold her like that, but he was very angry and didn't seem to care. I was scared she might get hurt."

'Non-accidental injuries'

Cardiff Coroner's Court has heard Chloe's aunt saw bruises over her body which Scott said were caused by teaching her to walk.

Scott denied she had ever walked the child.

She said: "Ceri walked her once - I never walked her.

"I told him not to do it but he said: 'Don't tell me what to do with my daughter.'"

Miss Scott said she cared for baby Chloe most of the time but could not explain the injuries.

Children's radiologist Susan Morris told the inquest that Chloe's injuries were "probably non-accidental".

She said: "The fracture to the shoulder is an unusual one - I've only ever seen it in books before.

"It requires an unusual kind of pressure - I'm guessing it would be caused by swinging the child around by the arm.

"This injury is probably a non-accidental injury."

Cruelty charges

Dr Morris told the court the 40 fractures to Chloe's ribs would also have been caused by an unusual amount of crushing pressure on her body.

She also said other fractures to her legs and arms would have been caused by a twisting motion.

Dr Morris added the two skull fractures on the back of her head would have been caused by Chloe colliding with something hard.

Only-child Chloe died at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff after she stopped breathing at the couple's home in Pencoed, Bridgend.

The pair have now split up.

Thomas, from Bridgend, was cleared of murdering Chloe at Cardiff Crown Court last January, but was jailed for three months after admitting cruelty.

Scott pleaded guilty to the same charge and was given a three-year community rehabilitation order.

The inquest is due to end on Friday.


SEE ALSO
Baby 'at risk' month before death
04 Jul 06 |  South East Wales
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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