The last week has unfortunately for me been mainly full of unfunny aspects, paperwork. Its the time of year i have to do staff appraisals, which by the way were due last month but never actually get done on time. They mean nothing unless someone has done something wrong. I only have one troublesome member of staff who needs to be treated like a petulant child. Personally he doesn’t deserve the job but i’m not allowed to say that in public let alone infant of him. Don’t you love HR, nope.
I did manage to get out of the office for one job which is probably the one that none of us like doing. Child abuse cases are disturbing for anyone but especially for those with kids and understand the fragile nature of an infants body.
This particular girl had died in suspicious circumstances after attending hospital. The parents attended hospital where the staff noticed many unusual marks on her body. Its never the easiest thing to examine a body lying on a metal slab in the bowls of a hospital especially when they seem an innocent bystander. Its even harder to when the body is very small and sits in th middle of the slab surrounded by sterile stainless steel.
The girls was indeed covered in marks that an average child shouldn’t have. Of course every child has bumps and bruises due to the act of learning to walk and generally being a child. It is quite hard to distinguish which are natural injuries and with aren’t.
On this occasion it was fairly easy once i’d tuned in to look past the lividity and look at the other marks. It can take a while of staring to tune into what you are trying to find. With a body i generally have a quackish look over the body first getting the eyes tuned in and then go over it again with meticulous accuracy.
It didn’t take long to find marks on the poor girl that you should never find on a child. The first mark i found look exactly like a belt impression. Having searched numerous bodies i can tell what a belt mark looks like and realised straight away. Before i carried on i left the room and informed the investigating officer what i had found. My concern was that the parents may get rid of the belts before i could make a comparison. If an officer attended the home address and removed all belts we had a greater chance of conviction. It would also allow us to find other implements that may co-oberate what i find before the parents could remove or destroy them.
I carried on with the examination and found quite a few visible marks that looked like whip marks but made by a single edge, a broom handle for example.
With the visible search carried out i then used a different technique that was pioneered by my old boss about 20 years ago. It was certainly ground breaking at the time and is still used to find invisible old injuries. After setting this up and starting the search again i was amazed when i reached the little feet and legs area. It looked like there was many old scared areas. They were virtually all a circular shape and unfortunately i kind of knew what they were straight away. Even a hardened old git like me had a lump in my through because i realised what this poor child had been through. she had an incredible painful couple of years in this world. They were cigarette burns. How can an adult human inflict these injuries on a defenceless infant. Bastards is all you can think.
Just to confirm the vulnerability of a child it became time for me to turn the body over and examine the other side. With an adult it always takes someone else to assist me as i’m bloody useless at it. The guys in the morgue make it look so easy whilst doing it on their own. This time i could easily turn he on my own which just reminds you of the size of human i am dealing with.
After spending a few hours capturing images showing all the injuries i did feel really depressed. Its usual to feel like this as you become hardened to the sights but when children are involved its always difficult.
The only thing i can do to help this girl is to produce the best evidence agains her parents. It will have to be a bit of shock and awe for the jury when this comes to court.