Parents of infant with 'head-to-toe' skin infection fined for willful neglect
on 10/10/2013 00:00:00
The DPP said the case would have been dealt with by a judge and jury if there had been a plea of not guilty. Their solicitor, Dennis Healy, said: "It was more ignorance than neglect."
Judge Tim Lucey fined the mother €100 and the father €200.
Inspector Pat Meaney said that, on Feb 21, 2012, the four-month-old was taken to Cork University Hospital by her parents suffering severe eczema and a secondary bacterial infection.
During the period of treatment, the mother received extensive education from medical staff on the management of eczema, Insp Meaney said yesterday.
On discharge from hospital, the parents were told to bring the child back one week later for an updated examination. However, they failed to do so.
It was not until almost six weeks later that the child was brought back to hospital by a referral from a doctor.
"The child was covered head to toe in eczema," said Insp Meaney said yesterday.
Mr Healy said the child was now with her parents and in perfect health. He said that, in the particular culture of the non-nationals, it was the grandmother and the mother who looked after the children. He said they had never experienced a child with eczema before.
At one stage during the hearing, Judge Lucey asked of the father of the child: "Why is he prosecuted if it is the mother and the granny who are supposed to be doing it?"
Mr Healy said: "Because, as the father, he should have done something."
As for why the parents did not attend the follow-up appointment, he said they had moved address and this had caused some difficulties.