The Louise Mason Case: Mother falsely accused of child abuse

The Louise Mason Case
Two of Louise Mason's children were taken into care when she was wrongly accused of battering her month-old baby.
The 38-year-old mum was cleared of assault by a Crown Court jury in 2004, but it was not until February 20, 2008 that her children were officially returned to her.
Mr Justice Gillen also took the unusual step of lifting a publicity ban in the case - saying it would help give Ms Mason "a sense of justice".
A series of articles in Irish and British media 2008-02-20 - -




Web master's Comments
During the past two decades, we have seen a number of cases where parents have been wrongfully accused of harming or killing their children. The now infamous Sir Roy Meadow coined the disease "Münchhausen Syndrome by Proxy". The mothers have invariably been sentenced to long prison sentences and have had their children taken into care by social workers.
The Louise Mason Case is 'just' another in the seemingly unending cases of false accusations against parents, who are made to suffer not only the illness or loss of their child but also the grief of losing their other children and their freedom.

In some cases, when the parents have been acquitted in the criminal proceedings, the social services and the administrative (family) courts refuse to return the children to their parents.





Social workers put themselves above the law

Camilla Cavendish: Analysis
This story is, sadly, not unique. It is symptomatic of the extraordinary power that social services departments now wield over our lives.

Before Louise Mason’s trial in 2004, social workers apparently told her that they would be putting her children up for adoption irrespective of the outcome. That is precisely what they did, two weeks after her acquittal. They clung to their own “guilty” verdict despite the verdict of the jury., February 23, 2008

False accusation that changed mother’s young family for ever: Louise Mason is reunited with two of three children taken into care but it may be too late for the third ever to return

By David Sharrock, Ireland Correspondent
Louise Mason is finally a mother again, leading a family life for the first time in more than five years.

She presents a calm — if brittle — front as she talks of her ordeal since she was falsely accused of harming her baby and having her children disappear into the care system one by one.

The long battle to clear her name and have her children returned to her has left this 38-year-old single mother utterly drained and emotionless. She pauses before answering questions, chooses her responses with caution, and, even as she insists that she is happy, can barely raise a smile.

Shadowing her happiness is the knowledge that, despite being cleared of all claims, she may never have her middle child — taken from her at four weeks — returned. He has bonded so well with his foster family that she may lose him permanently into enforced adoption., February 23, 2008

My baby had cancer but social workers falsely accused me of child abuse and took all three of my children

By Sue Reid

One November afternoon at just after two o'clock, Louise Mason stood in a hospital ward and kissed her 11-week- old baby goodbye.

She had dressed the little girl with care, packing a suitcase of tiny clothes and soft toys. Inside, she had placed a handwritten letter to the foster parents who would look after her in the future.

On that day five years ago, Louise felt as though her heart would burst.

"I wrote down everything about my daughter," she told me this week.
The Daily Mail,, February 22, 2008



Viewpoint: Protecting the family

The case of Louise Mason should give us all time to pause and think about the nature of the family law and child protection system in Northern Ireland.

Louise's three children were taken away from her by the state, and altogether they have spent five years in care.

She was accused of assaulting a baby daughter and it was not until it was shown, very late in the day, that the child's internal bleeding was likely to have come from a kidney tumour that her mother was allowed to resume proper contact with her children.

The Belfast Telegraph,, February 21, 2008

Now we're going to be a family again

A report in the Belfast Telegraph has helped reunite an Ulster mother with her children after five years - three years after she was acquitted of assaulting her baby daughter.

A headline in this newspaper caught the eye of a doctor at Londonderry's Altnagelvin Hospital, who eventually helped collate medical evidence which helped acquit 38-year-old Louise Mason in 2004.

The Belfast Telegraph,, February 21, 2008

Silence from the Trust - despite a call for openness

By Chris Thornton

The Trust that seized Louise Mason's children declined to comment on the case last night - in spite of a judge's indication that there should be further scrutiny of the episode. Mr Justice Gillen said one reason he was lifting a publicity ban on the case was because the mum's five-year nightmare merits "open discussion".

"Public confidence in the process is necessary," he said.

Two of Ms Mason's children were taken into care when she was wrongly accused of battering her month-old baby.

They were being put up for permanent adoption when a doctor who treated the baby stepped forward to clear Ms Mason after reading coverage of the case in the Belfast Telegraph.

The Belfast Telegraph,, February 21, 2008




Wronged mum is reunited with kids

By Chris Thornton

A mum wrongly accused of assaulting her month-old baby girl had her five-year nightmare ended by a judge today.

The High Court ordered that Londonderry woman Louise Mason should be reunited with her three children who had been taken into care when she was accused of the attack.

Mr Justice Gillen also took the unusual step of lifting a publicity ban in the case - saying it would help give Ms Mason "a sense of justice".

The 38-year-old mum, who was cleared of assault by a Crown Court jury in 2004, spoke of her sense of relief at having her children returned to her - including a one-year-old taken by the authorities after she had been found not guilty.

"I have been accused of something I didn't do," she said outside the court today. "It's been an absolute nightmare.

The Belfast Telegraph,, February 20, 2008





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