Police not allowed to watch over woman accused of shaking baby

Updated: 

A High Court judge has ruled that police should not be allowed to stand watch over a woman suspected of shaking her baby during little boy's final hours in a hospital room.

Mr Justice Baker heard how the three-month-old boy had suffered irreversible brain damage and could die at any time.

The woman had been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

Lawyers representing a police force said bosses wanted an officer to be present in the hospital room to ensure that the woman was not left alone with her son.

They said senior officers wanted to ensure that the baby did not suffer further harm and that forensic evidence was preserved.

Mr Justice Baker has rejected the idea after objections from the boy's mother and father.

He said a nurse or medical professional should be in the baby's room at all times.

But he said there was no need for a police officer to stand watch.

The judge analysed the police request at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

He said he would reconsider the issue later this week after police had filed more detailed evidence.

Mr Justice Baker said no-one involved could be identified, but indicated that issues relating to restrictions on reporting might be revisited at a follow up hearing.