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For any devoted mother with a baby who suffers from colic, it’s a familiar ritual. After every feed, Gina Hodgkins would sit her newborn son Teddy on her lap to rub his back and release any trapped wind causing him discomfort.
She supported his floppy head by gripping him under his chin, with her finger and thumb resting on his cheeks. So far, so normal. But what happened to Gina, Teddy, his dad and big sister as a result of this entirely innocent routine which will strike horror into the hearts of parents everywhere. Gina’s sturdy grip left marks on Teddy’s cheeks which were exacerbated by an underlying genetic condition few people have heard of. It resulted in two small bruises on his cheeks, which had Gina, and Teddy’s dad Joshua, labelled as abusive parents.
After they were reported by a health visitor, seven police officers arrived at the door to forcibly remove the sleeping baby from his mother’s frantic grasp. Both Teddy and his sister Amelia, then six, were taken into emergency foster care. It took another five months for their innocence to be proved.
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