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Arrest made in baby head injury inquiry

An arrest has been made after police reopened an investigation into the case of a baby who suffered a serious head injury in 2018, The Royal Gazette has learned.

The child, then aged one, was flown overseas for medical treatment after he was at first admitted to the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital’s intensive care unit.

A police spokesman said: “The Bermuda Police Service can confirm that an arrest has been made in connection with the ongoing investigation into the circumstances surrounding injuries sustained by an infant male in October of 2018.

“The individual arrested has been granted police bail.

“Any decision on charges being proffered will be made by the Department of Public Prosecutions.”

No information was given about the sex or age of the arrested individual.

Cindy Clarke, the Director of the Department of Public Prosecutions, said: "I confirm that a file has been received from the Bermuda Police Service.

“The relevant parties will be advised in due course, and as such we have no further comment."

The BPS revealed in October 2018 that detectives started an inquiry after Department of Child and Family Services staff reported that a child had been treated for a head injury at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital two days earlier.

Michael Weeks, at the time the Minister of Social Development & Sport, which included the DCFS at the time, said a few days later that “initial inquiries” led the department “to make recommendations for the closure of the daycare facility” where the child was enrolled.

He said the nursery was told to "cease operation until the completion of a police investigation”.

Mr Weeks added: “We have not determined yet if his injury occurred at school or at home, but better to err on the side of caution.”

The ministry was abolished in a Cabinet reshuffle about 48 hours after Mr Weeks' statement and the DCFS became the responsibility of the Ministry of Legal Affairs.

Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health, said that day: “As the ministry responsible for administering the licensing and registration process for daycare centres and daycare providers in home settings, we are acutely aware of the need for quality care and the history of concerns.

“These concerns have been highlighted by the recent report of an infant allegedly suffering a head injury during his time in a daycare centre.”

The Ministry of Health confirmed in May 2019 that the closure order – which became the health minister's responsibility – was lifted “following the conclusion of the Bermuda Police Service investigation”.

But a spokeswoman said that the Pembroke daycare centre's licence had expired.

The police service said that “investigations conducted into allegations of a 12-month-old infant boy potentially sustaining a serious head injury” at a preschool were “closed pending any new developments”.

A spokesman added: “A completed case file was submitted to the Department of Public Prosecutions and following review, it was determined that there is insufficient evidence to support any criminal liability and/or pursue this matter through the criminal courts.”

But police confirmed last July that the case had been reopened and was "under active police investigation“.

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