Months-old boy dies after multiple injuries

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 24 April, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 24 April, 2010, 12:00am

A 2 1/2-month-old boy, whose father was charged with ill-treatment and neglect after the boy was admitted to Ruttonjee Hospital earlier this month with multiple injuries, has died.

Police said a post-mortem examination would be carried out on Monday to identify the cause of death, and legal advice was being sought from the Department of Justice to amend the charge to murder.

The boy - who was transferred to Queen Mary Hospital, where he died at 12.50pm on Thursday - was the couple's only child. He had 'unusual and suspicious' injuries when the 28-year-old father and his wife took him from their Wan Chai home to Ruttonjee Hospital on April 11, the officer said.

'Examination revealed the infant had a fractured skull and ribs and injuries to his pancreas,' the officer said. 'Initial investigation showed the injuries were inflicted in two incidents early this month. In one of the incidents, the baby was allegedly thrown to the floor at home.'

That incident had occurred on April 11, shortly before the boy was taken to the hospital in the evening. Police classified the case as child abuse and arrested the parents that evening after doctors reported the injuries to officers in the hospital.

The 23-year-old mother, a housewife, was released on police bail and has not been charged.

Construction worker Hem Kumar Gurung appeared in Eastern Court on April 13 charged with wilfully ill-treating or neglecting a baby in his care, causing unnecessary injury. The case was adjourned to April 28 and he was remanded to Siu Lam Psychiatric Centre.

Abuse on rise

The Social Welfare Department received 993 new reports of child abuse last year, an increase on the previous year of: 12.5%