NEWS
06/02/2012 09:10 GMT

Kent Baby 'Not Sexually Assaulted' Say Police

A baby boy discovered in a critical condition in Gravesend, Kent last year was not sexually assaulted, police have confirmed.

The 31-day-old baby was taken to Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford, Kent, on 1 December, before being transferred to King's College Hospital in London where his condition was described as stable, Kent Police said.

About 180 people attended candlelit vigils in Gravesend last year, in a tribute that almost turned violent when the crowd discovered that the 35-year-old man and the 33-year-old woman, that had been were arrested in connection with the incident had been released on bail and were staying close-by.

However now a force spokeswoman said that medical professionals had determined there was no evidence that the baby had been sexually assaulted. Officers are continuing to investigate the circumstances of other injuries sustained by the baby, she said.

The baby is said to have suffered a broken arm, a broken collarbone, punctured lungs and severe bruising. All of his ribs had been fractured as well as suffering other internal injuries initially thought to be consistent with rape.

The man and woman, both from Gravesend, remain on police bail, the spokeswoman added.

Superintendent Stuart Kehily, from Kent Police, appealed for calm from the "highly-charged" local community until the full facts of the incident were known.

Chief Superintendent Neil Jerome said: "This is a very emotive case and the investigation is ongoing.

"The grandparents of the baby are intending to return to their home in Gravesend.

"Kent Police urge the local community to respect their privacy. I would like to stress that the baby's grandparents are not and have never been implicated in this investigation.

"The two people currently on bail pending inquiries will not be returning to the area at this time."