Family court judge says mother was responsible for Thornhill tot’s death

Summer Rogers-Ratcliffe.
Summer Rogers-Ratcliffe.

A judge ruled that the mother of Summer Rogers-Ratcliffe was responsible for her death, it has been revealed.

A previously unseen document shows that Victoria Rogers was responsible for the death of the 21-month-old ‘on the balance of probabilities’.

The family court ruling by the Honourable Mr Justice Moylan in February 2013 has only just been made public.

During an inquest last week, a coroner ruled that the toddler was “unlawfully killed” after suffering a fatal blow to the head at her home in Nook Green, Thornhill, in February 2012.

The new document says Victoria Rogers was more likely than her then boyfriend Craig Sharp to have caused the catastrophic head injury.

Rulings made in the family court do not require the same standard of proof as a criminal court.

In a criminal court a case has to be proved ‘beyond reasonable doubt’.

Police arrested Victoria Rogers, Mr Sharp and Victoria’s mother Susan Rogers in September 2012 – but all three were released without charge due to a lack of evidence.

In his judgement at the family court, Mr Justice Moylan said: “The evidence does support, in my judgment, the conclusion that something happened during the course of the night which caused the mother to lose her self-control.

“I have come to the clear conclusion that on the balance of probabilities, the evidence establishes that the injuries sustained by Summer were caused by her mother.”

Miss Rogers denies harming her child.

But the judge said he found the testimony of Mr Sharp, the only other person in the house overnight, more believable.

He described Victoria Rogers as a “poor witness”.

He added: “I can identify no reason why the mother would fabricate and distort her case in the way that she has if it has not been to seek to hide the truth of what happened during the course of Sunday night.”

Speaking for Summer’s paternal family, grandfather James Ratcliffe said: “The fight continues. We knew it wasn’t going to be a short term process.”

The Ratcliffe family are writing to the Director of Public Prosecutions to ask for the case to be brought before the courts.

They have also complained to the Independent Police Complaints Commission about the police investigation into Summer’s death.