A woman sexually abused her baby by performing a sex act on herself while he was in the same room, a family court judge has decided.
Judge Thomas Greensmith said the woman had admitted performing the sex act on herself in the baby’s presence numerous times – sometimes when holding him.
The baby’s father had been in the room at the time on at least one occasion, the judge had been told.
The father claimed he had been unaware of what she was doing because he was distracted by his computer game.
Judge Greensmith did not believe him.
Detail of the case has emerged in a ruling published by the judge following a private family court hearing in Liverpool.
He said no-one involved could be identified in media reports.
The couple had been staying at a specialist assessment centre after council social workers raised concerns about the way the boy was being cared for at home, and the woman’s behaviour had been recorded on CCTV.
Judge Greensmith said the couple knew CCTV was operating.
The judge said: “The mother has admitted that she has (performed the sex act) in the presence of (the baby) on numerous occasions and on some occasions whilst he was in her arms during her stay at the assessment centre.
“In my judgment what the mother has done fits an appropriate definition of sexual abuse.
“The mother’s exposure of (the baby) to her sexual act... is in my judgment an instance where the mother failed to take proper measures to prevent (him) being exposed to sexual activity.
“Applying the NSPCC definition of sexual abuse, I find that the mother has sexually abused her child.
“This demonstrates, in my judgment, that the mother does not have an appropriate understanding of the effects exposure to sexual activity will have on a young child. I am satisfied that this was an act of sexual abuse on the part of the mother.”
Social workers had put a parenting assessment plan in place after raising a number of welfare concerns, one of which was the woman’s performance of the sex act.
The couple’s relationship was volatile, “characterised by conflicts” and sometimes “physical”, social workers said.
They used raised voices and foul language in their baby’s presence and showed “no insight” about the effect their behaviour had on him.
Judge Greensmith concluded the boy should be taken from his parents’ care and placed for adoption.
He said a number of other children had been taken from the couple following earlier family court proceedings after some of them were abused by a relative who had a paedophilia conviction.
The couple had let their children see the man and put them at risk, said Judge Greensmith.