A hospital worker lost custody of her baby after unwittingly matching with an alleged child rapist on a dating app.

The baby boy was hospitalised months later with a fractured leg, after the man was caught on camera mistreating him.

He is now the subject of two live police investigations, meaning he cannot legally be identified – but the shocking incident was revealed in an anonymised child safeguarding report published on the NSPCC website.

The man used a fake name to disguise his true identity, telling the new mum he was a doctor but was currently out-of-work because he’d lost his ID.

The case has led to new guidance for health visitors, urging them to “act on gut feelings and professional curiosity”, after concerns over the baby’s treatment were not followed up.

They failed to refer concerns over the baby’s care by its mother – who was described as “naïve” and “overly trusting” – to social services.

“Bromley Healthcare’s own review concluded that there were enough concerns in the months prior to the incident to refer to other services,” the report said.

Missed Opportunities

The baby’s mum, a health care professional who lived with relatives in Bexley, had split up with the boy’s father.

“Introverted”, “lacking in confidence” and prone to anxiety, she has since been diagnosed as neurodivergent – which typically refers to autism.

When a midwife noted that “home conditions were poor” after the boy was born, said the report, “this was missed” and “not included in the formal handover” from midwives to health visitors.   

Health visitors then recorded fluctuating conditions in the home, noting that the mum was “struggling with her mood”.

In early 2022, one recorded that in the mum’s kitchen, “Every surface [was] covered in leftover food, newspapers, bottles and dirty crockery”.

“The only clean space on the carpet was a small area in the centre of the lounge,” the report said.

But no referral was made to social services.

Meanwhile, the mum had found a new boyfriend. When the baby’s dad encountered him during a visit, he said the man made him “uncomfortable”.


Unbeknownst to the mum, her new boyfriend – referred to in the report as Adult A – was a con-artist who hadn’t even given her his real name.

“Adult A has a history of aggressive and challenging behaviour and is well known to the Metropolitan Police Service, probation service and the multi-agency risk assessment conference (MARAC) in Greenwich,” said the report.

He had been arrested over allegations “including assaults, rape (of a child and an adult)” and had cautions for criminal damage and battery and convictions for battery and stalking.

In the year before the attack on the baby, he had also been accused of racial abuse and sending threatening messages, including to another woman he’d met on a dating app.

There were also persistent concerns over “offences against his former foster carers who themselves are vulnerable,” the report said.

“The concerns were about violence, threats and financial abuse on an almost daily basis.”

But his foster parents “were very reluctant to press any charges”, it added.

The Attack

Footage captured by a baby monitor “clearly showed [the baby] being thrown twice into his cot from height” in summer 2022, said the report.

The “serious, non-accidental injuries” led to the boy being taken into care.

He is now “thriving in foster care”.

The boyfriend was arrested over the attack and has since been arrested again over an unrelated rape allegation. Both investigations are ongoing, the report said.

The health visitor service, run by Bromley Healthcare, was described in the document as “stretched”.

It said that had staff discussed cases with managers more often, a referral might have been made. They are now being asked to undergo supervision sessions twice as often as they were.

Bromley Healthcare said: “Given ongoing police enquiries, we are unable to comment further at this time.”