Family’s adopted Cerebral Palsy son died from his injuries 21 years after he was thrown into his cot
An ‘inspirational’ son with Cp (Cerebral Palsy) died in the arms of his adoptive family from injuries he suffered 21 years earlier when he was ‘thrown into his cot’ as a baby, an inquest heard.Joshua Cawley, 22, was born a healthy baby boy but developed quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy, vision problems and epilepsy after a vicious head injury when he was aged just 10 months. At an emotional inquest in Bolton, Greater Manchester, his adoptive parents blamed Joshua’s ‘ticking timebomb’ condition on the alleged abuse he suffered as a baby.
The parents told the hearing that no one should live such as short life and die in such a tragic way.The inquest heard that Joshua’s birth family were charged in 1990 with causing his head injury by throwing him into his cot but a judge in London kicked out the case due to ‘evidential differences’.His adoptive parents Lynn Cawley and Ruth Wood said Joshua’s death had left a ‘big hole’ in their lives, adding: ‘We consider ourselves privileged to have been allowed to care for Joshua. His mother and step-father were charged with actual bodily harm, grievous bodily harm and child cruelty for both Joshua and his older brother and stood trial in January, 1991 at Inner London Crown Court. It was alleged they had thrown Joshua into his cot and caused the head injury.
His severe head injury caused quadriplegic Cp (Cerebral Palsy), vision problems and epilepsy but as he got older his condition worsened.He suffered from severe muscle spasms, which often fractured and broke his bones, and Joshua had numerous operations and procedures throughout his life.When he was aged two, Joshua was fostered by Ms Cawley and she and partner Ms Wood adopted him when he was five, and provided him with 24-hour care. Joshua attended Newfields School, in Darwen, Lancs, and the Nugent Centre, in Farnworth, Bolton. He had two adopted siblings and two birth siblings, who were adopted into a different family. Joshua tragically passed away at his adopted home last June from a respiratory infection developed as a result of his severe disabilities – which Bolton’s deputy coroner Alan Walsh said were caused by a ‘non-accidental injury’.