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Innocent is the shocking true story of little Molly and Kit, siblings, aged 3 years and 18 months, who are brought into care as an emergency after suffering non-accidental injuries.Aneta and Filip, the children’s parents, are distraught when their children are taken into care. Aneta maintains she is innocent of harming them, while Filip appears bewildered and out of his depth. It’s true the family has never come to the attention of the social services before and little Kit and Molly appear to have been well looked after, but Kit has a broken arm and bruises on his face. Could it be they were a result of a genuine accident as Aneta is claiming? Both children become sick with a mysterious illness while, experienced foster carer, Cathy, is looking after them. Very worried, she asks for more hospital tests to be done. They’ve already had a lot. When Cathy’s daughter, Lucy, becomes ill too she believes she has found the cause of Kit and Molly’s illness and the parents aren’t to blame. However, nothing could be further from the truth and what comes to light is far more sinister and shocking.


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Certain details in this story, including names, places and dates, have been changed to protect the family’s privacy.


An imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers

1 London Bridge Street

London SE1 9GF

First published by HarperElement 2019


Text © Cathy Glass 2019

Cover layout design © HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd 2019

Cover photograph © Voisin/Phanie/Getty Images (stock photo posed by models)

A catalogue record of this book is available from the British Library

Cathy Glass asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work

All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the nonexclusive, non-transferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, downloaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of HarperCollins e-books.

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Source ISBN: 9780008341985

Ebook Edition © September 2019 ISBN: 9780008341992

Version: 2019-06-03



Title Page




6  Chapter One: Traumatized

7 Chapter Two: Chaos

8 Chapter Three: Disturbed Night

9  Chapter Four: Good Mother

10  Chapter Five: Distressing

11  Chapter Six: I Want Mummy

12  Chapter Seven: Sick

13  Chapter Eight: Need to Know?

14  Chapter Nine: Sick Again

15  Chapter Ten: Bonding

16  Chapter Eleven: Exasperated and Worried

17  Chapter Twelve: Play Nicely

18  Chapter Thirteen: Not Responsible

19  Chapter Fourteen: Hospital

20  Chapter Fifteen: A Breakthrough?

21  Chapter Sixteen: My Fault

22  Chapter Seventeen: Accused

23  Chapter Eighteen: Leaving

24  Chapter Nineteen: Shocking

25  Chapter Twenty: Beyond Belief

26  Chapter Twenty-One: No Contact

27  Chapter Twenty-Two: Love the Children

28  Chapter Twenty-Three: Disclosure

29  Chapter Twenty-Four: The Wonder of Christmas

30  Chapter Twenty-Five: Aneta

31  Chapter Twenty-Six: Permanent?

32  Chapter Twenty-Seven: Judge’s Decision

33  Chapter Twenty-Eight: Saying Goodbye

34  Afterword

35  Suggested topics for reading-group discussion

36  Cathy Glass

37  If you loved this book …

38  Moving Memoirs eNewsletter

39  Praise for Cathy Glass

40  About the Publisher

LandmarksCoverFrontmatterStart of ContentBackmatter

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A big thank you to my family; my editors, Carolyn and Holly; my literary agent, Andrew; my UK publishers HarperCollins, and my overseas publishers who are now too numerous to list by name. Last, but definitely not least, a big thank you to my readers for your unfailing support and kind words. They are much appreciated.

Thank goodness I didn’t have to witness their anguish and upset, I thought. I was sure I wouldn’t have coped. It was bad enough knowing it was happening – two young children about to be taken from their parents and brought into care. During the twenty-five years I’d been fostering I’d seen a lot of changes, but the raw grief of a family torn apart didn’t get any easier. I could imagine the children screaming and crying and clinging to their distraught parents as they tried to say goodbye. My heart ached for them. I also had sympathy for the social worker who was doing a very difficult job. No one wants to take children from their parents, but sometimes there is no alternative if they are to be safe.

It was now nearly two o’clock in the afternoon and I was standing in what would shortly be the children’s bedroom. I could have put the cot in my room, but I was sure Kit, only eighteen months old, would be happier sleeping with his sister Molly, who was three and a half. Doubtless she too would find comfort in having her younger brother close. Fostering guidelines on bedroom sharing vary slightly from one local authority to another, but generally siblings of the opposite sex can share a bedroom up to the age of five.

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