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Home » News » Crime

September 23. 2013 8:57PM

Court sides with DCYF on petition to remove Nashua tot

NASHUA — The court recently granted a petition by the New Hampshire Division for Children, Youth and Families to move a 2-year-old girl into temporary placement after her arm was allegedly broken by her father earlier this month.

According to court documents, an ex-parte court hearing took place to address the child’s living situation after James Duff, 28, of 12B Hanover St., was charged with second-degree assault for the incident.

A petition by DCYF was granted to have the girl, only identified as “B.D.” in court documents, in temporary placement pending the criminal investigation, says court records.

According to authorities, Duff was caring for the 2-year-old girl on Sept. 10 when he allegedly “grabbed the victim’s arm and picked her up forcibly by the arm, which resulted in the fracture.”

Duff’s wife, Paula Duff, told police that on Sept. 10 she was in her bedroom when she heard the child crying. At the time, James Duff told his wife that the girl fell down the stairs, according to a police affidavit on file at the 9th Circuit Court, Nashua District Division.However, the girl’s mother told police she “never heard any indication that (the child) had fallen downstairs, as (the mother’s) bedroom door is at the base of the staircase,” says court documents.

The girl was taken to St. Joseph Hospital in Nashua where it was determined that she suffered from a spiral fracture to her left humerus bone. Tahra White of DCYF was then contacted about the injury, who subsequently reported it to the Nashua Police Department.

Dr. Brian Lohnes, an emergency room physician, told police that the girl’s injury was not consistent with an injury that would have been sustained from falling down the stairs, according to the affidavit.

Initially, James Duff insisted that the child fell downstairs but after being questioned by police he later admitted to grabbing the girl’s left arm to pick her up and remove her from on top of a gate that blocks the staircase from the living room, says the affidavit.
“The defendant stated he was frustrated because (the child) had climbed the gate in the past and was aware he may have grabbed her too aggressively when she began crying and clutching her arm,” says court records.
The girl was treated and released from the hospital following the injury.

James Duff has been arraigned and bail was set at $10,000 personal recognizance. He will be back in court on Oct. 1 for a probable cause hearing. If convicted of the felony, police said Duff could face up to seven years in prison.khoughton@newtote.com


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