A distraught mum has told of the “living nightmare” she was forced to endure when her daughter was injured at nursery – prompting a two-year safeguarding investigation and fight for justice – all while grieving for her brother, who was tragically killed.

Deanna Jacobs, from Stokenchurch, says she was made to feel like she was responsible for an unexplained injury her two-year-old daughter Nicole received while at a nursery called Positive Steps in the village in January 2016 – and even faced having her daughter taken off of her.

Deanna had taken her daughter to the nursery – which is no longer open and has been replaced by a nursery with different management and staff - on the morning of January 18 as usual but received a phone call hours later to say that Nicole had been scratching due to eczema and the nursery nurse asked if they could apply Sudocrem.

Later that evening, when Deanna was getting Nicole ready for a bath, she saw the extent of her injury and said she was “shocked” at what she saw. She phoned the nursery, who said they did not know what had happened.

With the injury weeping overnight, Deanna took Nicole to the GP the next day – and a safeguarding investigation, involving social services and police, was started, which Deanna said then went “absolutely crazy”.

Two child protection medicals deemed that the injury was likely to have been a burn.

Deanna was forced to go through the horrendous ordeal while grieving for her brother, Duwayne Pocock, who died in February 2015 after he came off his motorbike in Askett and was driven over by a motorist.

Their agony was prolonged while they waited for an inquest into Duwayne’s death, which happened in January – the same month that Nicole’s injury occurred.

Deanna said that when police and social workers visited her house following Nicole’s injury, she was given a choice – “either find someone to look after her or we will take her off of you by force”.

She said: “I got extremely upset. From that point I wasn’t even allowed to change her nappy – I had to wait for my mother-in-law to finish work and my partner to get home and we had to come and live with my mother-in-law because I wasn’t allowed to look after my daughter.

“I felt like I wasn’t doing what I was supposed to be doing. My partner would come here and visit and Nicole would cry every time he left because she wanted to go back home.

“Even though it was two years ago, it was horrible and it completely shocked me. It is not something you can ever get over.”

Deanna and her mother-in-law, Heather Presland, have spent the past two years fighting to clear her name – and made numerous complaints against the police and social services for the way the investigation was handled.

Safeguarding meetings were held without anyone there to represent Nicole, photographs of the injuries were not taken until 10 days after the incident and CCTV from the nursery was not checked, according to Heather and Deanna.

Two years on from the incident and Deanna says the way they were treated was “horrendous” and wants to warn people about what she went through.

She said: “My mother-in-law helped me out with all of this because I just wouldn’t have known where to go. There were so many errors in the investigation.

“The way I was treated was awful and what my daughter had to go through – she’s now scared of plasters because of how they had to keep redressing her wound. It made me feel like I wasn’t doing a good job.”

A Bucks County Council spokesman said: “We were very sorry to hear of Ms Jacobs’ distress but, due to their confidential nature, cannot publicly discuss safeguarding cases.

“However, in all safeguarding cases our priority is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the child. There is a robust process to follow when an incident is reported to us and, as the safeguarding authority, we will take appropriate action based on the information we have available to us at the time.”