Friday, 16 May 2008

Trycia Balhous murder: Warnings about killer mother were ignored

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Social workers failed to act on warnings about the mental health of a young mother who stabbed her daughter to death, an Old Bailey judge has said. Galtricia Ntsimbi, 23, knifed two-year-old Trycia Balhous five times before turning the blade on herself, days after she was cleared by mental health workers. Judge David Paget, QC, said it was a "thousand pities" that social services failed to act on a police doctor's warnings. Six days before the killing, Ntsimbi was arrested for harassing a local shopkeeper and a doctor voiced fears about her mental health. Despite his fears that she had a "delusional disorder", Barking and Dagenham social services failed to take further action. Ntsimbi was released on bail without charge and less than a week later, her daughter's blood-soaked body was discovered in her east London flat. Ordering that Ntsimbi be detained in hospital indefinitely, Judge Paget, QC, criticised the handling of the case. He said: "It seems a thousand pities in retrospect that his views were not followed up. It might have avoided this tragedy." Christopher Tehrani, prosecuting, said Ntsimbi came to Britain from France in the winter of 2006 and moved to a flat in Barking. Last Aug 13 Ntsimbi's mother visited her flat.

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