Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Balls orders baby death inquiry (ITV NEWS)

Watch The News Broadcast At The End Of The Article:

The Children's Secretary has launched a probe after a tot was killed while being monitored by social workers.
Ed Balls said there will be an inquiry into safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in Haringey, where the 17-month-old boy was battered to death despite the involvement of social services, police and doctors.
He said the review will involve an "urgent and thorough inspection of the quality of practice and management of all services which contribute to the effective safeguarding of children" in the north London borough.
Inspectors are due to produce an initial report by December 1, while the director of children's services in Hampshire, John Coughlan, has been drafted in immediately to work alongside his counterpart in Haringey.
The boy's mother and two men face up to 14 years in prison for repeatedly assaulting him in the same borough where Victoria Climbie died from abuse in 2000.
In angry exchanges in the House of Commons, The Prime Minister said he regretted David Cameron making a "party political" issue of the tragic case - a comment the Tory leader branded "cheap" and demanded he retract.
An Old Bailey jury heard how Baby P, who had been used as a "punchbag", died in August last year from a broken back and other injuries sustained after months of vicious beatings in his home.
The child's 27-year-old mother pleaded guilty to causing or allowing his death, while her 32-year-old boyfriend and lodger Jason Owen, 36, of Bromley, southeast London, were found guilty of the same charge by a jury.
All three were cleared of murder after it could not be proved who caused the fatal injury. The defendants, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, will be sentenced on December 15.
The court heard how baby was seen 60 times by health or social workers during an eight-month period.
When he died had more than 50 injuries or bruises - 15 of them to the mouth - and at one stage had been smeared with chocolate to hide the marks.
Paediatrician Dr Sabah Al-Zayyat failed to spot his broken spine or ribs when she examined him 48 hours before he was found dead in his blood-spattered cot.
The little boy lived a stone's throw from eight-year-old Victoria Climbie, who was murdered by her great aunt her boyfriend after care workers and police in Haringey failed to save her. Baby P's case has been described as "worse than Climbie".
Two social workers and a lawyer have been given formal written warnings over the toddler's case, the Haringey Local Safeguarding Children Board has said.
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