Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Council slammed over tot's death (ITV NEWS)

Watch The News Broadcast At The End Of The Article:

Social services have been slammed after two men were convicted of causing or allowing the death of a baby on the "at-risk" register.
An Old Bailey jury heard the 17-month-old boy, who had been used as a "punchbag", died in August last year from a broken back - which a doctor had failed to spot - and other injuries sustained over a period of months at his home in north London.
The men - a 32-year-old handyman and Jason Owen, 36, of Bromley, southeast London, who had lived with the family for five weeks - were however found not guilty of murdering the toddler who was on Haringey Council's child protection register.
The child's 27-year-old mother had previously pleaded guilty to the charge of causing or allowing the child's death.
The series of failings by Haringey Council was described as "worse than Climbie" - referring to the case of eight-year-old Victoria Climbie who was murdered by her great aunt and the woman's lover in 2000, after care workers and police in the borough had failed to save her.
In an bitter twist, the homes of both the little boy and Victoria were a stone's throw from each other. 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.
Meanwhile, Children's Minister Beverley Hughes has announced a nationwide independent review of child protection services in light of the case.
The toddler was seen 60 times by health or social workers during an eight-month period. By the end, he was unrecognisable, his curly, golden locks shaved off, his cheeks hollow and his eyes dead to the world.
He 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. In the 48 hours before he was found dead in his blood-spattered cot, a doctor failed to spot his broken spine.
A detective in the case described the boyfriend as "sadistic - fascinated with pain". He had Nazi memorabilia in the house. The court heard the mother was "a slob, completely divorced from reality. She was living in a dream world and put her lover before her child. She closed her eyes to what was going on".
Gillie Christou, in charge of social workers looking after children on the register in Haringey, told the court she had agreed to keep the baby with his mother.
She said: "I made the decision at the time based on the material in front of me and based on the background to the case."
The family cannot be identified for legal reasons. All three will be sentenced on December 15.

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