Saturday, 30 May 2009

Watchdog chief in Baby P scandal is paid £230,000

The head of Ofsted was paid more than Pfund230,000 in salary and bonuses last year despite admitting failings over the Baby Peter case.
Christine Gilbert earned performance-related pay of Pfund38,000 on top of her salary of Pfund196,000.
Her watchdog was heavily criticised for giving Haringey Council a 'good' rating just weeks after Baby Peter died following months of abuse at his home in North London.
Ofsted's verdict dramatically changed when inspectors were sent in again a year later, at the height of public anxiety over Baby Peter's death.
Mrs Gilbert admitted the council had been able to 'hide behind' data to achieve a favourable rating. The watchdog is now implementing major reforms of the system for inspecting social services.
Mrs Gilbert is among a series of education chiefs whose pay has been disclosed. Many bureaucrats are paid more than Gordon Brown, who collects Pfund190,000.
The TaxPayers' Alliance has condemned the salaries, claiming public money is being used to reward failure.
Freedom of Information disclosures show the head of the quango responsible for the school rebuilding programme earns Pfund 213,000. Tim Byles was appointed chief executive of Partnerships for Schools in November 2006, and is responsible for overseeing the Building Schools for the Future programme.
A report by auditors earlier this year found the scheme was running two years behind schedule and Pfund10billion over-budget.
Costs were found to have spiralled to Pfund55billion following 'avoidable delays' and excessive spending on consultants. Many of the problems pre-date Mr Byles's arrival, his aides said.
Elsewhere, exam officials who admitted failures during the SATs marking fiasco were paid handsomely, and also received notice pay after quitting over the problems. Dr Ken Boston earned Pfund175,000 to Pfund180,000 basic annual salary plus Pfund154,000 worth of perks, including rent on a home in Chelsea, as head of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.

Religious orders defy call to pay more into child abuse compensation scheme

The leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland has clashed with the religious orders involved in child abuse over the amount they are willing to contribute towards compensating victims. Eighteen Catholic congregations defied calls from Cardinal Sean Brady to be more generous in their dealings with those who suffered abuse.
Pressure has been building on the Catholic hierarchy to do something about the grossly disproportionate burden that the Irish taxpayer has to shoulder in a controversial compensation or redress scheme for thousands of victims. But the religious orders said last night that they would not renegotiate the deal after Cardinal Brady, who is also bishop of Irelands largest diocese, asked them to revisit the terms of the compensation.
Last week the conclusions of the nine-year Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, headed by Mr Justice Sean Ryan, were published, and Dermot Ahern, the Irish Justice Minister, said yesterday that a senior garda officer was examining the report to see whether criminal charges could be laid. The report identifies about 800 abusers, among them nuns, priests and monks, principally members of the Christian Brothers. Only a handful have been prosecuted and convicted.
Pope Benedict XVI will also be briefed on the report.
Under the 2002 compensation deal 18 religious congregations agreed to pay Pfund127 million most of it in the form of buildings and land in return for indemnity against further claims against them. The Government agreed to meet the remaining costs, which have since spiralled to about Euro1.3 billion. (Pfund1.1 billion).
Public anger over the deal has increased. Thousands of people have queued to sign a solidarity book at Mansion House, Dublin, with some signatories angrily declaring that the guilty priests, nuns and monks who raped and tortured children in their care for decades should be hunted down like Nazis.

Jeremy Laurance; Social services cannot recruit because of the Baby P effect

Last week was a grim one in the annals of child protection. On the same day that Baby P's abusers were sentenced following one of the grossest professional failures in recent memory, the controversial paediatrician David Southall, who pioneered covert video surveillance to detect child abuse, learnt that his career was over. His appeal to the High Court against a decision by the General Medical Council to strike him off the register was dismissed.
The criticism of the professionals in the Baby P case was that they did not act swiftly or decisively enough to protect the 17-month-old when signs emerged of his ill treatment. The criticism of Southall was that he acted too swiftly and decisively to protect a child he believed to be at risk acting in an "offensive" and "unjustified" manner.
The end in both cases is tragedy a baby has lost his life and a crusading paediatrician has lost his livelihood. The hope is that these events will improve the protection of children. But will they?
Social services departments cannot recruit to their benighted profession, because of the Baby P effect, and there is an alarming swing against parental rights, which means more children judged "at risk" will be removed from their homes into the frequently damaging realm of state care.
Meanwhile paediatricians with one of the toughest jobs in medicine distinguishing accidental from non-accidental injury are left badly undermined by the spectacle of a doctor of international renown suffering professional extinction.

Ireland must learn from child abuse

The harrowing and gut wrenching stories of physical, emotional and sexual abuse of children detailed in the Report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse should not have surprised us.
After all, many children growing up in the 1960s and 1970s were told that, if they did not behave, they would be sent to Letterfrack or Artane.
Irish society knew - or at the very least, was aware - of the hell on Earth being inflicted on defenceless children in religious institutions. Yet, what was their crime? In the main, it was poverty. Tragic circumstances of birth resulted in many children from lower socio-economic backgrounds being received into care and being systematically abused and exploited to expand the coffers of the religious institutions.
The legacy of our shameful indifference is illustrated in this important report that indicates there were 800 known abusers in more than 200 institutions over a period of 35 years. We must learn from it.
The report stated that the deferential and submissive attitude of the Department of Education towards the [religious] congregations compromised its ability to carry out its statutory duty of inspection and monitoring of the schools. Clearly, the state did not shout stop, but neither did anyone else. Sexual, physical and emotional abuse of children was systematic - in particular, sexual abuse of boys was endemic in religious-run institutions.
The scale of abuse of thousands of children in institutions run by religious congregations implicates all of Irish society. When the Kennedy Report was published in 1970, an awareness and concern was created for the first time as to what was hidden behind the euphemistic words residential child care. A chilling feature of the accounts of children who were in care in Ireland prior to the report emerged. So did the unquestioned - and apparently unquestionable - moral authority of the care providers, and the reckless disregard for child welfare.
The last few decades have seen an upsurge in the reporting of cases involving victims of abuse in institutional settings. Many such incidents came to light during the 1990s, revealed by the Madonna House inquiry and RTEs documentary series States of Fear. The systematic physical and sexual abuse of children in care institutions became an area of national concern.

Congregations rule out revisiting abuse deal

The 18 congregations that signed the controversial deal with the Government in 2002 to compensate victims of abuse in institutions said this evening they would not renegotiate the terms of the agreement.
The move by the congregations comes despite increasing public pressure and a call this morning by the Catholic primate Cardinal Sean Brady that the deal should be revisited.
The 2002 agreement between the congregations and the State indemnified the religious orders from all redress claims made by victims in exchange for payments and property transfers totalling Euro127 million. The total bill for the redress scheme is likely to be about Euro1.3 billion.
Following a meeting in Dublin this morning the congregations said this evening they accepted the gravity of the abuse detailed in the Ryan report last week. However, the statement added: Rather than re-opening the terms of the agreement reached with Government in 2002, we reiterate our commitment to working with those who suffered enormously while in our care. We must find the best and most appropriate ways of directly assisting them.
The statement said the group would meeting in the coming days to explore the detail of our responses.
The Conference of the Religious in Ireland (Cori), which represents 138 religious congregations, said in a statement this evening that it supports the 18 congregations in their efforts to find the best and most appropriate ways forward.
All of us accept with humility that massive mistakes were made and grave injustices were inflicted on very vulnerable children. No excuse can be offered for what has happened, the Cori statement said.
Meanwhile, the Standing Committee of the Irish Bishops' Conference welcomed the publication of report from the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, desccribing it as a significant step in establishing the truth and enabling the voices of survivors of abuse to be heard.

Harrowing case of boy who raped his sister

A 14-year-old boy from Northern Ireland with a history of sexual assaults on a number of young people went on to rape his 12-year-old sister despite social services knowing of his background, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal today.
This harrowing case is just one of the Case Management Reviews (CMRs) being highlighted in the second day of coverage of some of the most serious child abuse and neglect cases to take place in the province.
Executive summaries of the reviews were provided by the Health and Social Care Boards four Area Child Protection Committees (ACPC) in response to a Freedom of Information request from the Telegraph. They all contain pseudonyms to ensure the children involved are not identified.
CMRs are carried out when a child dies or is seriously injured and abuse or neglect is known or suspected to be a factor. All of the reviews make recommendations about how cases could have been handled better by social services.
Other cases reported on today include:
a three-year-old girl on the Child Protection Register who ended up in a coma after taking her mothers medication
a two-month-old baby who died after falling asleep in her mothers arms. Around 45 health and social care professionals were involved with the mother over two years.
the suicide of a 16-year-old girl.
The Department of Health has confirmed that the number of children referred to social services has risen by 24% in the past five years and also that 951 childrens cases were unallocated as of March 31.

Archbishop calls for 'new gesture' from orders behind child abuse

THE ARCHBISHOP of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, has called on Catholic religious congregations to make a new gesture of recognition of the abuse carried out in institutions they ran.
Addressing the religious congregations who ran institutions criticised in the Child Abuse Commission report, he described as stunning the fact that implementation of a redress agreement made with the State seven years ago has yet to be fully completed.
The fact that the mechanisms of fulfilling your side of that agreement have not yet been brought to completion is stunning, he writes in todays Irish Times . There may have been legal difficulties, but they are really a poor excuse after so many years.
Whatever happens with regards to renegotiating that agreement, you cannot just leave things as they are.
There are many ways in which substantial financial investment in supporting survivors and their families can be brought about, perhaps in creative ways which would once again redeem your own charism as educators of the poor.
In many ways it is your last chance to render honour to charismatic founders and to so many good members of your congregations who feel tarnished, Dr Martin writes.
The 2002 agreement between the congregations and the State indemnified the religious orders from all redress claims made by victims in exchange for payments and property transfers totalling Euro127 million. The total bill for the redress scheme is likely to be about Euro1.3 billion.
Yesterday, Cardinal Sean Bradys general assistant, Fr Timothy Bartlett, called on the relevant religious congregations to re-enter negotiations with the State on the 2002 deal.

Catholic aide says gay men commit most paedophilia

There was fresh controversy today over child sex abuse and the Catholic church when an archbishop's aide claimed the majority of paedophilia was being perpetrated by gay men.
Father John Owen, the communications officer for the archdiocese of Cardiff and a Catholic chaplain at Cardiff University, was a guest on BBC1's The Big Questions.
His remarks concerned last Wednesday's publication of the Ryan Inquiry, a 2,565-page report detailing the abuse and rape of children in Ireland's Catholic institutions, and came days after the newly-appointed archbishop of Westminster, the Most Rev Vincent Nichols, angered charities by saying it took courage for religious orders and clergy to confront the past.
Asked by the show's presenter, Nicky Campbell, whether the church cared more about its own reputation than the welfare of children, Owen replied: "These matters are so ghastly that people don't want to look at them, they can't believe these things are taking place within the orbit of a Christian church, perversion of Christianity.
"Let me tell you of course before you go too far, most of the offences are being committed by homosexuals."

Bishop apology over 'evil' abuse

The Bishop of Down and Connor has apologised to all victims of child sex abuse by the Catholic church.
Dr Noel Treanor was speaking after a report last week said thousands had been abused over 60 years.
He said the report was "heartbreaking" and had recorded cruelty and abuses which were "criminal and sinful."
But Dr Treanor said the church was addressing the "evil", adding that the Down and Connor diocese now had robust child protection measures in place.
"I state my sorrow, shame and visceral pain in the face of these and all abuses inflicted on children and vulnerable adults, whenever they took place, wherever they are perpetrated," he told a congregation in Carryduff on Sunday.
"I apologise on behalf of the church to all who are victims of abuse on the part of those who professed to care for them, or minister to them, in the name of Christ.
"I apologise, too, for the failure of those in positions of leadership in the Church to deal with the abusers."
The victims of child abuse by religious orders were among 35,000 children who were placed in a network of reformatories, industrial schools and workhouses until the early 1990s.
More than 2,000 people told the Commission to Inquire Into Child Abuse they suffered physical and sexual abuse as children in the institutions.

Police examine sex abuse report

Police in the Irish Republic are examining if criminal charges can be brought over a damning report on child sex abuse at Catholic institutions.
Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern said he was working with the attorney general to see if prosecutions could be brought.
The gardai have also appointed a senior policeman to examine the report in a criminal justice context.
Cardinal Sean Brady is to discuss the report's findings with the Pope.
The leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland also said that the compensation deal agreed by the Irish government with the orders should be revisited.
It was initially thought the Commission to Inquire Into Child Abuse's findings would not be used for criminal prosecutions - in part because the Christian Brothers successfully sued the commission in 2004 to keep the identities of all of its members, dead or alive, unnamed in the report.
No real names, whether of victims or perpetrators, appear in the final document.

The monsters who got a toy town sentence for killing a child

In barely three years Baby Ps mother could walk free from jail.
The woman who caused or allowed the systematic torture and death of her own baby boy has been given a sentence with no meaning.
The term jailed indefinitely means nothing of the kind.
Because of time already spent in custody, she could be skipping out of jail a young woman of 30, with her life ahead of her.
Her satanic lover, a man so monstrous you cant print what he did to that beautiful little boy, received just 12 years for his part in Baby Ps death.
He was also handed a life sentence to run concurrently with a minimum of 10 years after his conviction for the vile rape of a two- year-old girl.
The third brute, lodger and convicted criminal Jason Owen, was jailed indefinitely. This, of course in legal-speak, means he could be back on the streets in 2011. Wheres the justice in that?
It is still unclear who finally killed Baby Peter. But the child was sadistically tortured for so much of his tragically short life its almost beside the point.
What we do know is the 17-month-old boy with the luminous blue eyes was found dead in his cot with 50 injuries including eight broken ribs and a snapped spine.
We know that the top of one of his fingers was missing and that his face had been punched with such force one of his baby teeth was later found in his stomach.
More sickening details of the injuries inflicted on this little boy who lived in a state of constant pain and fear were revealed in the testimonies at the trial. But they are far too shocking to repeat they make you believe for a moment in capital punishment.


SHOCKING figures obtained by the Sunday Express reveal the harrowing ordeal experienced by children forced to give evidence in Britain's courts.
A staggering 45 per cent of minors aged between four and 17 endure the intimidation of coming face to face with defendants inside court buildings and on average wait nearly six hours before being called to give evidence.
Many are giving evidence against defendants who have sexually abused them as was the case of the four-year-old girl who was raped by one of Baby Peter's killers when she was just two years old.
The girl waited four and half hours in a room with a stranger, a court usher, at the Old Bailey before giving evidence via video link for 45 minuets at the trial of the rapist, the sadistic boyfriend of baby Peter's mother.
On Friday he was sentenced to 12 years for baby Peters death and life for raping the little girl and was told by judge Stephen Kramer he must serve a minimum of 10 years. He cannot be named for legal reasons.
We can also reveal that a further two thirds of those children who give evidence via video link from another room in the court are accompanied by someone they do not know, usually a court usher, adding to their anxiety.
A further 49 per cent did not understand the questions asked by barristers and 79 per cent are worried or anxious in the days leading up to their court appearance.
The figures compiled by the NSPCC after a survey into 200 of the estimated 1,200 four to 17 years olds who give evidence annually, paint a frightening picture of how Britains courts are letting our children down.
They mean nearly half of all children who give evidence face being intimidated by defendants before they even give evidence.

Solidarity book for abuse victims

Dublin's lord mayor has opened a book of solidarity for the victims of abuse by the religious orders.
Meanwhile, the orders are coming under pressure to increase their contribution to compensation made to the victims.
Lord Mayor Eibhlin Byrne said she had been approached throughout the city by people wishing to express solidarity with those who had suffered abuse.
A report on abuse of children in Catholic institutions in the Irish Republic was published on Wednesday.
It found that church leaders knew that sexual abuse was "endemic" in boys' institutions.
It also found physical and emotional abuse and neglect were features of institutions and schools were run "in a severe, regimented manner that imposed unreasonable and oppressive discipline on children and even on staff".
The nine-year inquiry investigated a 60-year period.
More than 2,000 people told the Commission to Inquire Into Child Abuse they suffered physical and sexual abuse as children in the institutions.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Louis Theroux; A Place for Paedophiles (BBC Documentary)

Watch The Broadcast:
Louis has gained access to Coalinga Mental Hospital in California, which houses more than 500 of the most disturbed criminals in America, convicted paedophiles. Most have already served lengthy prison sentences, but have been deemed unsafe for release. Instead, they have been sent here for an indefinite time. Spending time with those undergoing treatment, Louis wrestles with whether he can ever allow himself to believe men whose whole history is defined by deception and deceit.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Baby P killers jailed (ITV News)

Baby Peter's mother has been jailed indefinitely and told she will serve at least five years for her role in her son's death.
Sentencing her, the judge rejected the suggestion that she was "blind to what was happening in that house" or that she was "naive".
She showed no emotion until her boyfriend was sentenced to life, when her mouth fell open and she appeared to mouth "No".
The little boy's "stepfather" could be out of jail in 12 years after his part in both Baby Peter's death and the rape of a toddler.
The 32-year-old man, who cannot be named, was given a life sentence with a minimum term of ten years for the rape, and 12 years for his part in Baby Peter's death, to run concurrently.
The couple's lodger Jason Owen, 37, was given an indeterminate sentence for public protection with a minimum period of three years.
Meanwhile, a serious case review has concluded Baby Peter's death "could and should have been prevented".
It found that agencies would only have been willing to move him if the injuries he suffered were found to be "non-accidental beyond all reasonable doubt".
Jailing Baby Peter's tormentors, Judge Stephen Kramer said: "Any decent person who heard the catalogue of medical conditions and non-accidental injuries suffered by Peter cannot fail to have been appalled.
"It was clear that significant force had been used on Peter on a number of occasions.

Baby P killers jailed (ITV London) (Update)

Baby Peter's mother has been jailed indefinitely and told she will serve at least five years for her role in her son's death.
Sentencing her, the judge rejected the suggestion that she was "blind to what was happening in that house" or that she was "naive".
She showed no emotion until her boyfriend was sentenced to life, when her mouth fell open and she appeared to mouth "No".
The little boy's "stepfather" could be out of jail in 12 years after his part in both Baby Peter's death and the rape of a toddler.
The 32-year-old man, who cannot be named, was given a life sentence with a minimum term of ten years for the rape, and 12 years for his part in Baby Peter's death, to run concurrently.
The couple's lodger Jason Owen, 37, was given an indeterminate sentence for public protection with a minimum period of three years.
Meanwhile, a serious case review has concluded Baby Peter's death "could and should have been prevented".
It found that agencies would only have been willing to move him if the injuries he suffered were found to be "non-accidental beyond all reasonable doubt".
Jailing Baby Peter's tormentors, Judge Stephen Kramer said: "Any decent person who heard the catalogue of medical conditions and non-accidental injuries suffered by Peter cannot fail to have been appalled.
"It was clear that significant force had been used on Peter on a number of occasions.
"Whatever the truth of what took place and the role and motivation of each individual, the result was that a child died in horrific circumstances with injuries that can only have caused great pain and distress prior to his death."

Baby P mother jailed indefinitely (BBC News)

Watch The Broadcast At The End Of The Article:
Baby Peter's mother has been jailed indefinitely for causing or allowing the toddler's death.
The 17-month-old died after months of abuse in Haringey, north London. His mother must serve at least five years.
Her 32-year-old boyfriend was jailed for 12 years for causing the death and for life for raping a two-year-old girl. He must serve at least 10 years.
Their lodger, Jason Owens, was jailed indefinitely for causing Baby Peter's death, to serve at least three years.
Judge Stephen Kramer described Baby Peter's mother as a "manipulative" and "self-centred" person with "a calculating side as well as a temper".
"I reject the suggestion that you were blind to what was happening in that house or that you were naive," he told her.

Baby P death 'could and should have been prevented'

The "horrifying death" of Baby P "could and should have been prevented" but social workers and other agencies were too concerned with keeping mother and child together, a second serious case review found today.
Social workers, doctors, lawyers and police should have been able to stop the situation "in its tracks at the first serious incident" but their outlook was "completely inadequate".
The 17-month-old boy, who was found dead with multiple injuries on August 3, 2007, should have been placed in care, the review carried out by Haringey Local Safeguarding Children Board found.
More should also have been done to discover the role and identity of the mother's boyfriend. Council workers denied any knowledge of the man even though Baby P's father warned them he had seen the boyfriend at the family home.
Although agencies thought it was unlikely the mother was injuring the child nobody took the next step and looked into whether somebody else was involved, according to the executive summary of the review which was published today.
Even after the boy, who can now be named as Peter, was put under a child protection plan, his case was regarded as routine "with injuries expected as a matter of course".
The professionals tasked with the boy's protection were "lacking urgency", "lacking thoroughness" and "insufficiently challenging to the parent".

Baby P mother and stepfather jailed for toddler's death

Baby P's mother was jailed indefinitely today for causing or allowing her son's death, as an official report said the killing "could and should have been prevented".
The mother was told she would serve at least five years. "You are a manipulative and self-centred person, with a calculating side as well as a temper," the judge, Stephen Kramer, told Baby P's mother at the Old Bailey.
"I am satisfied that you acted selfishly because your priority was your relationship with [your boyfriend]."
The boyfriend, 32, was given a 12-year sentence by the judge for his role in the killing of Baby P, now named as Peter; and a concurrent life sentence with a minimum of 10 years for raping a two-year-old girl.
Jason Owen, 37, from Bromley, south-east London, a lodger at the same home as the pair, was given an indeterminate sentence and told he would serve a minimum of three years.
Due to the time the mother has already served in custody she could be eligible for parole in August 2012.
Children's charity the NSPCC criticised the minimum terms for the mother and Owen as being too short. "It raises the question of how bad the abuse has to be before offenders get a longer minimum time in prison," said the NSPCC chief executive, Andrew Flanagan.
The indeterminate sentences mean Peter's mother and Owen could be eligible for parole after serving the minimum tariff, but only if they satisfy authorities that they no longer pose a risk to the public.

Blogs threatened Baby Peter cases

The people responsible for the death of Baby Peter have been jailed. However, as BBC News reports, these prison terms were put at risk by internet hate campaigns.
Vigilante-style websites which are determined to name and shame the mother of Baby Peter and her boyfriend almost wrecked their second trial for the rape and neglect of a two-year-old child.
Their efforts to "out" the identities of the couple - who still cannot be named for legal reasons - could even have led to some of those responsible for Baby Peter's death receiving far lesser sentences than the ones they did.
It raises further questions on how justice can continue to operate in high-profile cases when judge's orders can be so easily broken by bloggers.
Reporting restrictions on the media after the Baby Peter trial prevented any information about his mother and boyfriend facing a second trial being made public.
Despite efforts by the mainstream media to challenge the orders, the press was placed in a position that to even mention the second trial could have resulted in a substantial fine or even imprisonment for contempt of court.
The public could only be told that the couple's sentencing - and that of their lodger Jason Owen who was also found guilty of causing or allowing Peter's death but did not feature in the second trial - was being delayed for legal reasons.
Before the second trial even started, defence lawyers for the couple argued forcefully that any jury trying the mother and boyfriend would be prejudiced if they knew who was in the dock in front of them.
They said the defendants were perceived by the public in the same way as the Soham murderer and his girlfriend and that more than half a million people had already signed internet petitions demanding justice for Peter.

Baby P's mum 'free in 3 years'

FURY erupted today as it emerged Baby P's evil mum could walk free in just over THREE YEARS.
The 27-year-old was ordered to serve a minimum of five years in jail for causing or allowing the death of little Peter who suffered nine months of horrific abuse.
But the "manipulative and self-centred" mum could be out much sooner as she has already spent 644 days in custody.
Today The Sun launches a petition calling on its loyal army of millions of readers to demand the Attorney General acts NOW to get justice for tragic Baby P.
We want increased sentences handed to the child's mum, his sick stepdad and their paedophile lodger.
Baby P's evil stepdad could be free in just EIGHT YEARS while lodger Jason Owen may serve less then 12 MONTHS.
Kidscape chief executive Michele Elliott slammed the pathetic sentences and said she believed the lad's tormentors should NEVER be released.
The children's charity head blasted: "Where can you start? We would have preferred to have seen them all in prison for life - and life meaning life.
"The maximum is 14 years and I would have liked them not to have been considered for parole until then."
Baby P's 32-year-old stepdad was jailed for life with a minimum of just ten years today for the rape of a two-year-old girl.
The monster was handed a 12 year sentence to run concurrently for causing or allowing the death of Baby Peter.
But as he has also already spent 644 days in custody he could be released in as little as eight years.
Owen, 37, could be free in less than twelve months after being told today he would spend a minimum of three years behind bars.
He has spent 235 days in custody.

The Killer's of Baby Peter, Named; Tracey Connelly, Steven Barker, Jason Owen
The Killer's of Baby Peter (Baby P)
Tracey Connelly,
Steven Barker,
Jason Owen
Why Do They Hide The Names Of The Guilty, This Site Will Name The Guilty!

Hang These Monsters!

The Killer's of Baby Peter (Baby P)


Tracey Connelly,

Steven Barker,

Jason Owen

Why Do They Hide The Names Of The Guilty, This Site Will Name The Guilty!

Officials were told to put Baby P in care seven months before death

Social workers ignored legal advice to take Baby P into care and condemned him to seven months of abuse that led up to his horrifying death, an inquiry found today.
A report into failings by social services, lawyers, doctors and the police found the boy's abuse could have been stopped in its tracks if the professionals paid to protect children had done their job.
Seventeen-month-old Baby Peter died on 3 August, 2007 after suffering months of neglect and violence at the hands of his mother, her boyfriend and their lodger.
He suffered more than 50 injuries, including a broken back, despite being on Haringey's child protection register and being seen 60 times by social workers, doctors and police.
The summary of the serious case review report was published as Peter's 27-year-old mother, her boyfriend, 32, and their lodger, Jason Owen, 37, of Bromley, Kent, were sentenced at the Old Bailey today.
But the focus returned to the failure of Haringey's social workers and medical staff to act to protect Baby Peter despite evidence that his injuries had been deliberately caused.
Graham Badman, independent chairman of Haringey's Local Safeguarding Children Board, which conducted the review, said Peter should have been taken into care sooner.
He said social workers were too keen to keep the family together. He said: Staff adopted a threshold of concern for taking children into care that was too high and had expectations of what they themselves could achieve that were too low.

Baby P; criticism for all concerned with case

None of the authorities responsible for protecting Baby Peter has escaped criticism.
There was widespread outrage when it emerged that Baby P, who can now be named as Peter, had been on the at-risk register for eight months when he died from shocking abuse. Photo: PA
Social workers, police, doctors and lawyers have all been hauled over the coals in a series of damning reports examining what went so horrifically wrong in this case.
There was widespread outrage when it emerged that Baby P, who can now be named as Peter, had been on the at-risk register for eight months when he died from shocking abuse.
Reviews of the case identified a catalogue of missed opportunities when child protection experts could have saved the little boy's life if they had acted properly on the warning signs in front of them.
After the trial of those responsible for Peter's death, public anger and official censure initially focused on social workers at Haringey Council in north London.
At first children's services director Sharon Shoesmith refused to resign or sack any of her staff, saying: "There was not the evidence there for anyone to lose their jobs."
But an urgent review of Haringey's child welfare provision ordered by Children's Secretary Ed Balls came to a different conclusion.
On December 1 last year the inspectors came back with a short but strongly-worded report that identified "serious concerns" and condemned the local authority's child protection services as "inadequate".

Southall loses bid to end GMC ban

Paediatrician David Southall has lost his bid to have the decision to strike him off the medical register overturned by the High Court in London.
The General Medical Council (GMC) struck off Dr Southall in 2007 after he accused a Shropshire mother of drugging and murdering her 10-year-old son.
It had ruled he was guilty of serious professional misconduct.
It has previously rebuked him over the case of Sally Clark, who was wrongly jailed for the deaths of her two sons.
In 2007, the GMC panel said Dr Southall had a "deep-seated attitudinal problem".
It found that his actions had added to the distress of the mother - Mrs M - following the death of her son, who hanged himself in 1996.
Dr Southall made the claim in an interview with Mrs M about the safety of her surviving son.
He had been instructed by a county council to provide an independent expert report to the court.
'Lack of insight'
During his High Court case, lawyers for Dr Southall had argued that the GMC panel had failed to give "any or adequate weight" to inconsistencies in Mrs M's evidence, and that they did not understand what child protection work involved.
But in his judgement, Mr Justice Blake, ruled the decision to strike the paediatrician off was justified.

Lancs police award for work against abusive images of children

Lancashire Constabulary has been recognised as one of the UKs leading organisations in the fight against the sexual abuse of children after receiving a coveted award from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre.
CEOP - the UKs national law enforcement centre for tackling the sexual exploitation of children - used the opportunity to announce record results with 346 children safeguarded, 714 arrests, 166 high risk sex offender networks dismantled and over four million children and young people empowered through the Thinkuknow education programme since the organisation was launched in April 2006.
Partnership is the hallmark of CEOP's approach and four officers from Lancashire Constabulary were last night recognised for their role in going the extra distance in helping the organisation in its work.
DC Gary Bolton, DC Nick Brown, Detective Sergeant Claire Lancaster and DC Kelly Rosenthall all received the Outstanding Contribution to Online Investigation and Child Protection 2008/09 Award for their work on Operation Nestegg an investigation into the large scale distribution of indecent images on the internet.
The awards, which over the last three years have been presented to over twenty organisations and individuals, aim to recognise those who have gone the extra mile in tackling the sexual abuse of children.

Police advisor wins child protection award

A police educational advisor in Northern Ireland has been recognised as one of the leading figures in the fight against child abuse, it was revealed on Thursday.
Dympna Thornton received a coveted award from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) centre on Wednesday.
She was nominated for her delivery of internet safety lessons to police officers who visit Northern Irish schools.
Ms Thornton said: "I am delighted, and privileged to have been nominated and won this award.
"This is recognition of the great work which our police officers do every day in schools and colleges across Northern Ireland. Without their hard work and commitment, I would not be here to accept this award."
She received the 'Children's Champion 2009' Award.
CEOP - the UK's national law enforcement centre for tackling the sexual exploitation of children - announced record results with 346 children safeguarded, 714 arrests, 166 high risk sex offender networks dismantled and over four million children and young people involved in the Thinkuknow education programme since the organisation was launched in April 2006.

Experienced director has task of preventing more baby P cases

A children's services boss with professional experience of two horrific baby deaths will take up a national role to prevent more Baby P cases, it was announced today.
Catherine Fitt will become the new strategic director for children's services for the National College of School Leadership, after a four-year stint as executive director of children's services at Newcastle City Council.
The role was created by children's secretary Ed Balls following the publication of the recent review of Children's Services by Lord Laming.
In her time in Newcastle, she oversaw reviews into two high-profile baby deaths.
Aaron O'Neil, aged just three months, was killed at the hands of his father Paul, in February 2005. The baby had his face held against a gas fire, Newcastle Crown Court heard, and his father was jealous of the attention the infant received.
Mrs Fitt ordered an independent inquiry which concluded there were lessons to be learnt, and a social worker resigned.
The council executive took up her role in Newcastle in the same month baby Aaron was murdered.
In August 2005, four-month-old Alexander Gallon was killed by his mother Danielle Wails when she set fire to their home in Cowgate, Newcastle.
A Serious Case Review was carried out which found his death could not have been predicted, but found different agencies and staff within them needed to communicate better.

Landmark judgment on support for homeless teens

A homeless 17-year-old has won a landmark battle in the House of Lords to gain his full legal entitlement to support from his local council. The Law Lords found that London Borough of Southwark had failed to follow the law in dealing with the teenager's plight, after he was evicted from his family home. Instead of offering a care plan until the age of 21 and support from the children's services department, he was dealt with through the housing department, which was only able to deal with his accommodation issues. The Law Lords ruled that this was in contravention of...

Criticism over probe into Carlisle four-year-old's blaze death

The events leading up to the death of a Carlisle child known to social services were not investigated properly, say government inspectors.
An inquiry into the care given to a little boy before he died in a house fire in August 2006 has been deemed inadequate by Ofsted, the News & Star has discovered.
Ryan McHale, four, had been led to safety from a blaze at his grandfathers Currock Road home but he ran back in to reach his dad who lay comatose in the bedroom after drinking cider and smoking cannabis.
His grandfather tried to rescue him but as Ryan was shouting dad, dad he was beaten back by the heat.
After an inquest in February 2007, North East Cumbria Coroner David Osborne delivered a verdict of accidental death.
Mr Osbourne went on to raise very serious concerns about the fitness of Ryans parents particularly father Sean who was said to be a regular cannabis smoker.
At the time of his death Ryan was being monitored by Cumbria County Council childrens social care, Cumbria Constabulary and Cumbria Primary Care Trust.
The board set up to oversee protection of the countys children launched a serious case review to see if any lessons needed be learnt from the tragedy.
But Ofsted found Cumbria Local Safeguarding Children Boards report (CLSCB) lacking in a number of areas.
The quality of the analysis of some of the county council, police and PCT internal reviews was not up to scratch.
Neither was the action plan CLSCB had drawn up to address the failures it had uncovered in the system.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Jury foreman Michael Seckerson guilty of contempt over manslaughter case

A jury foreman and the publishers of The Times were found guilty of contempt of court yesterday for reporting how the jurors in a manslaughter trial reached their verdict.
Two judges in the High Court found that Michael Seckerson and Times Newspapers Ltd broke the strict law which bans the disclosure of the secrets of the jury room.
An order of committal was requested meaning a fine or a jail sentence but the decision was adjourned until Friday next week.
Section 8 of the Contempt of Court Act 1981 forbids the disclosure of votes cast, statements made, opinions expressed or arguments advanced by a jury in its deliberations in the jury room.
Mr Seckerson contacted The Times to express his doubt over the verdict in the trial of Keran Henderson, a childminder found guilty of the manslaughter of 11-month-old Maeve Sheppard in 2007. She was jailed for three years, and is to begin an appeal against her conviction later this month.
Mr Seckerson was one of two jurors who dissented in a 10-2 majority verdict, and he approached The Times to question the verdict and the role played by evidence given by expert medical witnesses.
In an article written by Frances Gibb, legal editor for The Times, on December 19, 2007 five weeks after the Henderson trial Mr Seckerson was reported to have said: The consensus was taken three minutes after the foreman was voted in. It was 10-2 against, all based on the evidence. After that, there was no going back.

Foster baby dies with 13 broken ribs

A BABY who was born a heroin addict died with 13 broken ribs AFTER social workers handed her over to foster carers.
Chelsey Essex, whose junkie mother has had three drug-addicted babies, was taken into care five weeks after her birth.
But following the tots death of a massive heart attack caused by a stomach infection, a pathologist discovered evidence of the broken ribs.
The non-accidental injuries were revealed in an independent report that criticised social workers over their monitoring of the foster parents, named only as Mr and Mrs A.
The review revealed Chelseys rib injuries probably happened four weeks before she died as a result of forceful squeezing by an adult.
There was also extensive nappy rash and healing tears inside her lips consistent with a slap or force-feeding.
The pathologist said the injuries had not contributed to her death.
The review said the decision by authorities in Rotherham, South Yorks, to place Chelsey with the couple was inappropriate and added there had been inadequate level of supervision and review.

Court orders mother in child residency dispute to be tagged

A mother in a child residency dispute has been ordered to wear an electronic tag of the kind used to monitor criminals.
The extraordinary family court ruling was made after she twice took her daughter abroad unlawfully. The court also ruled that she should be given a home detention curfew if she wanted to continue caring for the child.
Tagging and curfews could now be extended to hundreds of family court cases where mothers or fathers try to prevent access to children, parents groups and lawyers said yesterday.
The courts decision to use an electronic tag came despite explicit opposition from ministers. They scrapped plans to include electronic tagging and curfews in residency cases in a Bill that came into force last December, calling it disproportional.
Details of the tagging and curfew order have now been published as guidance for judges and lawyers. It follows a residency dispute involving a girl who can be referred to only as A.
The mother has to a wear an electronic tag about the size of a wristwatch around her ankle. Police are alerted if she attempts to remove the tag or leaves the home without authorisation while caring for her daughter.
The girls Greek father, who lives in Britain, said he feared that her mother would take her out of Britain again unless safeguards were put in place. His daughter had been unlawfully taken abroad by her mother in 2007 and again last year but foreign courts ordered the girl to be returned home.

Fathers finding justice in fight for residence orders, Cafcass says

Fathers in Britain are getting more justice than may be apparent when it comes to securing contact with their children through the courts, figures suggest.
In 48 per cent of disputed cases last year, children were allowed to live with their fathers either full-time or part-time.
The figures have been compiled by Cafcass, the childrens court service. They suggest that some claims made by groups such as Fathers4Justice might be exaggerated.
A spokesman for Cafcass said there was a growing body of evidence that the courts were responding to the greater role played by fathers in family life. The figures point to a demographic and social trend of fathers taking more part in their childrens lives, and a policy within the system of focusing on the interests of the child, the spokesman said.
Fathers instigate 45 per cent of the 3,000 residency applications each year.Only one in ten separated or divorced couples ends up going to court to fight over contact with children, Cafcass found, with most couples agreeing on arrangements themselves.

Care crisis looms as two thirds of foster parents near retirement

A crisis in the care system is looming with two thirds of foster parents being near or beyond retirement age, a charity warns today. It found that 65 per cent of foster carers were aged 50 or over. The average age of a foster mother is 53 compared with 46 a decade ago.
Only six per cent of the 72,000 foster carers are in their thirties; 38 per cent are in their fifties and 24 per cent in their sixties. While there is no upper age limit, most give up at retirement age.
In March 739 care applications were submitted to the family courts the highest recorded. In October 2008 there were 496. This was the month before the Baby Peter case came to light, making social workers more wary of taking risks with cases.
The Fostering Network, which compiled the report, said much more must be done to encourage younger people to take up fostering.
Local authorities and fostering agencies must audit their own foster care workforce to see how great the problem is, and target recruitment at people in their twenties and thirties, it said.
Families must provide a separate bedroom for a foster child so foster carers are typically couples whose children have just left home. Far more parents are now in their fifties before their children are finally off their hands.
More than 70 per cent of the 60,000 children in care live with foster families rather than in residential care, so that renewing the workforce is crucial for the future of the system.
There is already a shortage of 10,000 foster carers in Britain, meaning that children end up being placed anywhere that there is a vacancy rather than with the best family for their needs.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Lost in Care - Despatches – Channel 4

Full Documentary:

Part of the Britain's Forgotten Children season, this programme reveals the scandals of the British care system and asks, is it working or failing our children?Reporter Rageh Omaar examines each stage of state provision for the 25,000 children who enter the care system every year, from adoption and fostering to residential care homes. Why do so many babies have to wait for adoption? Why are so many kids shunted from foster parent to foster parent? And why has residential care become a refuge of last resort, and a potential school for failure and crime?

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Mum jailed for telling son she loves him

A woman has been denied access to her children for three years, accused of trying to turn them against their father
AS the wife of a successful City financier with three young boys, she seemed to have it all.
Yet after a bitter divorce and a protracted battle with Britains family courts system, the woman now finds herself bereft. She no longer lives in an imposing home counties farmhouse and for the past three years she has been denied any direct access to her children.
Barred from approaching them in any way, she has been repeatedly arrested for breaching the terms of the injunction against her.
She was once even jailed after encountering her eldest son in the street and telling him she loved him. Now she faces the prospect of incarceration once more. This summer the woman will be hauled before the courts again for having posted a video of her case on the internet.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has not been excluded from her childrens lives because she presents a physical danger to them. Her failing, in the eyes of the courts, was to have turned the boys against their father.
The remarkable case is likely to prompt fresh calls for more open scrutiny of the family courts system. Although recent reforms allow limited reporting of some hearings, most remain secret.
The family began to break up in 2004, when the eldest child was nine. The woman, in her forties, said: Looking back, I think I was still suffering from post-natal depression and I was unhappy with the way my husband was talking to me and towards the children. The rapid expansion in the size of the family was quite stressful and our marriage just disintegrated.
When she made it clear she was considering a divorce, the fallout affected the childrens behaviour and social services were called in. The boys were placed on an at-risk register for the possible emotional abuse they were suffering. It was agreed that the mother would care for them during the day but vacate the family home in the evening and stay with her own mother. I was told by the social services that if I did not agree to that, then they would take the children away from me, she said.
When they asked me about my drinking, I naively thought honesty was the best policy and told them I was drinking two or three glasses of wine in the evening. Before the marriage broke up, she had asked her GP for help over her alcohol use.
She subsequently agreed to attend a clinic for treatment but stayed for only a short time, emerging to find that the police wanted to arrest her over an allegation by her husband that she had scratched his arm.

Mother denied all access to her children

A COURT has denied the former wife of a rich City financier all access to their three children after she was found to be turning them against him.
In an extraordinary ruling, the woman, who was also judged to be too indulgent a parent, has been legally barred from seeing her children for three years. She was jailed for approaching one of them in the street and telling him she loved him in breach of a court order. She is facing a possible return to jail this summer for posting a video about her plight on the internet.
The woman judge presiding over the case justified banning contact between the mother and her children because they were being placed in an intolerable situation of conflict of loyalties resulting in them suffering serious emotional harm.
During supervised visits with her, the children made serious allegations about their father which were later shown to be unfounded. Social workers believed the mother was either prompting them to make the claims or they were saying them just to please her.
A psychiatrist who assessed the case said the mother loved her children but had harmed their development by trying to be always available to them.
The judge said she had serious concern about [the mother] infantilising the children, encouraging them to make complaints about the father and encouraging them to want to take an inappropriate part in these proceedings.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Care cases up after Baby P trial (BBC News)

Watch The News Broadcast At This Artice:
The number of applications to take children into care in England has risen sharply, which experts say may be linked to the Baby P abuse case.
Figures for March were the highest ever recorded by Cafcass, a public body which represents the interests of children in Family Courts.
There were 739 applications, compared with 496 in the month before the case.
Barnardo's chief executive Martin Narey said such decisions were "hideously difficult" but the news was welcome.
It is not unusual for the number of care applications to rise after a high-profile case of child abuse, but the rate of increase following the case of Baby P - whose first name, Peter, was later made public - has been "unprecedented", said the BBC's Daniel Boettcher.
Prior to the publicity surrounding the case, care applications had been falling, but Cafcass said overall figures for 2008/09 - 6,465 cases - were in fact "broadly comparable" with previous years.
Baby P died aged 17 months in 2007, having suffered more than 50 injuries and despite being seen by the authorities on at least 60 occasions.
He was on the child protection list at Haringey Council, north London. A Serious Case Review found his death could and should have been prevented.
In November Jason Owen, 36, from Bromley, and the 32-year-old boyfriend of Baby Peter's mother were found guilty of causing his death.
The boy's mother had pleaded guilty to the same charge. All three will be sentenced later this month.

Madeleine Was Here (Cutting Edge) – Channel 4

Watch The Full Documentary At This Artice:
How do the McCanns deal with the pain of not knowing what has happened to their daughter? And how do they try to create a normal life for the sake of Madeleine's brother and sister, four-year-old twins Sean and Amelie?
With the search now shelved by the Portuguese police - and no officers in Portugal or the UK dedicated to the case - the investigators (former police officers from the UK) speak about their interest in a series of important sightings in and around the Ocean Club complex, Praia da Luz, in the days leading up to May 3rd 2007.
For the first time, Gerry McCann returns to Apartment 5a of the Ocean Club complex, where he last saw his daughter. Also returning to Portugal are Jane Tanner and Matthew Oldfield, two friends from the group known as the 'Tapas 7', who were on holiday with the McCanns at the time.

Jack Straw on Family Courts (ITV This Morning)

Watch The Full Interview At This Artice:
In September Justice Secretary Jack Straw announced that he would be reviewing the way in which the family courts operate and today the new changes are unveiled and take effect.
The implications of Family Courts are wide and far reaching - they can decide whether children are brought up by their parents or taken into the care of the state.
In an address to parliament Jack Straw said: "It is critical that family courts make the right decisions and the public have confidence they are doing so. A key part of building trust in the system is that people understand how it works.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

'Panorama - Baby P; The whole truth'

Panorama Investigates (Video Documentary)
Panorama reporter Alison Holt will reveal further revelations on the case of Baby P, the baby boy who died while under the care of social workers in Haringey, London.
Last year, Panorama's six-month investigation - What happened to Baby P? - uncovered some of the mistakes and missed opportunities that led to the death of a 17-month-old toddler who can now be known as Peter.
He suffered horrific abuse but the same social work department that was criticised in the Victoria Climbie case never took him into care despite a number of warning signals and injuries.
Below, Paramedics Darren Harding and Kevin Mansfield talk to Alison Holt about the moment they found Baby P.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Baby P 'stepfather' raped child (ITV News)

Watch The News Broadcast At This Article:
Baby P's 'stepfather' has been found guilty of raping a toddler on Haringey Council's at-risk register.
The mother of Baby P, who is 27, was cleared of cruelty to the girl.
The mother and her 32-year-old boyfriend, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were both convicted of causing or allowing the death of Baby P, who can now be named as Peter.
The couple were tried at the Old Bailey under false names and the jury had no idea of their true identities or their connection to Baby P.
The rape was discovered when the couple were investigated over Baby P's death.
They, along with their lodger, were cleared of the little boy's murder but all three were found guilty of causing or allowing his death.
The man and woman were remanded in custody for sentencing on May 21 and 22.
The convictions mean the judge will be able to pass a life sentence on the stepfather if he considers him to be a danger to the public.

Researching Reform; Natasha Phillips Interviews John Hemming MP (Divorce Manual)

John explains the hidden problems in the family justice system and why removing the court's stiff upper lip will create the kind of flexibility that turns rigid process into riveting progress.

Girl, 8, gets divorced in Saudi Arabia

An eight-year-old girl from Saudi Arabia has been granted a divorce from her 50-year-old husband.
The case has prompted the kingdom to re-evaluate its conservative attitudes to marriage.
The girl's marriage was arranged by her father and backed twice by a judge on the condition that it was not consummated until she reached puberty.
Her mother, who is separated from the father, objected to the arrangement and twice sought a divorce on her daughter's behalf. It was refused both times by the judge, Sheikh Habib Al-Habib, after the girl's husband refused to agree.
The judge did say that when the girl reached puberty she could herself seek a divorce.
The case was widely publicised and prompted heated debate in the country, which is currently giving more rights to women than have previously been granted. It was also condemned by human rights groups abroad.
King Abdullah, seen as a reformist, appointed the first ever woman deputy minister earlier this year.
One of his advisers, Mohsen al-Obaikan, an Islamic scholar, went public to demand that a legal age for marriage be set at 18. The justice ministry said it was considering reforming the law, which until now has given no minimum.

New family courts are called 'corrupt'

The new family courts were packed with journalists probably for the first and last time after the journalists found out just how restricted they are going to be on reporting anything but the courts have already been attacked by Parents Against Injustice for denying parents who have had children removed from them access to their personal files. The system has been labelled "corrupt".
The campaign group's head Alison Stevens has asked Justice Secretary Jack Straw to force social services and the courts to comply with the Data Protection Act and make the information available, with the very strong suggestion that they're hiding it for a reason.
Accusing councils of playing God, she said: "Local authorities have to send the requested files within 40 days ...but they are often not following public law guidelines. It's corruption within the system. They are playing God, and there must be some reason why perhaps to hide things they have got wrong in the cases."

Ottery activist’s ‘chaos’ pledge (New Fathers 4 Justice)

A FATHERS rights activist from Ottery has vowed to cause massive public disruption by shutting down one of the countrys major public infrastructures by the end of the month.
New Fathers For Justice campaigner and dad of two Richard West, 42, who has carried out a string of high-profile protests while clad in superhero garb, said he has issued the ultimatum to protest against the NHS and Home Secretary For Justice Jack Straw.

Family courts system accused of hiding evidence from parents

Parents fighting in the family courts for contact with their children are being denied access to their personal files by a corrupt system, a leading parental rights campaigner has said.
Alison Stevens, head of Parents Against Injustice, has called for Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, to force social services and individual courts to comply with the Data Protection Act.
She said: Local authorities have to send the requested files within 40 days . . . but they are often not following public law guidelines. Its corruption within the system. They are playing God, and there must be some reason why perhaps to hide things they have got wrong in the cases.
Evidence is gathered from a variety of sources before children are taken from their parents in family courts. Tracking down and obtaining these documents can be very difficult because they are held by various bodies and must be applied for in different ways.
Ms Stevens said: Parents should be entitled to their files not just social services files but all files: from health visitors, GPs, different hospitals, the ambulance trust, psychologist reports, paediatrician notes and so on.
The Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming has written to all MPs calling for a parliamentary review into the operation of the family courts. He said: One of the ways legal practitioners prevent parents from fighting cases is by not giving them the paperwork. Often the paperwork doesnt add up, so if parents got hold of it they would see what was going on.
Many parents have welcomed the call for greater accountability. Roland Simpkin (not his real name) received his social services files seven years after his children were taken into care in 2001 amid allegations of abuse.
When the allegations were shown to be unfounded, he sought to obtain the evidence held on him by social services to find out why he was still not allowed to see his children.

Four More Staff Sacked Over Baby P failings

Four more people have been sacked by Haringey Council for failings in the care of the child named only as Baby P, it has emerged.
Deputy Head of the Children and Families Department, Cecelia Hitchen has been dismissed, along with a social worker Maria Ward, the Team Manager Gillie Christou and the Head of Safeguarding Services, Clive Preece.
A Haringey spokesman said Ms Hitchen was sacked for "loss of trust and confidence" following last year's damning Ofsted report. The other employees were axed for gross misconduct.
The General Social Care Council has also interim suspension orders against Maria Ward and Gillie Christou.
A fifth, social worker Sylvia Henry, had no action taken against her because there was no case to answer, the council found.
The sackings follow that of NI-born Sharon Shoesmith as the boss of the London authority's Children's Services Unit in December.
She was was dismissed without compensation after a critical Ofsted report.

Council sacks four more Baby P workers... without any payoffs

The council at the centre of the Baby P abuse scandal has sacked four more staff over the tragedy.
Three managers and a social worker were dismissed over their failures to protect the 17-month-old boy and over a damning Government report into children's services in Haringey.
Officials at the North London borough said none of them would receive compensation payouts.
But the two most senior managers had already pocketed a total of almost Pfund40,000 in pay while they were suspended from work over the scandal.
Baby P's social worker, Maria Ward, who saw him at least nine times in the eight months he was on the child protection register, was among those sacked.
She, her team manager, Gillie Christou, and Haringey's head of safeguarding children, Clive Preece, were sacked for gross misconduct.
A fourth official, Cecilia Hitchen, was dismissed for 'loss of trust and confidence' following the damning Ofsted inspection into children's services, a Haringey spokesman said.
She was deputy to Sharon Shoesmith, the head of children's services in Haringey at the time.
Baby P, who cannot be named for legal reasons, died in August 2007 after suffering more than 50 injuries at the hands of his mother, her boyfriend and their lodger.
They will be sentenced later this year for causing or allowing the death of a child.

Mother who hit son with hairbrush given community order

Boy, eight, taken into care after assault
A mother whose son was taken into care after she "saw red" and hit him with a hairbrush said today that she did not know when the youngster would return home.
The woman, 42, who cannot be named, was handed a community order for 12 months at South Somerset magistrates court after admitting assaulting the eight-year-old boy by beating. The woman, who snapped because the boy refused to get dressed to go to school, hit him with the back of the hairbrush on one shoulder and with the spiked side of the brush on the other, leaving red marks.
She told the court in Yeovil that it was a moment of madness in which she "saw red" and immediately apologised to him and gave him a cuddle when he started to cry. He complained of a sore shoulder at school later that morning and when a teacher saw the marks police were called.
In interviews he told officers that he and his mum often had fights because he went to bed late. The single mother, who also has a daughter aged eight, was fighting breast cancer and was stressed about her health. She has had a mastectomy and will return to hospital for more surgery next month.
Ben Tabiner, mitigating, told magistrates that she had voluntarily attended anger management courses.
"This is a difficult case interfering in the upbringing of a child, this is about a single mum with a difficult child at the end of her tether and in that moment she snapped," he said.
"She realises that she cannot behave that way and she is remorseful. She has been punished by her son no longer living with her, and she is distraught by what has happened in terms of her relationship with him."

Mother's surprise confession exploded cot death theory

In the last of his series on criminal cases being considered for appeal, Duncan Campbell examines the evidence that could free a woman with a mental age of 10 from a life sentence and the circumstances in which a man was jailed for stabbing two racist attackers
Early this year, the Court of Appeal will have a chance to hear for the first time the case of Jacqueline Fletcher, who was jailed for life at Birmingham crown court in 1988 for drowning her six-week-old son, Glen.
Ms Fletcher, now 23, was born in Bangor, north Wales, and grew up in Atherstone, Warwickshire. When she left school she started going out with a young petty criminal, Glen Miles, and became pregnant by him.
Her first baby was born prematurely after what Warwickshire social services described as 'physical abuse and kicking by the father-to-be' and weighed just over two pounds. She was not capable of looking after the child properly - doctors now say she has an IQ of 70 and a mental age of 10. The child was taken into care and eventually adopted.
Her second child, Glen Richard Miles, was born in September 1984, again prematurely. The child's father was back in prison shortly after the birth. Social services worked closely with Jacqueline to make sure that the child was properly cared for. She was visited daily by at least one person connected with the social services.
On October 19, 1984, a postman, Gary Penny, arrived to deliver mail and found Ms Fletcher crying 'my baby, my baby.' The child was dead on the sofa and Mr Penny called the ambulance and police. An ambulance man attempted mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. A pathologist's examination suggested that the child was a cot death victim. No inquest was held, as is the normal practice, so that parents are not caused further distress.