WATCHDOGS yesterday savaged the social work department that failed to save tragic Brandon Muir.
But the head of child protection in Dundee at the time of the toddler's brutal killing wasn't around to hear the damning verdict.
Fred McBride was enjoying a sunshine holiday before moving to a new top post - on a salary of Pfund107,000 a year.
After the boyfriend of Brandon's junkie mum battered the little boy to death, McBride claimed there was no "systemic failure" in the way the authorities handled the case.
But yesterday's official report reveals that child protection in Dundee was a shambles.
The watchdogs found that:
Kids at risk of abuse or neglect were not spotted or helped in time
Risks facing children were not assessed quickly enough
Bosses failed to give social workers a clear idea of how to do their jobs
Bad parents were often allowed to carry on severely neglecting their children.
The report is the latest in a long line of calls for improvements to child protection in Scotland. But despite repeated promises to improve the system, children continue to die.
Government inspectors looked at 18 key performance areas in Dundee and ruled that NINE were weak or unsatisfactory.
They were: operational planning; policies and procedures; vision, values and aims; leadership and direction; leadership of change; meeting children's needs; spotting and assessing risks; effectiveness of planning and responding to concerns.