One of Victoria Climbie’s killers has told the inquiry
into her death that social services should not be blamed for
failing to act, writes Sally Gillen.
Carl Manning said that he had watched the news and “certain
people are getting flak for it”. His interview was recorded on 10
January from Leeds combined court, and replayed to the Victoria
Climbie inquiry on Wednesday.
Singling out Lisa Arthurworrey, he said: “Even when they are
looking at people being incompetent, not doing their jobs to their
ability, in terms of Lisa I could not put any blame. She was always
there trying to help.”
He added that he should not have contributed to an environment
of such “pain and suffering”, and that the situation had been
Manning, who was convicted of Victoria’s murder last year
and given a life sentence along with his lover, Victoria’s
great aunt Marie-Therese Kouao, said he could not come to terms
with how Victoria had been treated.
He was responding to questions from inquiry chairperson Lord
Laming, who had asked if services could and should have done more
Questioned earlier by inquiry counsel Neil Sheldon QC over
whether he was surprised that neither social services or the police
contacted him again regarding the withdrawal of allegations of
sexual abuse made in November 1999, Manning replied: “I was,
Arthurworrey had phoned a couple of times in late November and
left messages for Manning or Kouao to call her back, which they did
not do, but she never saw them in person again, he said.
Manning also admitted colluding with Kouao to deceive social
services by pretending to have a fiancée to help Kouao’s
housing application. Kouao had also coached Victoria on how to
behave before a home visit by Arthurworrey, he added.
He went on to apologise to Victoria’s parents, saying: “It
may not mean much to them now…but I am very sorry for what