The parents of Victoria Climbie have not ruled out suing the
workers involved in the eight-year-old’s case, writes
Berthe and Francis Climbie said they would digest the findings
of Lord Laming’s inquiry report initially before making a decision,
but added that “all options would be considered”.
In a moving press conference, the Climbies paid tribute to their
daughter and expressed their disappointment with social
“I thought the whole purpose of social services is to defend,
help and assist the most vulnerable people of our society – that’s
the children,” Francis Climbie said.
“Victoria did not come into contact with just one social
services – she came into contact with three,” he added. “But
unfortunately none of them took the opportunities available to talk
Francis Climbie blamed the agencies for focusing on
Marie-Therese Kouao, the eight-year-old’s great aunt who brought
her to England, and has since been jailed for life for Victoria’s
“But Marie Therese was not the client, Victoria was,” he
Although all the agencies have acknowledged that in hindsight
they would have conducted things differently, what makes the ordeal
more painful is that none of them have accepted any responsibility,
“We have accepted that in Victoria’s case there was gross
negligence, a lack of professionalism and a refusal to accept
responsibility,” Francis said.
But the recommendations delivered in the report are the
opportunity to make sure no other child goes through what Victoria
went through,” he concluded.