Edinburgh council has expressed its sincere regret at the death
of a baby boy, who was killed by his father, writes
A meeting of the full council agreed a motion expressing
“sincere regret at the death of baby Caleb Ness, who was the
subject of child protection procedures”.
The meeting also endorsed the decision of social work director,
Les McEwan, to request Edinburgh and Lothians Child Protection
Committee to undertake a comprehensive review of all inter-agency
discussions, decision making and involvement with Caleb Ness and
The decision to allow 11-week-old Caleb Ness to go home was
taken at a social work case conference, despite the concerns of a
nurse, who expressed serious reservations about the baby being left
alone with his father.
Alexander Ness already had convictions for violent assault, and
his partner, Shirley Malcolm, had two other children in
care because of her drug misuse. Two months after going home, Caleb
was shaken to death by his father.
At the high court in Edinburgh, Ness admitted killing his son by
squeezing and shaking him on various occasions in October, 2001. He
went to trial on a murder charge, but the crown accepted a plea to
the lesser charge of culpable homicide because of brain damage he
suffered two years previously.