Gabriel Ogunkoya (pictured), the father of two children killed by their mother, who was a diagnosed schizophrenic, has slammed Hackney Council for helping her have unsupervised access to them after she was released from hospital.
Ogunkoya made the claims as his former partner Vivian Gamor was detained indefinitely under the Mental Health Act 1983 on Wednesday after pleading guilty to her children’s manslaughter, with diminished responsibility, at the Old Bailey.
She bludgeoned her 10-year-old son Antoine Gamor-Ogunkoya to death with a hammer and suffocated her three-year-old daughter Kenniece with cling film, the court heard. She suffered a paranoid delusion that she was the daughter of god and her children were not really hers even though a DNA test proved they were.
Gamor was admitted to a psychiatric hospital in September 2006 after lunging at her half-sister with a knife, but was discharged in October after her condition seemed to improve.
Ogunkoya eventually gave Gamor unsupervised access to her children, despite raising concerns with Hackney children’s services, who were by then involved in the case, alongside East London and The City University Mental Health Trust. Solicitors and social workers warned him if he tried to keep them away it could be seen as kidnap, the court heard.
Two days before the murder, in January 2007, Gamor was seen by a psychiatrist who found she was behaving normally and said nothing that caused the doctor concern.
But Ogunkoya said Hackney Council had “frogmarched my children to their deaths”. He added: “This is pure negligence and will not be tolerated.”
Judge Peter Rook said the children would not have died if “the father’s grave concerns had been given weight”, adding: “I acknowledge that I say this with the benefit of hindsight. It is not for this court to deal with this issue.”
City and Hackney Safeguarding Children Board has commissioned an independent serious case review to examine the involvement of all agencies, which will be published in September.
The board’s chair Fran Pearson said: “Mental illness is often unpredictable but if there are any lessons from this which will help us to protect children better in the future then they will be learned and any necessary action implemented as soon as the report is produced in September.”
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