Child protection failings in the case of a 17-month-old boy whose death was caused by his mother and step-father were described today as “worse than Climbié”.
Mor Dioum, director of the Victoria Climbié Foundation, demanded a public inquiry into the Baby P case, after his step-father and another man were convicted today of causing his death last year, a charge his mother has already pleaded guilty to.
The Old Bailey in London heard the boy was on Haringey Council’s child protection register throughout eight months of abuse in which he suffered more than 50 injuries, including a broken spine.
It emerged that the family had been seen 60 times by agencies including social workers from the council, which eight years ago found itself at the centre of a national outcry over the murder of eight-year-old Victoria Climbié by her great-aunt and her boyfriend.
Dioum, director of the foundation, condemned the “systematic and operational failures that led to the tragic and sad death of such a beautiful child”, and described the case as “worse than Climbié”.
He said a public inquiry was necessary because vital signs of abuse were missed.
Three guilty of causing child’s death
A jury returned guilty verdicts for the 32-year-old boyfriend of the child’s mother and her lodger, Jason Owen, 36, for causing or allowing the boy’s death in August 2007.
The mother, 27, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, had already admitted the same charge in relation to her son. She and her boyfriend were cleared of murder.
The court heard of a series of failings by social workers at Haringey Council, who originally placed the boy into the care of a family friend at nine months after a GP spotted bruising on his face and chest.
His mother was arrested on suspicion of cruelty but not charged, and he was allowed to return home five weeks later, in December 2006.
The jury was told that in the final three months of Baby P’s life, a police inspector asked twice if the threshold for care proceedings had been met.
Owen, the mother and her boyfriend were remanded in custody and will be sentenced on 15 December.
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