Arthurworrey should have taken greater responsibility, says barrister

The social worker allocated to Victoria Climbie’s case was told
at a tribunal hearing last week that she should have taken more
responsibility for the case because she knew her manager was

Barrister Philip Coppel, acting for the government, said Lisa
Arthurworrey had failed in her responsibilities and it should have
been clear to her that the eight-year-old was at risk of serious

Arthurworrey was fighting to have her name removed from the
Protection of Children Act list at the Care Standards Tribunal in
Coppel told the tribunal Arthurworrey should have recognised the
warning signs such as the scars on Victoria’s body, her reported
nervousness in the presence of her great aunt Marie-Therese Kouao,
who was later convicted of her murder, and her bedwetting.

Arthurworrey argued she did not have enough training, support or
experience to carry out her child protection role at Haringey
Council, a claim Coppel disputed.

He also accused Arthurworrey of not probing deeply enough into
issues of concern at a later meeting with Kouao. He said: “This was
not a point of needing to dig beneath the surface, it had been put
on a plate right in front of you. You just failed to follow it
through. That’s correct isn’t it?”

“No, that’s not correct,” replied Arthurworrey, who maintained
she had not received a clear medical diagnosis that Victoria might
have been suffering from abuse.

She added she had not been trained in carrying out child
protection interviews and was advised later by her manager Carol
Baptiste that the girl could be discharged back into Kouao’s

Liz Davies, an author and social work lecturer at London
Metropolitan University, said Haringey Council’s failure to hold a
child protection conference to look at Climbie’s case had “spelled

Davies told the tribunal Arthurworrey had been haunted by the
tragedy and insisted she was fit to work with children.

Meanwhile, the government has lost an appeal to get
Arthurworrey’s manager, who was also fired after Victoria’s death,
put back on the list. Angella Mairs won an appeal before the Care
Standards Tribunal last November to have her name removed from the


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