Sandwell in clear over child’s death

The death of a child whose adopted parents were subsequently jailed for his manslaughter could not have been predicted, a serious case review has found.

But Sandwell area child protection committee said there were lessons to be learned from the case after examining the events leading up to Christian Blewitt’s admission to hospital in December 2002.

The three-year-old died days later and the hospital found he had a high sodium level as a result of salt ingestion. His adoptive parents, Ian and Angela Gay, were acquitted of his murder but convicted of manslaughter and were sentenced in January to five years in prison.

The review concentrated on Sandwell Council’s adoption policies and has made a number of recommendations, including that medical advisers should play a more active role in the adoption process.

It also called for contact between health professionals and prospective adoptive families as part of the monitoring and support of placements.

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