Laming: ‘Tragic’ Haringey cases illustrate need for reform

Lord Laming said the “tragic” child abuse cases in Haringey reinforced the need to press ahead with reforms across the country.

Commenting on the jail sentences handed to the mother and stepfather of Baby Peter today, Laming said there was an “urgent need to fully implement Every Child Matters…at the front door of every service”.

Couple sentenced

Baby Peter’s mother was jailed indefinitely, with a minimum period of five years, for her part in her son’s death.

The child’s stepfather, convicted of causing or allowing the boy’s death and the rape of a two-year-old girl, also on the child protection register, was handed a 12-year sentence for the first crime and life with a minimum term of 10 years for the second.

A third defendant, Jason Owen, 37, was jailed for a minimum of three years for causing or allowing Baby Peter’s death.

Laming: “shock and concern”

Laming expressed his “shock and concern” that all of the major services had failed “to intervene and protect these young children, already identified to be seriously at risk”.

National review

The government asked Laming to carry out a national review of child protection in England after the Baby Peter case became public last year.

His report, published in March, called for “a step change in the arrangements to protect children from harm”. It contained 58 recommendations calling for reforms in managerial accountability of key services and the recruitment, training and supervision of frontline staff.

The government accepted the vast majority of these in the action plan issued in response earlier this month.

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