Social workers failed to carry out a core assessment of a child who was later raped and murdered by her uncle.
A serious case review into the death of two-year-old Casey Leigh Mullen, published by Leeds Safeguarding Children Board yesterday, found that she had come to the notice of social services in September 2005.
She was referred to social services after her mother took her to hospital for treatment on a burn caused by hair straighteners when she was 10 months old. A multi-strategy meeting was convened and a decision made to carry out a core assessment but it was never completed and the case was closed.
She was discharged and her parents failed to keep a number of follow-up out-patient appointments. Three months before she died her father and two uncles were supervised by the National Probation Service.
The girl’s uncle Michael Mullen, who had been charged with raping a 12-year-old girl in 2003 but not prosecuted, was sentenced to 35 years in prison in July 2007 after being found guilty of raping and murdering her.
The report says: “The failure to complete the core assessment and thus to construct a multi-agency overview of the situation compromised assessments of risk and contributed to the case being accorded a lower priority than it warranted.”
It adds: “Careful assessment of the children’s lives should have indicated that they were exposed to significant risk. The overview report indicates that there were areas of risk which were not full integrated, leading to a lack of action that could have taken place which may have prevented the death of child J.”