London

Chances missed to protect Haringey baby from parents

Chances to protect a six-month-old baby from his potentially violent parents were missed by authorities in London, a review into his murder has found.

The child, known as Baby R, died from head injuries inflicted by his father in January 2015. He was convicted of murder in December.

After his death, it transpired that his mother was a convicted murderer.

She had served nine years of a 12-year jail sentence in her country but fled to the UK while on parole.

It was revealed she was subject of an European Arrest Warrant.

The baby, who cannot be named, died in Haringey - the same north London borough at the centre of the Baby P scandal where a mother and her boyfriend were jailed for causing or allowing his death.

The serious case review criticised:

  • The Extradition Service, police and private security firm Serco for failing to pass on vital information about an European Arrest Warrant and for failing to raise concerns about the mother to social workers
  • Haringey social workers for failing to follow the correct procedures and failing to upload details about the mother's arrest warrant
  • The council's service managers for not calling the police and NHS together for a case review

A spokesperson for Haringey Council said the death of Child R was "tragic" and while the review concluded it could not have been anticipated, "we fully accept that the council, police, courts, probation and health missed opportunities to assess the family and share information".

Monitoring vulnerable children

It said it had improved social work practices and working with other organisations since the review but "we should never forget responsibility for the death of Child R rests with the father."

Lib Dem councillor Liz Morris said she was very concerned another baby had died in Haringey.

"It is unacceptable that the police and Home Office did not contact Haringey's social services to warn them about the mother's conviction and European Arrest Warrant," she said.

"I am also concerned to see that Haringey Children's Services failed to put vital information on their database for monitoring vulnerable children."

The Met said recommendations, for the force to ensure officers and police were properly trained in procedures for such a case, were being addressed.

It also said it was making officers in its Extradition Unit aware of the need to create reports and share that information when a child comes to police notice.

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