South West Wales

Agencies 'failed to protect' abused Swansea children

Lady Justice Image copyright PA

A historical review into abuse suffered by two children in one family - which led to the death of one - has found the professional bodies involved failed to protect them.

The first, known only as Child A and from the Swansea area, died in 2006.

Child A's sibling, known as Child B, suffered "life-threatening injuries" in 2007 but survived.

The Western Bay Safeguarding Children Board, who carried out the review, apologised on behalf of the agencies.

The review criticised the agencies, who met shortly after Child A's death, and said they should have established there were "obvious child protection issues".

'Significant changes'

Nick Jarman, chairman of the board - which covers Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend - issued the apology.

He said the board "wishes to give assurances that there have been significant changes and safeguards put in place since this baby's tragic death almost a decade ago".

The family involved in the case cannot be identified for legal reasons.

The report said there was no evidence to suggest Child A's death could have been prevented or predicted.

A post-mortem examination did not identify the cause of death but it showed the baby had brain injuries, and bruising and bite marks to the thighs.

Review 'a first'

Child B was injured the following year but South Wales Police did not decide to prosecute the mother until February 2013 - seven years after Child A's death.

The mother admitted killing Child A and wounding Child B. She was given a community order after being sentenced in 2014.

Mr Jarman described the historical review as the first of its kind undertaken in Wales.

Recommendations from the review will now go to a number of organisations, including the Welsh Government, Abertawe Bro Morgannwg Health Board and the All Wales Child Protection Procedures Group.

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