To be shocked at this woman's lack of parenting concern?

(117 Posts)
jojane Sun 23-Jun-13 01:23:40

I can't believe that a mother would let her child go off with a man she has JUST met in the supermarket!! I am all for not thinking every person is a peado and will happily let my children talk to people if I am there but no way would I let a complete stranger take one of my children forma burger!?,

AgentZigzag Sun 23-Jun-13 01:32:52

Hmm, it's a bit like another child who only disappeared (I won't give the name another internet hit) when the parents were at a restaurant.

It's not fair to write it as though the parents had a hand in their child being murdered, the responsibility for that lays with the murderer.

You might as well say the mum did it because she didn't give a bollocks about her DD. I don't believe that.

We've all done things other people would think of as a bit dodgy with our children, and who knows what the reality of the situation was, but the newspaper's gone out of its way to put a slant on it, it's what they do.

Boomba Sun 23-Jun-13 01:46:34

It can't be as it seems, surely.

The mum wouldn't have let her dd go with the man. Surely he followed the dd, after talking to the family...or similar?

SavoyCabbage Sun 23-Jun-13 05:33:05

As I understand it, the McDonald's was inside the Walmart. At the front of the shop. He was going to get the food and walked out with her instead.

They had gone to the Walmart together, having met earlier in the evening.

NandH Sun 23-Jun-13 05:47:59

Can someone make the link clickable please grin

Eyesunderarock Sun 23-Jun-13 06:02:03

You are blaming the mother? confused
I hate threads like this, they smack of a combination of smugness and terror, the fragile hope that if you do everything right, mistrust every stranger, have all the right talismans and say all the right things, then your children will be safe.
Stories like this always evoke the 'That would never happen to my child, I'd never be that negligent and incompetent'
The child is dead, horribly and unexpectedly at the hands of a paedophile who seemed friendly and trustworthy. They went to get burgers for the family and never came back. Compassion and sadness are suitable emotions, they were deceived and the consequences were devastating.
No, I'm not making the article clickable.

bragmatic Sun 23-Jun-13 06:04:53

The only person responsible is the evil cunt who killed her.

Jenny70 Sun 23-Jun-13 06:25:40

And these sick people prey on the vulnerable - people who are stressed to the max, drug addicts etc. They can be very charasmatic & persuasive...

But then I have let the waiter at a restaurant take my baby for a walk while I ate (out of sight in retrispect), I trust school families that realistically I have only known for a short time etc. So I use my judgement & take risks, but luckily the proportion of sick people to genuine nice people who aren't out to hurt your child is good.

I remember a case a long while back of a woman's childminder letting her down, so she gave child to bloke at train station who offered - who then invited his paedo mates around & abused her. I thought then wtf...

cruxible Sun 23-Jun-13 06:49:47

Saying that a parent acts negligently is not the same as saying that it was their fault x happened. Of course it was the murderers fault but letting your child go off with a stranger is at the best poir judgement /negligence.

cory Sun 23-Jun-13 09:03:40

"the fragile hope that if you do everything right, mistrust every stranger, have all the right talismans and say all the right things, then your children will be safe."


Perhaps this particular parent did act negligently. But it is interesting that whenever anything out of the ordinary happens, we feel such a strong need to say so.

Bluebell99 Sun 23-Jun-13 09:08:31
SavoyCabbage Sun 23-Jun-13 09:14:10

We've all done it. Packed a child off on a playdate when we don't know the parents. Let the family next to you at soft play watch your child while you change the other ones nappy, left them in the car when you pay for petrol, lost sight of them at the park while we talk.

Today I saw a woman get on the escalator with her toddler and leave her other child behind who started to panic. I could have definitely took him of to the lift and then driven off with him.

Also today, my dd (9) went to the librarian desk to ask for a book and then disappeared into the depths of the library with him.

If it's true that the mother allowed her dd out to mcdonalds with an unknown man then yes i would say she is negligent. How someone in their right mind would allow their child out with someone they had only just met doesn't bare thinking about.

But the papers frequently stretch the truth, so who knows how much of this is true...

SavoyCabbage Sun 23-Jun-13 10:17:12

The macdonalds was inside the shop that they were already in.

loopyluna Sun 23-Jun-13 11:25:03

This poor mum will never get over this. It was naive and foolish of her but I imagine she was stressed, shopping with 3 kids. 8 year old kicking off cause she was hungry, "nice bloke" (who had managed to manipulate her into trusting him) offers to accompany her to mcdonalds which is practically within view of where she's shopping, while she grabs the last few bits and pays...

It can happen. I would like to hope that, being a bit paranoid from all the horrors that happen, I would never make the wrong call. I could never feel anything but sorrow and compassion for the mum who made the wrong call and will never see her child again though.

Jan49 Sun 23-Jun-13 11:33:10

We've all done it. Packed a child off on a playdate when we don't know the parents. Let the family next to you at soft play watch your child while you change the other ones nappy, left them in the car when you pay for petrol, lost sight of them at the park while we talk.

No "we" haven't all done it. I've never done any of those things. Playdate, I'd go along the first time. Soft play and paying for petrol - keep the children with you. Park - watch them constantly. It's not that hard. Also teach your child not to go off with a stranger or get in a stranger's car.

But none of those small risks are comparable to what this mother did and I would hold her partly to blame.

tethersend Sun 23-Jun-13 11:50:10

‘They appeared to be down on their luck and he could help them out.’

This is key. He targeted the family because they were vulnerable.

Predatory paedophiles often target children who are poorly parented for one reason or another. This doesn't make it the parents' fault, but some decisions parents make can leave their children more vulnerable to sexual exploitation.

I would take anything in the DM with a large pinch of salt, and it's impossible to make a judgement without knowing the facts, but it is not unusual for the victims of predatory paedophiles to have other issues in their home lives.

LastTangoInDevonshire Sun 23-Jun-13 11:56:13

Jan - you'd seriously unstrap 3 children and walk them across a busy forecourt to pay for petrol? Really?

sydenhamhiller Sun 23-Jun-13 11:56:31

Really- go on every first time

sydenhamhiller Sun 23-Jun-13 12:00:20

Oops, silly phone.
Go on every first time play date?
Always keep eye on them at park?
Take them with you to pay for petrol?

Perhaps with a 3 year old... But my oldest is 9. He has so much less freedom than I had as I child, I can't insist he stays in my sight constantly, it's suffocating for them.

Surely one assesses risks, and makes a judgement... And usually it will be fine. We can't keep them at our sides forever - 18 year olds can be assaulted/ abducted.

ReluctantBeing Sun 23-Jun-13 12:01:39

That's a sad story.

jojane Sun 23-Jun-13 12:03:04

I am not saying it was her fault just shocked that in this day and age where we are very aware of what can happen, that somebody wouldn't think of this possible scenario in thier head before allowing a stranger to take thier child somewhere.
Allowing a waiter to amuse your child while eating is much less of a risk, they are employed by the resturant and havnt targeted you, they are just doing thier job and helping amuse a child that may or may not annoy other customers with noise etc. so you would risk assess that in your head even subconsciously. If another customer came up and said I will ake them across the road I bet you would say no.

I realise that bad things happen all the time and children wander off etc whilst you are distracted, but I just can't get my head round some one consciously making the decision to allow thier child to go off with a stranger

jojane Sun 23-Jun-13 12:11:22

Regarding petrol, I risk assess that in that leaving 3 children in a locked car to go inside and pay where I can see them through a window is less risky than 3 small children waking across a busy forecourt. (I would try and use pay at pump wherever possible and normally fill up after work when no kids with me) I have a banged up car that no one is likely to want to steal, I can't even give it away! If I had a Ferrari or something worthnstealingthan I would assess the risk as higher of it being car jacked etc.
Playdates - so far I have known the parents to some extent. Most of them pretty well and done numerous playdates in playschool where the parents still stay. Wasn't there a story a while back of some bloke having young children over for sleepovers by claiming he was an uncle of a child. Those parents should have checked with the actual parents. It wasn't thier fault but they should have done more.

I do feel strongly that parents have a duty of care and that it is our job to risk assess every situation (most of the time it is subconsciously) to ensure our children are safe, the world is very different to when we were children so no, they aren't going to be able to have the same freedom.

lljkk Sun 23-Jun-13 12:12:06

Not everyone is that aware, lots of folk are out of touch.
And the odds are 9 out of 10 times if the family had done this the child would have come back unharmed.

K8Middleton Sun 23-Jun-13 12:15:44

jojane your restaurant waiter assessment of risk being less, relies on the misassumption that all attacks are premeditated and never opportunistic.

Most attacks and abuse happen by people the parents know and trust. As parents we do everything we can and hope that we are never so unfortunate to encounter a monster who will deliberately harm our children.

K8Middleton Sun 23-Jun-13 12:19:56

The world is not very different. That is wrong. Child murder and child abduction rates in the UK have not changed since the 1970s (goes off to find a link before someone asks)

If anything we may be a tiny, tiny bit safer because some of the attacks on teenage girls that would not have been seen as attacks at the time would now.

If you're going to repeat The Daily Mail scaremongering please have the decency to head every post with Uniformed drivel. Thank you.

Eyesunderarock Sun 23-Jun-13 12:20:34

Then those children often become protected teenagers, and eventually run into situations that they have no idea to handle. My DD is at uni with numerous students that have fewer life skills than she did at 10.
I still think that the people who suck their teeth at this sort of incident are trying to convince themselves that nothing will happen because they are 'a better parent.'

The child died because she was targeted by a paedophile murderer.

tethersend Sun 23-Jun-13 12:21:47

But paedophiles can and do engineer opportunities, deliberately becoming known and trusted to the child and parent(s). They often target vulnerable children with parents who are unwilling or unable to protect them adequately.

In this case, he was obviously able to gain the mother's trust very quickly, no matter how misplaced it was. He is likely to have done this by identifying weaknesses in the family; they seemed 'down on their luck' and he portrayed himself as someone who could help.

jojane Sun 23-Jun-13 12:24:50

I have never actually let a waiter take my child, was just putting myself in the shoes of the poster who had, I am a waitress myself so have on occasion chatted to a child while a parent eats etx, but they are always within sight of the parent.

I realise that attackes aRe often by relatives of people known to the family. My MIL stepson is 14 but very troubled so I am always very wary when the kids go up to play in his room and keep an ear out and regualrly check etc, I have no real reason to think anything would happen but a slight gut feeling so I would never leave him alone with them and go out etc. he's very emotionally immature and so likes to play with them as he's on the same level but he can also be very sly and lash out etc.

MrsWolowitz Sun 23-Jun-13 12:27:07

jan I simply do not believe that you have never made a parenting error.

How terrible of you to be so judgemental towards a grieving mother.

Boomba Sun 23-Jun-13 12:27:31

Why was he out of jail???

I've struggled with this, because I wouldnt have let any of my kids go with him in these circumstances.

But, I'm not vulnerable. You can't judge someone for that

expatinscotland Sun 23-Jun-13 12:29:16

I can't believe the mother fucker was out. When are we going to realise that paedos cannot be rehabilitated and must be locked up for life?

They should never be realised, ever & this story shows exactly whysad

expatinscotland Sun 23-Jun-13 12:35:01

Child sex offences MUST start to carry sentences of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

Jan49 Sun 23-Jun-13 12:35:58

MrsW, I didn't say I've never made a parenting error. But SavoyCabbage was listing particular things and I've never done any of them. They all involve decisions, more or less. You decide whether to let your dc go off in the park alone or go on a playdate to a stranger's house. So you can decide not to let them.

K8Middleton Sun 23-Jun-13 12:37:10
FanjoForTheMammaries Sun 23-Jun-13 12:39:54

What a horrible thread.

As far as I know they were poor and hungry.

Probably not something you have really experienced

Then some plausible man offered to get them food.

Boomba Sun 23-Jun-13 12:41:46

You have no idea what any one of us has experienced fanjo

FanjoForTheMammaries Sun 23-Jun-13 12:43:07

Yes..hence I said "probably".

sashh Sun 23-Jun-13 12:43:22

He met them in a $ store, said they looked down on their look and offered to buy some clothes from Walmart.

They were in Walmart for about 2 hours before he offered to buy a snack, the McD was in the store.

He walked past McD and out of the door at about 11.00pm, the same time as her mother called 911.

Reading between the lines it looks as though mum wasn't letting her daughter out of her sight, or thought she wasn't.

This gives more detail

Unfortunately I can see it happening, you are looking for something in a dollar store, someone offers to get you some clothes and food and you spend a couple of hours with him. Mum probably thinks he is an angel.

And he is probably utterly charming.

You have two much smaller children, he says he is going to get a burger for them all, asks the oldest to help him carry the food.

It's 11pm, the kids are going to be cranky and you can see the the McDonald's, as it's inside a store it might be more like one of those counter types you get in food courts. I don't know this, just speculating.

You watch them walk towards McDonald's and then they go out of the door.

BackforGood Sun 23-Jun-13 12:50:25

To my mine, the main question in this is why on earth was he out of prison. It said he was just finished serving 438 days for child abuse and unlawful imprisonment, but then goes on to note a whole list of offences of abuse against children since 1977.
To my mind, even without the previous record, he should have been locked away for a lot longer than 14/15months for ONE crime, even before you take into account his history.
The sentences judges and parole board need to take a serious look at themselves.

RhondaJean Sun 23-Jun-13 12:53:24

Poor child. She was the same age as my youngest.

I think the fact the mother was happy having her and two younger children out in a supermarket at 11pm suggests she was perhaps somewhat chaotic in her parenting, but, you know what, the woman made a mistake she will live with forever.

I understand the desire to judge in these cases though - it's a way of us dealing with it and trying to maintain a sense of safety in our own lives, because it could never happen to us, we would never make those bad decisions. It's just a coping mechanism.

maddening Sun 23-Jun-13 13:54:27

The thing is with the type of person such as this murderer is that they are v capable of "charming" - it is how thet trap their prey - he saw a mum who was tired and juggling 3 dc late at night - she was vulnerable to his charms and I doubt he presented himself as a sex offender and paedophile.

zoraqueenofzeep Sun 23-Jun-13 14:02:24

If the story is accurate she should be prosecuted for child neglect and endangerment and have her other children permanently removed from her care. It is the responsibility of parents to protect their children when they are too young to protect themselves, that includes not handing them over to strange men who express interest in getting them alone.

This woman was either incredibly stupid and is incapable of caring for her other children as a result or she knew he was up to no good and accepted payment to allow him molest the child although did not expect for her to be murdered.

This child would be alive had her mother not handed her over to a sexual predator, to pretend she had no responsibility in that is absurd.

Floggingmolly Sun 23-Jun-13 14:06:26

It states in the article that he had befriended them that evening. She let a man she'd known for a few hours take her 8 year old off to McDonald's...
He didn't have to "present himself as a sex offender and paedophile", most people have enough sense of self preservation to know better than this, surely???

BridgetBidet Sun 23-Jun-13 14:08:27

As others have said he tricked the mother. The McDonalds was in the Walmart store and she just allowed them to walk over to a different part of the store together and he walked out of the front door with her and took her away in his van. It wasn't like she let him go off anywhere with her, she thought they were just going a few meters away.

KD0706 Sun 23-Jun-13 14:30:56

I feel very sorry for the mother (as well as the child obviously). She will have to live with this.

If what sassh says is accurate I feel even more sorry for the mother as people are spouting untrue thins about her and blaming her when she did very little wrong.
Yes she shouldn't have let the man take her child, but she thought they weren't going far, realised very quickly that something was amiss (must have been watching, hot on their heels etc) and contacted 911 very quickly.

I know I've probably made lots of mistakes in parenting my children. I don't think I would do this particular thing but it does sound like this mum has a much more chaotic life than I have.

expatinscotland Sun 23-Jun-13 16:50:41

This man had a record from the fucking 1970s of abusing children, attempts to kidnap and assorted criminal activities and he was out?

WHY on EARTH is there blame attached to what sounds like a poor, vulnerable single parent???

This crime was perpetrated by a career paedo who should NEVER had had the opportunity to do what he did.

Floggingmolly Sun 23-Jun-13 17:04:52

The mum handed him the opportunity on a plate, expat.
The fact that he'd doubtless have found some other unfortunate victim if she hadn't doesn't minimise that.

expatinscotland Sun 23-Jun-13 17:21:27

She was vulnerable and poor.

How disgusting to say she is responsible!

Hey, want to go there? Why was the father of these children not paying up for her to feed and clothe them?

BULLSHIT she is responsible!

This man has a 35-year-old criminal record with a string of child abuse offenses and attempts of kidnap of children.

Why the HELL was he out?

ANYONE convicted of child sex offenses MUST be given life imprisonment without the opportunity of parole because there is NO way to rehabilitate such individuals. They are very clever, manipulative liars. They prey on the vulnerable - poor, learning disabled, substance abusers, children in care, etc etc.

This is the fault of the person who stands accused of abducting and murdering this child.

So, is April Jones' mother as responsible, too, for her child's murder, seeing as she let a 5-year-old play well out of her sight for hours?

Or is the criminal found guilty for murdering her?

RhondaJean Sun 23-Jun-13 17:21:37

That is a disgusting post. You could say the same about any parent who has ever let a child out to play or sent them on an errand only to have them abducted. Of course it was a poor decision and I would imagine, like some middle class British parents who shall go nameless, that she realises it now.

You are using similar reasoning to rape apologists - if the victim hadn't been drunk /worn a short skirt it wouldn't have happened.

The simple fact is this excuse for a human being should not have abducted, abused and killed the little girl. He committed the crime. He is the guilty party.

RhondaJean Sun 23-Jun-13 17:22:00

Xpost expat.

expatinscotland Sun 23-Jun-13 17:23:40

Why is this woman any more responsible than April Jones' mother, who let her child play out well out of her sight for hours?

She isn't.

The fault lies with these perpetrators and with a so-called justice system that allows men who commit these acts to walk free, over and over again.

expatinscotland Sun 23-Jun-13 17:30:35

Ever let your kids play out, Flogging? You are handing paedos opportunities on a plate. hmm

McNewPants2013 Sun 23-Jun-13 17:34:33

It the fault of the murdering scum who did this, not the mothers

Kiriwawa Sun 23-Jun-13 17:35:00

It's much less scary to blame the mum than blame the perpetrator. If we tell ourselves that we would never behave like that, we can kid ourselves that our children are invulnerable.

I agree with expat - this guy should not have been on the streets.

expatinscotland Sun 23-Jun-13 17:37:22

Exactly, Kiri.

Sparklysilversequins Sun 23-Jun-13 18:22:27

This tells a rather different story Jacksonville Times

Usual disgusting embellishments by some areas of the press to make a terrible situation even worse.

Poor little girl.

Sparklysilversequins Sun 23-Jun-13 18:26:57

Sorry here is another link I meant to post Huffington Post

somewherewest Sun 23-Jun-13 20:37:43

It still says that she got into a complete stranger's van with her three young children, which is pretty insane. I don't think for a moment that the fact I wouldn't do something like that makes my child 'invincible', but it does make them a safer, which is my responsibility as a parent. Of course in an ideal world this man just wouldn't exist, and would still be in prison. We don't parent in that world.

somewherewest Sun 23-Jun-13 20:39:08

...'or would still be in prison' even...blush

expatinscotland Sun 23-Jun-13 20:43:09

The McDonald's was IN the Wal-Mart. She thought the girl was going there and coming back, not going into his van. He's on CCTV, fgs.

So, again, is April Jone's mother responsible, too, for her daughter's death?

She let her child out to play out of her sight for hours.

Is she worthy of the same scorn that is expressed on here? How is it different? Did she hand her daughter's killer the same opportunity on a plate?

Do all those who let their child play out or send them on an errand?

How is this different?

A family in Germany a few years ago let their 9-year-old take a tram in Berlin to visit a friend. A paedo befriended him on that tram, captured on CCTV, and in minutes convinced the child to get off with him. His body was found, raped and strangled 2 days later.

Are those parents responsible any more than this woman?

expatinscotland Sun 23-Jun-13 20:44:03

April knew her killer. He was local.

So, by your definition, her mother is just as responsible, no?

working9while5 Sun 23-Jun-13 20:45:15

We've all done it. Packed a child off on a playdate when we don't know the parents. Let the family next to you at soft play watch your child while you change the other ones nappy, left them in the car when you pay for petrol, lost sight of them at the park while we talk

Really, who can say they've never taken any risk? hmm.

I left my ds1 (2.8) at the top of a stairs while I carried the buggy to the half way point of a long flight of stairs down when the lift wasn't working (train station).

I felt weird about it but otherwise we were staying there for the rest of the evening as he wouldn't even attempt to walk down them that day in a toddler strop

expatinscotland Sun 23-Jun-13 20:46:01

IMO, the responsibility lies with the perpetrator and with a so-called justice system that slaps paedos on the wrist and lets them out, over and over again.

cory Sun 23-Jun-13 21:11:31

Jan49 Sun 23-Jun-13 11:33:10
"We've all done it. Packed a child off on a playdate when we don't know the parents. Let the family next to you at soft play watch your child while you change the other ones nappy, left them in the car when you pay for petrol, lost sight of them at the park while we talk.

No "we" haven't all done it. I've never done any of those things. Playdate, I'd go along the first time."

And how does having accompanied them on one playdate ensure that the adult of the house is not a paedophile murderer biding his time until the second playdate? hmm

Or the twenty--fifth?

April Jones' murderer was well known to her family, he was the father of a friend of hers, even the most paranoid of MNers would have felt justified in trusting somebody like that.

This other mother didn't intentionally let her daughter out of sight with a stranger; she let her walk to the McDonald's counter inside the same shopping mall- and they suddenly walked out of the door.

And the child was 8, not 2, so only a couple of years younger than the age when most children in this country start to make their own way to and from school.

If you literally never let your 8yo walk up to the shop counter without holding on to her, what do you do with your 10yo? And with your 12yo? Sooner or later you have to let them go and take the risk.

Greenkit Sun 23-Jun-13 23:07:31

What a beautiful young girl, such a sad waste sad

Jan49 Sun 23-Jun-13 23:52:07

Hopefully you let your child do things alone when they are old enough to know not to go off with a complete stranger or get in their car or to get in the car even of someone they know when mum/dad think you are playing just outside. You teach your child "don't go anywhere without telling me first". In a busy shopping centre you keep your children close to you because you don't want them to get lost. I can't understand the argument that you have to take risk when they're younger or else they'll never be able to do it when they're older. You let them do it when they are old enough and mature enough to cope with it. You don't go straight from total supervision to total freedom. You can't take away risk completely and that applies to everyday life for all of us as adults too, but you can reduce it and take reasonable precautions.

expatinscotland Mon 24-Jun-13 00:25:39

Paedos are astoundingly clever, persuasive, manipulative liars, Jan. They are known to be. They prey upon vulnerable people at first port of call. They are charming. This is their MO. They will spend money, time, whatever to prey.

It is always their fault. ALWAYS.

Same as any other rapist or abuser. It is entirely the fault of the perpetrator.

This is why they should ALWAYS be locked up for life, because there is no known way to make them anything other than what they are: clever, persuasive, manipulative liars there to prey on whomever they can to get to children.

This appears to be what happened here.

It is NO ONE'S fault besides the person who abducted and murdered this child.

expatinscotland Mon 24-Jun-13 00:33:42

This man works for the FBI. He is the child of a heroin-addicted prostitute and spends his life dispelling myths about child sex abusers and rape.

On another show of hers, people who had coached their children in fear of strangers volunteered their children as subjects of an experiment. All were easily coaxed into going with someone who seemed trustworthy, but could have been anyone, and some of them were 12.


Paedos lie and manipulate both adults and children. It is not anyone's fault but their own.

They are rapists and abusers, and those who decree otherwise are apologists for their disgusting behaviour.

expatinscotland Mon 24-Jun-13 00:45:53

For those of you not interested in pillorying the mother, I suggest reading Gavin de Becker's 'Protecting the Gift' and 'The Gift of Fear', to learn more about the behaviour of people who might prey upon your child.

MOST do not operate like this man, they prefer those they can abuse long-term, like the Jeremy Forests and those gangs in the North of England of this world. They seek to groom, for long-term abuse.

But they are one and the same: paedos who act on their repulsive desires to the expense of everyone else because of their narcissism.

It is always entirely their fault, as it is with all rapists. They first seek parents and children who are vulnerable, be it down on their luck, learning challenged, children in care (there are all those celebs in the 70s and 80s), but they will do anything to prey and abuse.

PearlyWhites Mon 24-Jun-13 03:51:13

Clearly many people have never been to a Walmart in the states. It is not a shopping mall it is a McDonalds in the store it is no different than walking to the cheese counter. How dare people blame the mother.

TheRealFellatio Mon 24-Jun-13 04:00:53

*Not everyone is that aware, lots of folk are out of touch.
And the odds are 9 out of 10 times if the family had done this the child would have come back unharmed.*

Well even if you didn't foresee abduction and murder, who would do this? confused

I saw this yesterday. The mother must have either LDs or substance abuse issues MH issues or just be unbelievably dim if she thinks it's safe, or even acceptable to let your 8 year old go off to McDonalds with a middle aged male stranger. It's a deeply weird thing to do.

TheRealFellatio Mon 24-Jun-13 04:06:09

And I disagree that it is similar to the famous case everyone is alluding to. One was a situation that was highly unlikely to go wrong but did, the other is a situation that screams 'this will go wrong!' from the very beginning.

Leaving a child unattended and taking the tiny, tiny risk that a paedophile may break in and abduct them is hardly the same as handing them over voluntarily to a total stranger who is showing a weird and inappropriate amount of interest in them!

You say you never let your child of with people don't know

Well even with whet you hear in papers actually over 95% of abuse is carried out by someone you know well and trust Sometimes doneone know for years
On that base you would never let your child go anywhere at all

E d of day only person blame is this man and yeah the system that allowed him out to do this

Littleballofhate Mon 24-Jun-13 04:40:12

How frightened that little girl must have been. I am praying tonight for all children in this world who are abused, scared and alone.

Kytti Mon 24-Jun-13 05:00:19

Jan49 you clearly don't have four children, or have ever taken your children to a park. You're going to lose sight of your children sometimes, just sometimes, even for a few seconds. If not, you may as well lock them up and have done with it. You are judgemental and horrible.

TheRealFellatio Mon 24-Jun-13 05:44:10

That's very true TheHuman - sometimes no amount of common sense and vigilance is enough. that doesn't mean you should not continue to exercise common sense and vigilance though. What this woman did was incredibly stupid.

Boomba Mon 24-Jun-13 06:40:50

real fallatio yes probably the mother is in circumstances that make her more likely than most people to lake bad decisions. Still not her fault.

I think her 'allowing him to take her dd to the maconalds counter' is actually besides the point. Most of us wouldn't have even gone to Walmart with a stranger who offered to buy our kids some clothes, in the first place.

cory Mon 24-Jun-13 09:19:06

I agree with Boomba that the dodgy thing the mum did was to take up with a stranger in the first place.

I would happily have let my child go into a shop alone at age 8. But I suppose I was trusting to my teaching about safety issues in the past and to the good example set by myself and discussed with dd. So yes, the mum went wrong: she was modelling unsafe behaviour.

Having said that, I still don't see the point in pitching into this mum. She was clearly in a bad place and when you are stressed or exhausted or very unhappy your normal safety radars don't always work very well.

dh was very nearly taken in by a con artist earlier in the year when we were worried out of out minds about dd's health- there is no way he would have reacted that way if he had been in his usual state of mind. It doesn't mean he can never be trusted with decisions again.

cory Mon 24-Jun-13 09:21:18

"Hopefully you let your child do things alone when they are old enough to know not to go off with a complete stranger or get in their car or to get in the car even of someone they know when mum/dad think you are playing just outside. "

No, you let them do things alone when you think they are old enough to know what to do. There is never any guarantee. My parents thought I was old enough to be sensible when I was in my early twenties. I made some very silly decisions that nobody who knew me could possibly have foreseen (though they didn't turn out as badly as they might have done).

pinkballetflats Mon 24-Jun-13 11:18:45

Ive been a vulnerable, poor, exhausted, down-on-my-luck single parent. There is no way Id let someone walk to another part of the stir either my child...even if they'd offered to buy us food.

I've not read the article because its likely to be very inaccurate but I do know that Walk Parts are vast abduction generally the McDonalds are right next to the in a few paces away, so basically easy to be out the door before the either could dial 911.

I feel for her but IMO she was negligent.

zippey Mon 24-Jun-13 13:11:38

I don't think the mums actions were all that negligent. She had fallen on hard times and a kind gentleman offered to buy her family clothes and feed them.

To me it sounds like a story from one of those lovely MN threads about experiences of people doing kind things for one another. This obviously had an awful twist but the killer had gained her trust.

I love those threads but I hate these ones in which people put on their perfect parent hats amd put partial blame on the victims.

This girl, April Jones and Madelaine Mcann were all taken away by evil people who exploited a situation. I wouldn't like to blame a parent for a situation that could have occurred to any of us.

thecatfromjapan Mon 24-Jun-13 13:22:34

It's worth reading some of the links below.

I feel nothing but absolute sympathy for this family and this child.

cory Mon 24-Jun-13 13:29:06

I think the truth is that none of us have any idea how many lapses of concentration and judgment we have committed that might potentially have been fatal to our dc but which we haven't even noticed because nothing happened.

somewherewest Mon 24-Jun-13 13:42:09

I don't think anyone in these situations is in any sense absolving the perpetrator of any responsibility. But it is legitimate to say that some parents make choices which unnecessarily increase the risk to their children. I don't get the response here - if someone had their one year old's ears pierced or put their new born to sleep in a separate room MNers would be all over them like a fecking rash. But to suggest that getting into a complete stranger's van with your three young children in toe is all kinds of stupid - nope, not allowed. I will be shot for this, but I don't think the April Jones or the Madeleine McCann situation 'could've happened to any of us' (try starting a WIBU to leave my three young children alone in a hotel apartment while I went out to dinner in the Tapas bar across the pool thread if you don't believe me). To say otherwise normalises bad parenting decisions, which just puts more children in danger.

working9while5 Mon 24-Jun-13 16:49:49

April Jones was a five year old playing outside her house.

RhondaJean Mon 24-Jun-13 17:36:20

April jones could have happened to any of us.

KobayashiMaru Mon 24-Jun-13 18:17:29

Watch your children at all time when in the park? Maybe if you have one pfb. hmm I don't have four eyes to keep one on each child at all times, do you?

Boomba Mon 24-Jun-13 18:32:30

I was walking in town at the weekend with my 8 year old dd and her friend, 1 on either side of me. Dds friend was chatting away, telling us a story. I was listening but looking straight ahead as it was busy.

The chatting stopped, so I looked round. She was gone!! Completely out of sight! She'd seen summat in a shop window, and gone to have a look. It's SO easy to 'loose' them

working9while5 Mon 24-Jun-13 18:36:40

"the world is very different to when we were children so no, they aren't going to be able to have the same freedom"

Is it, though? Is it really that different... two children in my year died when they fell through a roof they were climbing on at 9 or 10. Nowadays their parents would be pilloried for negligence but then it was accepted that kids got up to mischief but tragic outcomes were rare.

We know the names of April Jones, Holly and Jessica, Madeleine McCann etc because these are rare and isolated incidents.

As someone with OCD I have been taught through therapy to consider risks in terms of a) probability and b) perceived awfulness of the feared event... when it comes to our children, (b) is always going to be beyond huge but it seems to me that the probability of these things happening is being blown out of all reasonable proportion with respect to the measures parents are expected to take to keep their children safe.
Not allow them go off with a strange man? Fair enough. Watch them at all times no matter what the context? Excessive to the point of being a clinical anxiety disorder if you ask me.

CalamityJ Mon 24-Jun-13 18:42:06

Astonishing. What must the mother have been thinking? Children get taught stranger danger. Do we need to teach parents?

JenaiMorris Mon 24-Jun-13 19:17:26

Some posters ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Nobody here knows the half of what happened, yet feel in a position to point the finger at the mother of a murdered child.

Grow up and learn some humanity.

FanjoForTheMammaries Mon 24-Jun-13 19:37:05

Hear hear

A young child was murdered by a horrid creature. Someone not fit enough to even be called human and there are people actually trying to blame the mother?!

That mother has just lost her child in one of the worse possible ways and yet people are wanting to blame her for it?

Dont you think she will be sat blaming herself as it is? She doesn't need people blaming her as well

I have nothing but sympathy for the mother and the family.

NandH Mon 24-Jun-13 20:13:05

eyesunderarock ...bit pathetic to state that 'no, I will not make the artical clickable'! 1. I didn't specifically ask you to do it and 2. Just pathetic! grin

Thanks bluebell for clickable link smile

I don't understand why people are blaming the mother, he obviously came across as a decent man and unless sex offenders had a sign across their heads saying 'I'm a sex offender' how is anyone to know! I hope he rots in hell, personally!!!

LittleNoona Mon 24-Jun-13 20:15:51

Seriously, how many of you would do the same as this mother did?

ParadiseChick Mon 24-Jun-13 20:18:35

Awful story.

It's there something about laying the blame on someone who you think you would act differently to that makes these stories easier to handle for some people?

Like you know you're not a murderer. But you are a mother. But you wouldn't make the mistakes she did would you?

Oblomov Mon 24-Jun-13 20:24:17

I'm with savoy. I have done lots of things, that maybe in hindsight, we're just too lax.
And pre Madeleine McCann lots of people left children or were much more lapsi-daisy-call then they are today.

xuntitledx Mon 24-Jun-13 20:40:43

For those comparing this to thr April Jones tragedy and asking if we would blame the parents then I'm going to go against the grain here and say YES!

April was a 5 year old girl, at that age I don't think it's appropriate to be playing outside with zero supervision. Completely understand that ultimately blame lies with the disgusting creatures that commit the crime but the parents cannot negate all responsibility and for a 5 year old, my concern wouldn't just be with stranger danger but also cars and water and anything else dangerous that a 5 year old wouldn't be able to understand.

The mother in question in this story was completely naive to expect that a strange man just wanted to 'help the family out' without that raising any eyebrows or concern.

Unfortunately the world is a scary place but it's our job as parents and respectable human beings to be vigilant and protect the vulnerable.

Boomba Mon 24-Jun-13 20:47:31

but the point is, yes the woman is likely to be in a situation where she would accept help from this man. Whilst 99.5% of us wouldnt in a million years of gone with him.

There are people who don't make good decisions and arent good at safe guarding themselves.

Paeophiles are good at recognising these people/the vulnerable children and targeting them

its not their fault they are vulnerable

Boomba Mon 24-Jun-13 20:49:55

oblomov its not my impression at all, that people are more diligent since madeleine maccan. I dont think there ever were many people who would leave there kids in an apartment whilst they go out for dinner, even before she was taken

Nerfmother Mon 24-Jun-13 20:56:18

This thread is appalling.
The moment you give responsibility to a parent for the unexpected murder of its child by someone else, you take a bit of blame away from the murderer.
Just because it makes you feel safe by blaming the parents, doesn't mean you should say it out loud. Especially when you are just adding another bit of pain to anyone involved who comes across this thread.

Boomba Mon 24-Jun-13 20:59:53

its not appalling at all. Its a completely natural response

Nerfmother Mon 24-Jun-13 21:04:18

Really? I have no desire to have a little chat about whether parent a is to blame for the death of her child, and I think people should think before posting.

Boomba Mon 24-Jun-13 21:10:20

i dont read it as 'a little chat'...i dont think that is what is behind it at all.

I think people are a bit scared that this happens. And are reassuring themselves, that it cant happen to them, because they would never make those decisions....

coming together to discuss horrors is also normal/usual

FanjoForTheMammaries Mon 24-Jun-13 21:15:39

It is nasty judginess more than anything.

Nerfmother Mon 24-Jun-13 21:17:54

Yes, I have discussed horrors - how awful for x, what a terrible thing etc. I would not try to work out what proportion of blame you can land on the bereaved parents to make myself feel better. And definitely not public ally.

5madthings Mon 24-Jun-13 21:21:31

I agree with expat etc. The mother was obviously vulnerable hence why the vile man targetted het. Just like jeremy hunt targetted a vulnerable school girl. These people are manipulators and opportunists. They are at fault, not the mother.

Why are we so keen to victim.blame in this country, especially when its blaming women.

Its disgusting, have a bit of empathy and respect.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Mon 24-Jun-13 21:32:04

I've lost sight of my 8 yo hundreds of times. I don't drag them all into petrol stations and I let them go on playdates with people whose parents I only know from chatting at the school gate and if I take the little one to the toilet in soft play I don't expect the other 3 to come along too. I don't think that I would go to wallmart with a stranger but I'm not poor and hungry in a country with holes in it's safety net. I can imagine it happening, the McDonalds is in the store, you can see it, the eldest child goes to help carry the trays with five peoples food on and the mother loses sight of her. At 8 she was probably playing out and maybe going to the local shop on her own. Her mother thinks she won't go off with a stranger but to an 8yo he isn't a stranger anymore, he's a friend you've just met and you can bet your boots he had a perfectly plausible excuse for going to the van instead of into McDonalds.

YonicTheHedgehog Mon 24-Jun-13 21:38:14

I feel for the mother. She made a split second judgement call that she has to live with. Poor family.

MarthasHarbour Mon 24-Jun-13 21:54:53

Nasty nasty thread

For the record if you read sparklys Huffington Post link above you will see that the mother has said that she didnt let her daughter wander off with him, she hadnt realised that her daughter had gone.

I do have a PFB, and whilst i watch him like a hawk i dont have eyes in the back of my head, many a time have i been chatting to friends in the park and he has dashed off behind a tree or a mound (we have teletubbies mounds in our local park hmm but i digress) - i get the sick feeling in my stomach and run round like batshit trying to find him. Usually succeeded within 5 seconds.

I cannot imagine being in her situation. As has been said before she is clearly vulnerable if she has her DCs out that time of night, was clearly down on her luck, and taken in by this sick fuck. I havent been in her situation so could easily say 'ah well it would never happen to me'. That attitude which-usually comes from my parents really sickens me.

I feel so desperately sad for her mother, the middle class parents/holiday restaurant couple and the beautiful little welsh girls parents.


Sorry I am a bit late to this but peace and love MNers
There is a grieving family out there eh?

Kiriwawa Tue 25-Jun-13 07:26:25

5madthings - Jeremy Hunt is the Health Secretary- he's the one cutting the NHS, not abducting schoolgirls ;)

5madthings Tue 25-Jun-13 07:28:29

Ha ha lol was posting on several
L threads at once and got confused over names...maybe I should get mnhq to edit for me don't want JH suing for libel! grin

DowntonTrout Tue 25-Jun-13 07:51:31

Usual MN judginess out in force on this thread by some posters I see.

Yes the mother made an error of judgement but I can't bear the "that would never happen to my child because I don't let them out of my sight" brigade.

You realise, if that is your way of thinking, that you should not leave your child in the company of any male over the age of about 10, especially family members/close friends, don't you? Because that would be a much more likely scenario for something like this to happen.

QueenofallIsee Tue 25-Jun-13 16:47:21

Only the perpetrator of a crime is to blame, children should be safe under any circumstances. However like the OP, I did see the news story and ponder if I would be comfortable enough with a stranger within the reported time period to accept material goods/food etc- I suspect that I would not. This woman is paying for her naiveté in the worst way anyone ever could.

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