Mother who killed her 3 children visited 50 times by social services (Upsetting content).

(196 Posts)
InsanityandBeyond Thu 23-Jan-14 21:30:50

Controversial question but should fathers in this situation be prosecuted for child neglect as they have left their children in these situations. Shouldn't they be be responsible in ensuring their children are not at risk of harm even from their own mothers?

Incidents like this seem to be becoming more common. What should be done if families like this 'refuse' to engage with SS? Shouldn't the children's welfare come before the mother's rights? A similar case is this:

Horrifying sad.

InsanityandBeyond Thu 23-Jan-14 21:34:04

Don't get how the father is blaming SS. It has been reported that the mother was only feeding the DC biscuits. Who knew this and why didn't they intervene angry?

foreverondiet Thu 23-Jan-14 21:46:26

Horrific. IMO social services ignore too much abuse - having children is a privilege not a right and SS should be much quicker to intervene - and yes take children away if that's best for them - a child not attending nursery regularly without good explanation is a massive red flag.

JaquelineHyde Thu 23-Jan-14 21:53:56

I haven't read the serious case review on this so can only go on the Daily Mail article.

It looks like mistakes were made by all people involved, not just social services, but obviously ss will as always bare the brunt of these criticisms.

I hope that the student social worker that was sent to work with the family is ok.

Those poor children, it breaks my heart.

TheFabulousIdiot Thu 23-Jan-14 22:05:36

I have only read what you have linked to but, yes, I do think the role of both parents should be taken into account, particularly where there is a history of domestic violence.

I don't know abut prosecuting him for leaving them but I would expect there to be some consideration of his role in the mental health issues the mother had and the impact that would have had on the family as a whole.

Certainly, if my husband andi split up and he had part or whole custody of the children and I had any suspicion that he was treating them in the way this woman was I would be doing my best to get them properly looked after. This article doesn't show if the father actually did attempt to do that so can't really judge either way.

monicalewinski Thu 23-Jan-14 22:38:55

The lady with the 3 children (Fiona Anderson), just makes my heart ache - she clearly had mental health problems and the father was there, why on earth did he do bugger all? He blames as, but he should be shouldering a massive amount of responsibility imo.

monicalewinski Thu 23-Jan-14 22:39:44

*SS, not as

ToddleWaddle Thu 23-Jan-14 22:46:05

Incredibly sad. The poor kids had no future. The father must bear a significant amount of responsibility given he was happy to reproduce so quickly and repeatedly.

VelvetSpoon Thu 23-Jan-14 22:47:24

Appallingly sad.

The children were failed by both parents, and each of their families. And by SS. It's awful.

The father has a nerve pointing the finger at SS. Yes, they certainly made mistakes BUT he was living there until just weeks before, he was clearly complicit in his children's treatment! He's lucky imo not to be facing charges for neglect.

It's a Daily Mail article. It will be mostly a work of fiction. They are well known for posting whatever they think will sell papers (and vilify mothers/immigrants), then doing a retraction later. Even if there is any truth to the story it will have been twisted and skewed to fit the sensationalistic MO of the Mail

They are scum.

fancyanotherfez Thu 23-Jan-14 22:51:48

Not to mention thinking maybe getting a woman clearly not coping pregnant four times in four years wasn't a great idea. The fathers always blame others and wring their hands in these cases but never take responsibility when the children were alive

PistolAnnies Thu 23-Jan-14 22:53:53

Oh my word, didn't realise this was about Fiona Anderson until I read the link hmm I was deeply saddened and touched by this story back in April and my heart was with Fiona at the time. I'm sad to read this, but still blame Craig for an awful lot of this too

Caitlin17 Thu 23-Jan-14 22:56:28

I'm always amazed when the fathers and their families in this type of case have no inkling they failed their children too.

PistolAnnies Thu 23-Jan-14 22:56:41

By the way, Craig was off with another girl while Fiona was carrying his 4th child, so he is partly to blame in my opinion hmm

nennypops Thu 23-Jan-14 23:15:19

The trouble is, if Social Services had stepped in and taken the children into care, they'd have had the likes of John Hemming baying about child snatching conspiracies.

TheFabulousIdiot Thu 23-Jan-14 23:27:53

I hadn't joined the dots re how recently he had been living there. Yes, he must bear some of the blame. Has he got his new girlfriend pregnant yet?

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 23-Jan-14 23:48:06

Truly very sad.

Of course he must be to blame for some the neglect. They were his children! To me it is outrageous that he has the gall to blame SS when he was there and could have done something himself.

Spero Thu 23-Jan-14 23:59:39

This is horrible on so many levels.

I agree that the primary responsibility for the welfare of children lies with their parents. You can have all the serious case reviews you like but I think there will always be cracks in state protection into which children will fall.

I would like to know a lot more about why their father either didn't know or did nothing about the fact they were starving to death.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Fri 24-Jan-14 02:40:36

The whole affair is just totally ghastly. I have read the serious case review and you really don't need a social work degree to determine that there was no way this was "good enough" parenting. Nor did you need a medical degree to work out that the mother had mental health issues.

I do agree that there needs to be much more scrutiny (and charges, if appropriate) in relation to the fathers in these situations. Value judgement or not, fathers who are present and engaged with their children (whether in a relationship with the mother or not) act as a further safety control.

Unfortunately, the cuts that have been made to councils since the tories came in really affects the money social workers have & therefore what they can 'afford' to do. My mum's a SW & she says it breaks her heart how many cases of low-level neglect they see & can't really do anything about (especially if proof is scarce & the parents are very unwilling to cooperate). The main reason they can't do much if it's 'just' neglect (and not life threatening) is that there's only enough money to deal with the very serious cases. It shouldn't be like that.

This is just so very very sad.

I do feel sorry for the mum as well as the children tbh. Imagine being pregnant & feeling that was your only choice, for whatever reason. What kind of place must she have been in. And those poor bloody kids sad

The article states they fought in front of the kids & even when she was holding one once...But now the dad is all tears & blame. hmm

Poor family.

GoshAnneGorilla Fri 24-Jan-14 06:44:32

Could anyone post a link to the relevant Serious Case Reviews?

ariadneoliver Fri 24-Jan-14 10:20:40
InsanityandBeyond Fri 24-Jan-14 11:48:52

Fucking hell. That's worse than I thought. Perhaps if the father had told the police she had stabbed him, those children could have been saved angry.

I can't understand how anyone can feel any empathy for the mother. She deliberately killed those DC in a horrific way to get back at the father, even dropping off her front door keys so he would find them. SS would have taken them off her in a heartbeat if she had told them she could not cope, better that than them dead right?

Pure fucking evil.

Owllady Fri 24-Jan-14 11:53:49

They should have removed them much earlier, but I suspect they couldn't because of what a poster above has said 're budgets. Foster care is expensive.

In regards to the first case, where was the dad when all this happening? He found time to impregnate his wife 4 times, but had no time to notice his children were being neglected and starved? He should be charged with manslaughter or child neglect at the least! He was to busy shagging another woman to look after his kids and he has the audacity to criticise social services! hmm

KarmaVersusGeorgeOsbourne Fri 24-Jan-14 12:09:33

So the father was living with the children up until a few weeks before their deaths, yet it's all the fault of SS and his ex partner?

I know the DM is full of shit, but if the quotes about the children 'sleeping in a double pushchair for 13 nights' and 'only being fed biscuits' are true, that was in May 2011. What that mother did was utterly awful, but it's clear that she had dreadful mental health problems. What is the father's excuse?

fifi669 Fri 24-Jan-14 23:22:12

The father may not have done all he could. To hold him responsible for the children's murder though is wrong. Their mum did it off her own back. If you aren't coping you ask for help. There aren't any excuses.

ShephardsDelight Sat 25-Jan-14 00:18:18

As much as these cases are horrific absolutely,
SS did not abuse, neglect , kill these children.
I worked amongst SW they are meant to have about 13 cases loads each at the most and in reality they have nearer about 39.
Many leave, retire early the job is so hard already without aswell having the finger pointed afterwards to add the guilt where often their hands are tied.
But in response to your OP, yes I do.
that poor poor boy.

bochead Sat 25-Jan-14 01:01:33

It wasn't a SW who got a mentally ill woman pregnant every year on the dot like a clock when she clearly wasn't coping. With 3 under 4 and another on the way I'm shocked dear Daddy found the time to do his best to impregnate some other poor soul. There's a helluva lot more to fatherhood than just bumping uglies like a dog in heat.

He should be looking at his own behavior instead of blaming SS. He had parental responsibility and didn't do HIS part as those kids had been malnourished and neglected a long time. He could have queued at the foodbank & made the kids dinner instead of making them eat biscuits, spent the day at the social to get a crisis loan when the cot broke so they wouldn't have to sleep in a pushchair etc, etc.

He could even have worn a sock on it occasionally to prevent further pregancies until she could properly cope with raising their first baby after they were allowed to keep the child despite SS concerns. He could have watched the kid/s while she accessed the appropriate treatment/therapy programme for her MH problems. I'm 100% sure that's what most decent men would do.

If he suddenly found her impossible to live with (but not to knock up every year!) then he could have applied to the court for a residency order for the children himself. There's no evidence he even attempted to do this, (unlike the poor concerned father and MIL of Baby P!)

In my eyes the father is the scum of the earth, and NO right to point any fingers of blame at SS. (Even if SS did make a few mistakes of their own, they weren't the parents! They tried to remove the eldest child legally and failed, this may have made them wary of the amount of evidence needed for a second attempt).

Spero Sat 25-Jan-14 09:11:46

And had this woman gone to see John Hemming MP when pregnant with her fourth he would have advised her to leave the country and not co-operate with SW as they are only trying to steal babies for cash after all.

I hope this case makes some people think about the sheer wickedness of the advice of some.

Because cases like this are the inevitable outcome of encouraging an atmosphere of distrust and fear of Children's Services.

You cannot have it both ways, as the father seems to wish. you can't demand that the State protect your children and yet at the same time refuse to co-operate with anyone who is trying to help.

2tiredtocare Sat 25-Jan-14 09:22:52

How could he leave her to cope all alone, those poor kids. I find it shocking that they weren't removed despite the neglect being uncovered, terrifying

Spero Sat 25-Jan-14 09:34:26

If you read the serious case review you will see that they teetered on the brink of being worrying enough to justify legal proceedings for quite a while and refused to co-operate.

I agree something should have been done earlier, but with hindsight its easy for me to say that.

It is very hard when you don't have clear cut examples of significant harm such as a broken bone. a lot of it is a judgment call at the time, knowing what you know at that instant.

And where were all the other family members? The serious case review said initially they had family support. Did they reject their families' help too?

gordyslovesheep Sat 25-Jan-14 09:39:18

Also the courts rejected ss attempt to remove the first child due to lack of evidence . Ss don't have crystal balls or unlimited time and resources . If mum was accessing other serviced and deemed to be coping what could they have done?

I am lost sometimes as to what people want from ss who, btw, the scr found could NOT have predicted what happend

horsetowater Sat 25-Jan-14 09:44:41

There was significant harm, emotionally stunted, no nappies, learned helplessness. Plenty of signs of neglect. I wonder whether ss were protecting thechildren from their father for some reason.

Spero Sat 25-Jan-14 09:45:44

Well some people want children only to be removed from parents on proof beyond reasonable doubt of physical harm.

So these children would still have died in their system. But that's ok, they are collateral damage. Much more important to protect parents' rights and family autonomy - some would say.

Not me.

horsetowater Sat 25-Jan-14 09:45:52

There was significant harm, emotionally stunted, no nappies, learned helplessness. Plenty of signs of neglect. I wonder whether ss were protecting thechildren from their father for some reason.

horsetowater Sat 25-Jan-14 09:45:53

There was significant harm, emotionally stunted, no nappies, learned helplessness. Plenty of signs of neglect. I wonder whether ss were protecting thechildren from their father for some reason.

Spero Sat 25-Jan-14 09:46:25

The father apparently said all the SW were 'iiars' as early as 2009 so clearly they didn't have a great working relationship.

FamiliesShareGerms Sat 25-Jan-14 09:46:54

I must save those SCR links to use on the "all SS are baby snatchers" threads.

Does anyone on here think (admittedly with the benefit of hindsight) that those children should not have been taken into care , even if only temporary foster care ?

horsetowater Sat 25-Jan-14 09:59:20

Spero do you think he was abusive as well? I can imagine ss preferring to leave a child in neglect than risk giving residence to an abusive father that they can't pin down. It might also explain why she killed them, maybe she knew ehat their father would do.

KarmaVersusGeorgeOsbourne Sat 25-Jan-14 10:31:58

bochead I completely agree.

Spero Sat 25-Jan-14 11:01:04

Sadly, the serious case review says he was good with the children and played with them 'very well'.

But he clearly had his own issues; they were both very young and struggling with so many children and refusing help on basis that SW were liars and there were no concerns about their children.

I don't recall seeing anything about how he was physically abusive to the mother or children but it clearly was not a healthy happy family.

AllDirections Sat 25-Jan-14 11:17:38

I also agree with bochead

caruthers Sat 25-Jan-14 11:22:06

Killing children because she feared what the father might do?

That's an astonishing suggestion.'s a sad crime and one which everyone concerned is living with.

Poppiesway Sat 25-Jan-14 11:40:11

But an accurate suggestion, a lot has not been revealed about this case.
In reply to the fabulous idiot.. within weeks sad and the ow he was with also known to ss!
I learnt a lot from this case, and I discovered just how much is and isn't released to papers.

caruthers Sat 25-Jan-14 11:48:02

It is no way an "Accurate suggestion" she killed her children.

So it was her that harmed them wasn't it?

Where do you get your evidence from?

salsmum Sat 25-Jan-14 11:53:11

On the news last night there was another case where the 'Mother' of a 10 month old baby killed him by banging him off the ??floors?? so hard the ceiling of the person living below SHOOK was found not only that he had extensive head injuries but that he also had 9 broken ribs, a broken leg and arm sad then the evil cow tried to blame the 2 year old sibling and even had pics on her phone of the baby battered and bruised shock she got 14 years...not long enough for that poor babies suffering.

NigellasDealer Sat 25-Jan-14 11:58:32

that 'father' has blood on his hands

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 25-Jan-14 11:59:45

Careful Salsmum some posters may start suggesting the person in the flat below was in some way to blame.

salsmum Sat 25-Jan-14 12:15:00

ISWYM BoneyBackJefferson in a home with 2 young children the neighbour could quite easily have assumed that it was a 2 year old banging about so the neighbour was not to blame IMO thank you for bringing that to my attention.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 25-Jan-14 12:21:44

Sorry Sals it was sarcasm not aimed at you.

SaucyJack Sat 25-Jan-14 12:25:42

There was nothing to suggest the father was abusive either to the mother or the children hmm

I really don't see the need to start making things up. I think the facts are quite bad enough thankyouverymuch.

LEMmingaround Sat 25-Jan-14 12:26:49

Being a social worker is right there at the top of the list of jobs that i could never do. How can they get it right when they are dealing with something so incomprehensible as parents hurting their own children (not commenting of op as don't want to read the article). Even more so when it is a case of neglect through someone being incapable for whatever reason. Because if they don't remove the children from their parents then they are leaving them at risk from harm, but removing children from their parents is distressing and will cause long term damage (even if it is the only option) to those children. It is all about putting the children first, ever single time and I frankly don't know how they do that job.

I also wonder if its time that a different agency stepped in when it was time to be taking children away? There is such a level of mistrust for social workers who after all, are there to help and want to keep families together where possible. How that would be organised i don't know.

TheXxed Sat 25-Jan-14 12:37:21

In June 2009 an application by the council for child protection was refused. Is there any way to find out why?

helenthemadex Sat 25-Jan-14 12:41:09

the father should be held accountable, she was obviously ill with mh issues, there were long term issues with the children that the father who had left only a month previously would have been aware of, he did nothing to protect them

A very sad case all round

"In June 2009 an application by the council for child protection was refused. Is there any way to find out why?"

The Serious Case Review, will answer what went wrong.

Unfortunately sometimes the law requiring that Parents be allowed to have a chance to parent, means that the children are going to be put at risk.

It is usually a very involved relative that keeps children safe (ish).

There will always be children, murdered, accidentally killed, injured and permanently disabled by the actions, or lack of them by their Care Givers.

Poppiesway Sat 25-Jan-14 12:45:07

The father attacked the mother with a knife the night before his happened, she called the police. It was all settled as a domestic case.
The mother had wrote on the walls of their flat that she had done what she did to protect them from their father and to keep them safe.
This was information reported locally.
I'm not saying it was the father that killed them, it was the mother. A member of the family also jumped to her death from the same spot Fiona did after the court hearing happened regarding this situation.

caruthers Sat 25-Jan-14 12:50:43

It was the father who was stabbed the night before.

Officers called at Ms Anderson's home early on Monday following reports that Mr McLelland had been stabbed by a man in Mill Road on Sunday night

They spoke to a woman via intercom but were refused entry, police said

Mr McLelland has since told police he had not been attacked in Mill Road but had been wounded in Ms Anderson's London Road South home

The Father isn't accountable, she had stabbed him the night before, he had phoned the police, he was treated in hospital.

The police spoke to her through a intercom and left.

Unless you have residency, you have little power, SS involvement can remove power from relatives and cut them out. That still goes unrecognised.

The SCR has identified that the Father reported the stabbing, by her, in the property were the children were, he had to leave, for his own safety.

She posted her keys, through his door, for him to find his children dead.

gordyslovesheep Sat 25-Jan-14 12:59:01

I thought the SCR said he didn't tell them SHE had stabbed him until after the children where found?

gordyslovesheep Sat 25-Jan-14 13:01:50

""^At 8.05 p.m. the father called an ambulance claiming he had been stabbed from behind by an
unknown male. As the initial statement by the father had said he had been in the vicinity of
the mother and children’s flat, in the early hours of the next morning, a police officer spoke to
the mother at her address through the intercom. The Police also thought the incident might
have been linked to a domestic dispute. She said that she had not seen the father for a month
and would not come to the door^"

gordyslovesheep Sat 25-Jan-14 13:02:40

"Later that day, the father informed the Police that it was in fact the mother who had stabbed
him following an argument about their separation in which she said that if he remained with
his new girlfriend, he would not be able to see the children again. He also explained that soon
after the stabbing incident, when in hospital he had told the mother via text that he had not
told the Police what had happened and that she should hide the knife."

gordyslovesheep Sat 25-Jan-14 13:03:04

That was later the day the kids where found - after they had been found

Spero Sat 25-Jan-14 13:07:16

sorry SaucyJack but I think there is a lot to suggest emotional abuse at the very least from the father to the mother.

No one is 'blameless' here - certainly not the parents. And LA should have been far more robust at earlier stage.

But hindsight is a gift.

What sticks in my throat is how the father is reported as saying it is all LA's fault and taking no responsilbity. But this could be just how the Mail is reporting it - I wouldn't be at all surprised as that makes for juicier story.

Spero Sat 25-Jan-14 13:08:18

I dont understand the police's actions either. If they knew there were children in that house they should have kicked door down after reports of stabbing, not simply gone away when they were 'refused entry' over intercom.

caruthers Sat 25-Jan-14 13:11:04

Spero it looks like she killed the children because she had control issues and it also appears that it was she that stabbed him.

The Mother isn't the victim, the children are and the father is the one left to pick up the pieces.

Pointing fingers at him without a shred of proof is disgusting and crass.

gordyslovesheep Sat 25-Jan-14 13:11:19

he reported being stabbed near the house not IN the house and didn't report it was her - police checked on her because of the relationship and the stabbing - I am guessing to see she was okay.

gordyslovesheep Sat 25-Jan-14 13:13:18

Yes I agree - I am guessing he regrets many action and would love to be able to rewind time - he's lost 4 kids and her - the relationship wasn't especially healthy I imagine but he's still lost everything.

I honestly don't view her as any different to the many men who kill their kids and themselves to teach their wives a lesson

KarmaVersusGeorgeOsbourne Sat 25-Jan-14 13:13:57

I didn't realise that a member of the mother's family had also committed suicide. Was it on the news?

This is probably one of the most awful cases I've heard of in a long time, really.

The only thing that could of prevented this was the removal of the children and her being sectioned.

He didn't want the children to be removed that night, so he didn't report it as her.

It could if been easily pieced together, had the police entered the property, but then she was heavily pregnant.

These children died because their Mother killed them.

SS tried to keep the family together, the SCR isn't pointing fingers.

caruthers Sat 25-Jan-14 13:15:49

I honestly don't view her as any different to the many men who kill their kids and themselves to teach their wives a lesson

Absolutely spot on gordy.

Spero Sat 25-Jan-14 13:22:08

I am not pointing fingers at anyone.

I am relying on the evidence of the serious case review - this was a man who refused to engage with children's services in 2009, calling the SW 'liars'.

Thanks for clarifying the stabbing bit, I was getting confused. But this is also a man who was stabbed by the mother and left all his children in her care because he wouldn't report it accurately to the police.

He is complicit in the deaths of his children, of that there is no doubt at all. He should have taken responsibility to protect them. He didn't. In fact he lied to the people who would have helped, such as the police and refused to co-operate with others such as SW.

There has been five cases similar to this, recently, I think this has reached the news because of the multiple child deaths.

SS involvement can give abusive Parents power against relatives that are trying to help the children.

Then if services are dismissing the information being given, then there is little that you can do.

Baby P's Dad was arrested and an injunction obtained against him, because he wanted to take his son out if the abuse.

I think that as the bedroom tax forces non resident parents parents into house shares and hostels, because they cannot rent their own property, we will see an increase in child abuse cases that could of been prevented, by the other parent, or relatives, having overnight stays etc.

Spero Sat 25-Jan-14 13:24:50

Don't the NSPCC statistics say one child a week is killed by parents or carers?

caruthers Sat 25-Jan-14 13:25:17

Thankfully your opinion doesn't mirror the opinion of the majority Spero.

It is obvious that he was in receipt of not only emotional abuse but actual physical abuse too.

His children have been murdered and yet he's to blame?

Crass and insensitive at the very least.

Spero Sat 25-Jan-14 13:27:13

He shares the blame.

No one is wholly to blame.

Why on earth is it crass and insensitive to say that a father should act to protect his children when he knows full well they are living with someone sufficiently mentally unstable to stab him!

I am afraid I have very little sympathy. As others have said, perhaps he could have investigated contraception rather than impregnating this mother every year. It was clear there were concerns after the birth of the first child.

"He is complicit in the deaths of his children, "

He simply didn't want his children to go into care and possibly adoption, so didn't tell the truth.

Many families are put in that position (I have been), I think what the SCR has highlighted is correct, there needs to be a better recognition of building family relationships and recognising the fear of adoption.

Individual SW's still have to much power and the compliant systems don't work.

The children may have been murdered at a later date, they may have been safe that night.

I only question his need to share that he is in another "relationship" so soon, but that is what he has got to live with.

Spero Sat 25-Jan-14 13:30:04

'He simply didn't want his children to go into care'.

so leaving them with this mother when he knew or ought to have known that she was very far from coping well for YEARS is an ok response?

anything is better than being in care, including being strapped in your pushchair and fed only biscuits for days at a time?

the Conspiracy Theorists have done their work well. I had hoped Lianne Smith was a rare tragedy but possibly it won't be.

"when he knows full well they are living with someone sufficiently mentally unstable to stab him!"

This is how some people live, so to others it is shocking, but to some, physical fights, even with weapons are not unusual.

gordyslovesheep Sat 25-Jan-14 13:31:06

so do women who's children are killed by controlling men during access visits also share the blame?

caruthers Sat 25-Jan-14 13:32:39

You're just filling in gaps that don't exist Spero.

Referring to him as "Complicit" is vile isn't it?

As for the contraception remark it's beyond the pale.

The children were killed by a mother who had mental health problems and showed signs of emotional abuse and physical abuse towards him, and still you decide he's culpable?

InsanityandBeyond Sat 25-Jan-14 13:32:49

Spero my thoughts exactly.

I find it horrifying though that most of these recent horrific cases (including Mikaeel Kular) had SS involvement and the DC were left/returned to the parent. SS are not directly responsible for the deaths no, but vulnerable children need advocates who will ensure their safety and act if there is the slightest reasonable doubt that it is compromised. If their own parents or wider family won't do that then who will if not SS?

Doyouthinktheysaurus Sat 25-Jan-14 13:33:39

I agree wholeheartedly with gordy.

I do feel a bit frustrated at times with the general acceptance by some that a mum that kills her children must be mentally ill, but a dad who does the same is evil and intent on revenge.

Spero Sat 25-Jan-14 13:34:25

If a woman's children are killed by a man on a contact visit which has been ordered by the court then of course she is not to blame.

She has no choice. A court has made an order and she will be punished if she doesn't obey.

But this is a man who knew his partner wasn't stable. He knew professionals had concerns. Even if being stabbed was an every day occurrence to him, surely he would think that his children not being fed or played with wasn't ok?

I am astonished anyone could make excuses for this man. He is about as far away as a mother being forced to comply with a court order as you can get.

Spero Sat 25-Jan-14 13:35:56

He is complicit. He knew things were wrong and he lied about them. If he didn't think getting stabbed was such a big deal, why lie to the police about it.

And yes, he should have used a condom. When you are struggling with one child, adding a new one to the mix year after year, is incredibly stupid.

InsanityandBeyond Sat 25-Jan-14 13:36:19

He is culpable Caruthers. She stabbed him, obviously not being of sound mind at that point, he left helpless DC with her. Unforgivable IMO.

caruthers Sat 25-Jan-14 13:36:26

There is nothing to defend.

He may very well have been a poor father but he didn't kill his children.

Some posters on here have highlighted the different way child killers are treated and it's astounding.

Spero Sat 25-Jan-14 13:37:44

o and btw I do not say that men who kill children = evil bastards but women who kill children = abused victims.

ANYONE who kills their own child, who was looking to them for protection and love, is clearly someone with massive, massive issues. I doubt very much those issues stem from simply Being Evil; I am sure environment, personality and day to day experiences all play a role.

"so leaving them with this mother when he knew or ought to have known that she was very far from coping well for YEARS is an ok response?"

He hadn't left them, SS and the courts have, everything was reported, they knew what was happening in that house.

Once your children are on a CP plan, you cannot just take them, he couldn't anyway, he had no accommodation and probably (like a lot of these Dad's) couldn't of cared for them.

It was either removal or try to work with the family, sadly the children have been killed (like about four others that week).

If they had of been removed and the Mother sectioned, the DM would be condemning SS, Even more if she had of needed to have a Caesarian applied for.

Spero Sat 25-Jan-14 13:38:45

He left his children in a massively unsafe situation. Not only did he fail to act, he failed to co-operate with anyone who might have helped.

No, he didn't wield the knife that killed them. but he is complicit. He ought to take responsibility, not attempt to shift it onto the very agencies he lied to.

caruthers Sat 25-Jan-14 13:39:21

You are making plenty of excuses to distance women of fault if their ex partners kill the children though Spero.

gordyslovesheep Sat 25-Jan-14 13:39:25

I didn't mention court orders Spero - just plain old access - my ex has access with my 3 kids - no court involved. As with most couples

Being a feminist sometimes means accepting women can do bad things for bad reasons - not constantly looking for excuses for them

Spero Sat 25-Jan-14 13:39:48

Birds - the reason SW couldn't act and couldn't find evidence was because BOTH he and the mother refused to co-operate.

So I think you are giving him sympathy he just doesn't deserve.

Spero Sat 25-Jan-14 13:41:49

Caruthers - I have made one excuse. I thought Gordy was referring to women who allow contact with violent men under court order.

then if violent men kill their children, how can they be to blame if they were acting under compulsion from court?

But any mother who allows young and vulnerable children into unsupervised contact with someone she KNOWS is a risk to them, yes, she is complicit in what might go on to happen to them.

I may have sympathy for someone who is overwhelmed by the demands of a violent and abusive man, but this does not absolve a parent of responsibility to protect their children.

AnyaKnowIt Sat 25-Jan-14 13:42:26

Hang on so If a woman was stabbed by her ex then left the care of her children with that same ex that would be ok then?

Spero Sat 25-Jan-14 13:43:02

I am at a loss as to how anyone can think I am making excuses for women because they are women.

But its a refreshing change from the usual complaint that I am a rape apologist for e.g..

Men who live in situations like this are as incapable of making good decisions and doing what they are supposed to, as the women are.

Some people cannot be a parent, for lots of reasons, whether male or female.

They let their children down, that is a fact.

He is guilty if being an ineffective parent, as are lots of parents, both under the radar of SS and outside if it.

It is pure luck that some children survive.

Spero Sat 25-Jan-14 13:44:27

If a woman was stabbed by her ex and left the children with him, I think she is clearly complicit and must share some of the blame for any horrible thing he goes on to do to the children.

Therefore, I think that the father in THIS case was clearly complicit because he KNEW and he acted deliberately to keep the authorities away.

Spero Sat 25-Jan-14 13:44:58

I agree that it is pure luck that some children survive

And what a terrible indictment of our society that is.

"Birds - the reason SW couldn't act and couldn't find evidence was because BOTH he and the mother refused to co-operate."

You don't need co-operation, though. The evidence was there, the children were underweight, their development wasn't on course.

The family had no stable housing, there were obvious CP issues.

Neither parents were capable in getting their children into a safe environment.

caruthers Sat 25-Jan-14 13:48:02

But any mother who allows young and vulnerable children into unsupervised contact with someone she KNOWS is a risk to them, yes, she is complicit in what might go on to happen to them

He couldn't exactly remove the children he didn't have the authority.

And in hindsight knowing what he knows now he probably would have informed the police and social services although it doesn't look like the social services were willing to do anything other than talk.

Killing someone is a very personal thing and the responsibility for that death is certainly the responsibility of the person doing the killing.

In this case the arguments and physical violence probably led to the killing of these poor children and it's sad that children get harmed by their parents every day.....but to actually name him as complicit in this way is terrible.

Spero Sat 25-Jan-14 13:49:36

The LA did what they could. I thought I had read in the SCR that they applied for a care order and were rejected because they didn't have enough evidence.

I agree that they should have tried again - the pushchair and the biscuits was just appalling.

but failures in State protection do not and should not absolve parents from their fundamental and basic duties to protect their own children.

And that is how the Mail is reporting this father. If he has been stitched up by the Mail - highly possible - then I am very sorry for him and will retract my criticisms of his behaviour.

But if the Mail is reporting his views accurately - slightly possible - then I stand my everything I said.

Spero Sat 25-Jan-14 13:50:54

sorry caruthers but I don't tend to change my arguments because my arguments are called 'vile' or 'terrible'.

You are entitled to disagree with me, but don't act surprised when I don't change my mind if this is all you've got to persuade me with.

EEatingSoupForLunch Sat 25-Jan-14 13:50:56

Luck?? Really?? Ok, let's scrap social services and just let luck take it's course, we're all so incompetent and uncaring it won't make any difference, right? Or maybe sack all social workers and replace them with Mail reading pearl clutchers, who would clearly do the job LOADS better.

When it comes down to it, serial cuts to services will have an effect on how well those services operate. Sadly, cutting social services means some of the most vulnerable suffer most. This is the face of austerity in action.

Spero Sat 25-Jan-14 13:52:51

Eating - we said 'some' children. No all.

You can't deny that some children fall through the cracks. These children did.

that is not to say that SW do not do a highly necessary and important job. I think they do. And I think the response of some that should know better - come on down John Hemming! - has been disgusting and probably contributed to this kind of situation where children die rather then getting the help they need.

Mignonette Sat 25-Jan-14 13:55:38

The MH trust involved is in a state of collapse after its 'Radical Redesign'.

Frontline staff are engaged in a campaign to save their services which have been criminally damaged and undermined by Trust incompetence.

The death rate has shot up. Morale is non existent. Many staff are themselves mentally unwell because of their working conditions.

Read up on their concerns here.

EEatingSoupForLunch Sat 25-Jan-14 13:56:24

Of course they do, and the cracks are being widened year on year by funding restrictions. John Hemming would presumably have advised these parents to go on the run abroad. Tosser.

Mignonette Sat 25-Jan-14 13:56:51

I should have made it clear that my post referred to Fiona Anderson.

AnyaKnowIt Sat 25-Jan-14 13:58:23

The father lied to ss, lied to police and left his children with a woman who has just stabbed him.

Yes he should take some of the blame

So sad isn't it?

Yes, agree fathers have a huge shared responsibility for parenting with mothers (obviously?), and should at least step in to give support themselves, or seek help, where their partner is clearly not coping.

Also makes me wonder why desperate mothers do not feel able to seek the support of social services (if not family or friends) and if necessary ask for their DC to be fostered. I can see that's not an easy path to take but surely would occur to most rather than killing them. Tragic sad

Tiredemma Sat 25-Jan-14 14:05:43

migonette - what an utterly horrendous Trust to work for.

Owllady Sat 25-Jan-14 14:13:17

My situation is rather different as one of my children is severely disabled, but I moved county and my daughter's care package was reduced to zero. I rang and rang but was told they were not taking on any mire cases. After eighteen months they agreed to assess us. Two and half years later with very little real support we were properly assessed and given imo a proper social worker who actually cared about the welfare of my daughter. At this point, two and a half years down the line with no external support, I was absolutely on my knees and my own health was failing so my gp got involved, the day after he rang and wrote to them we were phoned/ visited and care sorted.
It's nit always that parents are obstructive, I certainly wasn't and I am nit the sort of person who would ask or even take help if we really didn't need it

Spero Sat 25-Jan-14 14:39:36

Owllady I am sorry to hear of your situation. It sounds horrific.

And it makes me even angrier when I compare your situation to this and think of all the money that was spent trying to help this family and in effect wasted because they would not co-operate.

Whereas people begging for help are turned away because there is no money.

Our child protection system is indeed in a terrible state but not for the reasons Hemming et al would like to argue.

JamNan Sat 25-Jan-14 14:40:31

Try reading this version published by a different newspaper:
report by The Independant

Or this from the Lowestoft Journal: Fiona Anderson's funerel

Only her stillborn daughter Evalie was buried with her - not her other children as she had pleaded. Fiona was only 23 years old; Evalie was her fourth child.

Walk a mile in her shoes...

The tone of the article in the Lowestoft Journal does seem exceptionally sympathetic to Fiona and her family as though the whole thing has been a terrible accident (and I suppose it was in many ways)
But I just wonder if talk of her being able to "oversee" the children from her plot because they are near is slightly losing touch with the reality of what happened.

Owllady Sat 25-Jan-14 14:58:21

It was her funeral, an article put forward by her parents and the directors. Whatever we may think or not think, those people have lost their daughter and their grandchildren and the father if the children has lost his children too. I think we all can acknowledge the pain caused by that sad

fifi669 Sat 25-Jan-14 14:58:58

She was afraid her kids would get taken away.... Killed them instead. 100% her fault.

Spero Sat 25-Jan-14 15:02:38

I hope I never become so hardened to the awful things that human beings do that I cannot recognise that a lot of these awful things come from a place of pain and suffering.

But recognising this and being compassionate does not mean that we should not talk about responsibility and what it means - particularly when children are concerned.

I note this quote from first link Friends said she had contacted social services for help but became worried that her children would be removed from her

And according to the SCR that is not accurate. She and the father actively obstructed SW.

Spero Sat 25-Jan-14 15:06:32

I also watched the ITV news report.

It is hard not to feel very sad for the father; his distress seems real.

But he is asked ' did she seem troubled in any way?'

And he replies. 'No she didn't'.

this was after he had attended hospital for treatment for the knife wound she inflicted on him.

InsanityandBeyond Sat 25-Jan-14 15:14:12

I don't see any difference in the facts reported in either newspaper. The stillbirth occurred because the woman deliberately jumped from a building while pregnant.

I find it hard to reconcile a woman who cared 'too much' with reports of young children and babies sleeping strapped in pushchairs, dumped in playpens, unchanged nappies, malnourished, fed on biscuits FFS!

Spero Sat 25-Jan-14 15:18:04

I can completely understand why her family are desperate for a narrative other than - this was a mentally unwell young woman in an unhappy and unhealthy relationship who had 3 children in quick succession and wouldn't let anyone help her.

Because the family need to ask themselves some pretty hard questions about why the situation described in the case review was allowed to continue.

I don't want to argue over who is most to blame. Too late for the children. But I do agree with your op that we should be paying more attention to the fathers in cases like this.

I am getting fed up of children being seen entirely the domain and responsibility of women, unless and until some seem to want to jump on the Fathers for Justice bandwagon - and then, that seems more about them getting their 'rights' than what the children need.

fifi669 Sat 25-Jan-14 15:19:58

When my ex left his ex wife she stabbed him in the chest. He refused to press charges, make a statement etc saying she was a good mum and it wouldn't be fair on the kids. He was sure she wouldn't hurt them. That was 6 years ago? Aside from not letting her DC know DS (their half brother), she is bringing them up well. My point being violence towards him doesn't mean violence towards the children too.

Owllady Sat 25-Jan-14 15:22:44

I agree with you Spero. The children going into foster care was not the worst thing that could have happened to the family. Whether foster are was available is another issue though

caruthers Sat 25-Jan-14 15:27:40

She sounded like a really caring mother hmm

She was a family annihilator and deserves to be thought of as such.

MadIsTheNewNormal Sat 25-Jan-14 15:27:44

I just want to applaud bochead for her post of 01:01. I could not agree more. It makes me sick when feckless/absent/abusive fathers crawl out of the woodwork to castigate SS and the authorities, demand public apologies and look all heartbroken for the media when they were oblivious (or even worse were actually party to) so much that went wrong in those children's lives.

caruthers Sat 25-Jan-14 15:30:48

Where's your proof that he was abusive MadIsTheNewNormal ?

Being stabbed himself he could disagree with you of course.

Spero Sat 25-Jan-14 15:32:24

She stabbed in him the chest? then there is a clear risk that she intended to kill him.

I don't think you should leave children with ANYONE who is prepared to stab someone in the chest, unless it is done to try to protect yourself or another from imminent attack.

fifi669 Sat 25-Jan-14 15:52:28

If that's at my post.... Yes because he said he was leaving. She had put up with numerous affairs etc and flipped that it was him leaving her I think. No excuse and I would have been straight to the police. In this case the police gave her a caution as ex wouldn't provide evidence. A caution for attempted murder!

The father may not have been the best dad, when they were together he must have been involved in biscuit/buggy gate. To hold him responsible for her killing their children, in any way is outrageous. The police knew she'd stabbed him the night before but didn't feel the children needed to be removed. Her family and friends didn't intervene. They'd only been separated 2 weeks. No matter how she shouted at him who could imagine their ex doing that to their own children?

monicalewinski Sat 25-Jan-14 16:22:13

Completely regardless of the stabbing, and whilst I clearly realise that the mother was the actual murderer - I still maintain that the father must shoulder some blame. He knew his children were not being cared for properly, because he was complicit in it.

The first 3 paragraphs of bochead's post at 01:01 sums up for me exactly why he is not without responsibility.

Doasbedoneby Sat 25-Jan-14 16:22:35

If the father had left with the children what would have happened?
Would the social services have been ok with that?

If he'd stayed would we be looking at five deaths now?

If the father had left with the children and the mother had still committed suicide would he have been branded a murderer?

"The serious case review described Miss Anderson and Mr McLelland as an “avoidant family” and there had been concerns over the neglect of their children.
They regularly missed appointments designed to help them, with Miss Anderson refusing offers of support.
But the report, added Mr McLelland, was more consistent in his approach to the care of the children and he had tried to convince Miss Anderson to have a mental health assessment.
The report also said the deaths of Miss Anderson and her children were “completely unexpected”.
Mr Worobec said: “The deaths were unexpected by everybody, by their family and friends."

MadIsTheNewNormal Sat 25-Jan-14 17:21:34

I did not say he was abusive caruthers I am just referring generally to other men who have been in similar situations who have been terrible, irresponsible, absent, flaky, dysfunctional and sometimes abusive partners and fathers and yet who manage to play the victim beautifully when their children end up dead. They cry 'how could this have happened? How did nobody notice that my child was neglected, starved, and in grave danger? Someone in authority must take the blame and be punished.' And it seems that that someone must be anyone but them.

Having said that, I don't have any sympathy for her either. I certainly do not blame him for what she did. I just don't think he's in a position to complain that other people did nothing to protect his children.

If he was a decent, caring, responsible father he would have seen long ago that she was not a great candidate for repeated pregnancies resulting in more children. These stories are always so depressing and so predictable.

thecatfromjapan Sat 25-Jan-14 17:47:18

I thought it unfortunate that midwives and social workers (and someone who reported them anonymously, presumably a friend or relative) had concerns but were absolutely hampered by the evidence/legal right to intervene conundrum.

I read a poster saying that SW and midwives raised concerns about development and weight - but the report also makes clear that they were then asked to prove this - and official experts (such as paediatricians) would state there was no clear cause for concerns: development and weight being within the normal banding. The report also makes clear how very dogged those with concerns were: a midwife insisted another paedeatrician be consulted.

Again, SW were concerned about stimulation, feeding and general care. The Children's Centre gave evidence that they saw the children and mother often, and that they appeared well fed, well clothed and played happily.

The SW made efforts to support the mother/parents in their parenting: the nursery place, for example, wasn't taken up.

It's all very, very, very sad. I absolutely agree with Spero that this sort of thing comes from a place of suffering and pain. But I can see no way you can blame Social Services' role in this.

They really do a hard job, with not nearly enough money and public support.

I think there was a key red flag though when she'd stabbed her partner the night before. With the benefit of hindsight that's something to look at to see if lessons can be learned?

horsetowater Sat 25-Jan-14 18:41:23

I think the police are at fault here because they did not immediately remove the children from the mother after she stabbed her partner.

This has happened in other cases as in Baby P. The file that could have convicted Baby P's mother sat on an officer's desk for 6 months and then became invalid.

I do wonder what made Fiona stab her partner.

Spero Sat 25-Jan-14 18:57:42

But I thought no one told the police at the time she had stabbed him? He telephoned her from hospital and told her to hide the knife and lie about it?

Poppiesway Sat 25-Jan-14 18:58:26

local paper reports

I agree with spero. Fiona had previously been know to have mental health issues before children when she lived in Scotland, she was clearly not coping with the children and yet he was not around to help. He was away with his ow.

Yes she killed her children and there are no excuses for that, and particularly in the way she did it was horrific, but the father knew what was going on and he left them children with her to be with someone else and play happy families with her instead of the family he had already created.

Both of their families could have stood in and helped them out, but for some reasons or another this didn't happen. The father was unemployed and had time we assume to be helping in their care.

It is a tragedy which should never have happened.
So many different departments not talking to each other and intervening when they should have.. But with rules and regulations as they are there's so many procedures and evidence needed that things do not always happen as they should or in time to help those that need it.

Goldenbear Sat 25-Jan-14 19:41:21

Why can't the social services focus their attention/ resouces on the socially deprived areas where most child deaths arise? It is clear that there is a strong correlation, so why not use limited resources to give these children a chance of breaking this 'shitty' cycle.

Whenever I go to two particular supermarkets, I pretty much always witness really bad parental skills, emotional abuse, sometimes physical. This is why I don't go to these places- it is depressing and I could well see how these aggressive mothers end up like Fiona. It does take extensive investigative skills to realise that they are breaking the law in the treatment of their children.

Goldenbear Sat 25-Jan-14 19:43:08

Oh and these supermarkets are both in the deprived parts of town.

bochead Sat 25-Jan-14 19:46:32

My own life experiences mean that there are very few occasions when I'll have any sympathy whatsoever for SW's as I think the current CP system is corrupt to the core and filled with incompetents.

However in this case only I'm willing to accept that SS did what they could, with limited resources (hence using a student for home visits) and had to deal with an extended family that lied at every opportunity.

I tried putting myself in the father's shoes. I cannot imagine leaving my child in the home of someone who'd stabbed me - the courts would HAVE to throw the book at me & imprison me , before I'd leave my child in that kind of danger!. Romancing a new partner would be the LAST thing on my mind.

If the law is proving itself to be an ass then you do what you gotta do in order to protect your child! No sympathy for dear Daddy at all. The eldest child had been neglected since birth, the authorities had taken it so clearly that SS did go to court (they failed in their attempt to remove the child). Baby P's father got himself into trouble with the authorities in his efforts to protect HIS child, he was the victim of the most terrible injustice. the father in this case is just a deadbeat.

Nowadays 90% of men get parental responsibility for their children, too few seem to understand the concept of "responsibility". The culture that assumes women have SOLE responsibility for children's welfare and that grown men are just helpless little boys needs to die a swift death, or cases like this will be repeated.

In my eyes the father should be facing criminal charges for lying to the police about the stabbing. Had he told the truth & stepped up the mother could have been sectioned for treatment and several lives saved. He might have been asked to prioritise the day to day care of his kids over his new romance though, and that wouldn't have been convenient for him would it?

Most Dads would have regarded the first court outing as a major wake up call and done their utmost to be the best father ever from then on in. This man kept on impregnating a mentally ill woman and he failed his defenceless kids, not just in the last fatal week, but for years leading up to the final horror. He's a very selfish individual, and I'm not falling for his attempts to point the finger of blame elsewhere instead of looking in the mirror.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 25-Jan-14 19:48:56

"In my eyes the father should be facing criminal charges for lying to the police about the stabbing"

Do you think this about all victims of DV that don't report?

bochead Sat 25-Jan-14 20:16:19

He was an adult and made the wrong call entirely when he LIED to the police- he needs to own that. Lying to the police is of itself an offence.

We are discussing a FATHER - who has the audacity to criticise the authorities for HIS neglect and mistreatment of HIS children over a number of years.

The authorities could have been judged as failing his children had he told the truth and informed the police that his ex-partner and mother of his children was dangerous and violent. A stabbing is not a minor incident. He had to go to hospital.

The police would then have been able to use that knowledge to section the mother for 28 days under the MH act, and ensure the children were somewhere safe. He himself could have changed the nappies instead of chasing new skirt for a period of time. He chose once too often to place his own kids at the bottom of his priority list.

DV is a complex issue, so is CP. Any parent worth their salt would prioritise getting their children to a safe haven.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 25-Jan-14 20:55:14

and you think that he (as someone that suffered DV) was completely level headed with no MH issues?

And again many victims of DV LIE to the police, should they (in your opinion) be arrested as well?

Lioninthesun Sat 25-Jan-14 21:16:22

Such a sad story.
I do wonder if Hemming reads these stories currently in the news where the parents have believed SW to be 'evil' and have barred entry or been obstructive to them (his advice to all parents) and wonders if he is responsible.

I see him and his cronies as the underlying problem here. Media printing their waffle adds weight and we get a surge of mothers/fathers killing their kids. The fear seems to coincide worryingly with their appearances on TV/Radio and in the press.

bochead Sat 25-Jan-14 22:28:04

If he was completely level headed he wouldn't have knocked her up like clockwork on annual basis. It's fairly obvious dear Daddy was at the end of the line when they were giving out common sense.

As a parent he had a duty of care to his own flesh and blood, and he failed his children, not just over one incident, but on a consistent basis for several years. That is the KEY reason I cannot for the life of me understand why you keep choosing to paint him as a complete victim Boneybackjefferson. These children were neglected for YEARS before the mother became so violent.

Do I have any sympathy whatsoever for the father of these poor children in this case- NO. All my sympathy is reserved for the innocent children in this case.

I have a minimal amount of sympathy however for the student social worker in this case. (Never thought I'd be someone who'd say that!). It'll be interesting to see whether she pursues a career in CP after this, or changes direction. Her nightmares will last for years whatever she decides. I also feel for those adults who have to wash and organise the burial of those tiny children.

For once this tragedy isn't the "gubberment's fault".

Sharaluck Sat 25-Jan-14 22:53:00

The main problem I see with the whole situation is that the parents were both paranoid and alienated from ss and other children services.

That is the the main problem and tbh I think the issues of neglect (which were not serious initially) could have been dealt with and sorted out if a sw or family support worker could have gained their trust somehow. I think targeting the father in particular would have been a good start as he did interact well with the children and did attend some meetings etc so was not as alienated as Fiona. If a sw could have gained his trust then this would have in turned helped to get Fiona the mental health care she obviously needed. It also might have been useful in terms of educating him on contraceptive etc as having a child a year for several years is enough to break even the most healthy/happy families.

I was also hmm to read of the very early cp meetingsinvolving the first unborn child. I think this was a complete overreaction considering the evidence given and can understand how 2 young parents could also see this as an over reaction+persecution+attempt to child snatch. What a great way to start off a lifetime of suspicion of ss hmm.

What about some positive family outreach programs targeting young parents and parents with little support right from the start? Is there no funding for this?

Lioninthesun Sat 25-Jan-14 22:55:34

There is no funding for the systems already in place as I understand it; hence the over burdened caseloads of SWs all over the country. Certain MP's could be using their position in Westminster to change this, but they want to break the system down to rubble instead. They don't appear to have an alternative.

Goldenbear Sat 25-Jan-14 23:06:18

How was it an overreaction - surely they have, very unfortunately, been proven right about their misgivings? Ultimately, the law has to be much more favourable to children than adults for things to change in this country. These children might of had a hope in hell if that was the case as it is the treading on eggshells that continues and misguided ideas abound of these people ever being able to have been good enough parents. Killing your own three children is very extreme behaviour, do you think that this 'mother' did this act in response to her position as a parent- I think that is a very naive perspective and the unbalanced idividual, capable of such violence, unfortunately existed way before the birth of any of the children. The tragedy is that these innocent souls had to bear the brunt of that mindset!

Sharaluck Sat 25-Jan-14 23:17:57

Yes it was an overreaction! The evidence was that Fiona had reported a low mood and was not attending prenatal appointments.

I can imagine attending formal cp meetings would be very intimidating.

Why not more attempts of informal visits/meetings, bringing in extended family, linking parents with other local parents to be?

Instead they had formal meetings at 8 months pregnant to begin proceedings to remove unborn child hmm

Poppiesway Sat 25-Jan-14 23:23:54

Bochead, It's also the people who have to do forensics on those children to discover cause of death, not just the funeral people. Things stay with people for a long time.

I have to wonder how such a high priority case was given to a student sw. I have a friend who trained within the department and eventually worked for them around 3 years ago, they cannot understand how a student was left to deal with that case. From what I know the cp team have recently been changed (in past 18mths) and sw were moved to different positions and places of work, in effect reducing staff on cp team. It's situations like that when things get missed and cases not discussed as they should be.. Lost in the system so to speak.

While the mother was pregnant an alert would have been on the unborn baby but the cp staff within the hospital would not have been able to deal with the other children just the unborn baby. However the cp team within the hospital will have had meetings with the social workers and raised their concerns but things just do not get actioned in time.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 25-Jan-14 23:26:52

"If he was completely level headed he wouldn't have knocked her up like clockwork on annual basis. It's fairly obvious dear Daddy was at the end of the line when they were giving out common sense."

And yet mummy also lacked the sense to take precautions.

"As a parent he had a duty of care to his own flesh and blood, and he failed his children, not just over one incident, but on a consistent basis for several years. That is the KEY reason I cannot for the life of me understand why you keep choosing to paint him as a complete victim "

If he was abused for the length of the relationship, controlled and manipulated then why shouldn't he be seen as a victim?

You and others are quite happy to take in all circumstances for the mother and try and relieve her of some of the blame, yet the father should be examined in complete isolation, no MH problems, no sufferer of DV, no emotional abuse. Just that he should have done more, yes he could have done more but what it really boils down to is that "mummy" killed the children and even thought reports said that the deaths where completely unexpected, somehow this man is still to blame.

Poppiesway Sat 25-Jan-14 23:31:54

An alert would have been placed on unborn baby as soon as mother made it known she was pregnant again, it was started when she was mths, that would have been at the point where the hospital cp staff felt they had to put further actions in place.

Lioninthesun Sat 25-Jan-14 23:33:39

bochead we are saying the man is equally to blame as the mother for not parenting the children.
"If he was abused for the length of the relationship, controlled and manipulated then why shouldn't he be seen as a victim?"
Victims can still be good parents. Why do you think women who suffer DV go to such lengths to get their kids away from the perpetrators?

bochead Sat 25-Jan-14 23:38:46

Everyone except in cases of bereavement has TWO parents. Both screwed up big time. The mother murdered her own babies, and ignored/avoided repeated attempts by professionals to help with the aid of her partner, before she eventually became so disturbed as to go beyond the point of no return.

Please do not project your own prejudices onto me.

The father cannot exonerate himself from this sorry mess by pointing the finger at the authorities. The parents are to blame for this tragedy, noone else.

Lioninthesun Sat 25-Jan-14 23:41:41

Sorry Bochead that last post by me was meant for BoneyBackJefferson blush
I need a good night's sleep!

Lioninthesun Sat 25-Jan-14 23:43:43

Boney the deats probably wouldn't have been so 'completely unexpected' if he hadn't lied about her being the one to stab him...

Spero Sat 25-Jan-14 23:44:27

So you are saying he shares no blame whatsoever?

None at all?

Goldenbear Sat 25-Jan-14 23:50:09

Sharaluck, how was it an overreaction? Their concerns about their parental abilities were proven right- they physically and emotionally neglected them. The woman killed her children - she was obviously an extremely violent person. The kind of person who shouldn't have one child let alone three.

It is abnormal to keep your child pinned in a double buggy for 12 days and caged in playpens. That is not ignorance FFS, it is determined abuse which she must have known as she avoided all offers of help and intervention. In these circumstances the children should've been taken off her, such avoidance should ring huge alarm bells but it doesn't on this country!

Sharaluck Sun 26-Jan-14 00:50:00

Yes I do think it was an over reaction to have proceedings to take the first unborn child into foster care when Fiona was 8 months pregnant. The evidence for these proceedings were that she had not been attending the more recent antenatal checks (I didn't realise these were compulsory?) and Fiona had reported a low mood.

And I think starting these proceedings alienated the parents which is why they were suspicious of ss later on. Understandably so imo.

I don't understand why ss rushed into trying to take away the first unborn child without trying some more positive outreach strategies. At that stage they had been known to ss for only a couple of months. I can understand rushing proceedings to take unborn children if there was evidence of child abuse towards siblings or more serious concerns such as drug abuse and violence between the parents, but I don't think a low mood and avoidance of prenatal checks is a huge red flag.

Sharaluck Sun 26-Jan-14 00:54:39

Also the buggies and playpen incidents obviously happened AFTER the child/ren had been born.

I said ss overreacted with the initial cp proceedings that occurred before the first child was born. And I think this in turn hampered efforts by sw after the children were born as the parents became more paranoid and avoidant of sw and children's services etc.

macdoodle Sun 26-Jan-14 01:12:00

Well we dont know thats the entire story, and IMO (I work in the medical field), there would have been much more than this. The papers want to pain the father (and even the mother) as poor innocent victims let down by social services. What a piece of crap, when will we start expecting people in this society to take responsibility for their own actions and stop finding someone to blame.

Topaz25 Sun 26-Jan-14 06:43:36

I am surprised people are blaming the father. The mother stabbed him, she was clearly abusive towards him. If it was the other way around and a woman was stabbed by her husband who went on to kill her children, would you be so quick to blame her? People are judging him for not using contraception and not going to the police but that is not so easy in an abusive relationship. I think people would be more understanding of a woman in the same situation.

horsetowater Sun 26-Jan-14 08:24:37

Does anyone know why exactly they wanted to take her first child away and why she was on the radar before the first birth? It can't be just because of low mood.

TheFabulousIdiot Sun 26-Jan-14 08:36:12

The Case review it says something about previous issues and also some troubles within her own family so she and her parents may already have been known to social services. It doesn't sound like she came from a very healthy background which perhaps explains a bit why she made a bad relationship choice and so young.

horsetowater Sun 26-Jan-14 08:42:32

If there was abuse stil in her own family and if she was deemed a vulnerable adult I could understand this. 'Previous issues' is a bit vague if that's the argument being used by ss.

horsetowater Sun 26-Jan-14 08:44:27

It is sounding more like she was vulnerable and that ss believed her partner was taking advantage of that.

Daddyofone Sun 26-Jan-14 09:05:23

I imagine the meetings between SS were pretty much like this thread. Endless discussion and hand wringing , accusation and counter accusation.

When all these sad cases emerge of kids tortured and killed by their parent/s the common factor seems to be 50+ visits from SS and other agencies.

Ooh, is it the mans fault. No it's the woman's fault. No it's the ..... etc etc etc.

If SS can't protect kids after 50 visits they're pretty bloody useless. Worse than useless imo

Poppiesway Sun 26-Jan-14 09:22:12

Yes macdoodle, exactly. There is a lot of extra information that was not released which is so frustrating when you read all the misinformation. I don't know why information is not publicised. Wether it was to protect other people I'm not sure, but by doing so it's almost releasing some of the blame from the father. (Who was not always around to help the mother and was too busy hanging around with people we would class as undesirable characters)

This case has certainly made me realise to take all information released in other cases with a pinch of salt.

Lioninthesun Sun 26-Jan-14 09:44:13

As we have seen on other threads where SS is in the media, we know that we are always going to get a biased view because SS are bound by confidentiality. We will never know what went on to alert them or what they were investigating initially, be it in the mother's family, father's family or their own family. To say that they were 'useless' is unfair IMO - when MP's are going on about doing everything to avoid letting them in your house, the father lying about the fact the mother stabbed him and both of them not being able to parent the many children they chose to have - to blame a service that has to pander to public opinion, a judge and now MP's who have the press as their mouthpiece is a bit rich. Daddyofone, what would you have done in their situation? How would you have done the job better, bearing in mind how many people the SS have to please to protect someone's child? When you have MP's telling everyone that children are always better with their family, no matter what, this is what you get when the press back him up.

Lioninthesun Sun 26-Jan-14 09:47:51

Just to clarify - I know the system is broken and has flaws, but to blame them because in 50+ visits they hadn't been able to 'snatch' a baby (which is how the press would have portrayed it if it had happened) is naive.

Spero Sun 26-Jan-14 09:52:59

Ok, all of you upset that in 50 visits SW could not protect babies, how about this as a reform?

If a parent refuses to co-operate or let a SW into their house, SW are empowered to go with the police and kick down door and remove children?

Its a reform that would have saved a lot of children's lives. But I am not sure any of us would want to live in that kind of society.

Therefore I think it is important that we try to help people understand about why intervention from SW can sometimes be necessary. And we stop this passing of the buck from parents who claim that it isn't their responsibility to safe guard THEIR children.

TheXxed Sun 26-Jan-14 09:58:12

Spero I am happy to live in that kind of society.

Daddyofone Sun 26-Jan-14 10:20:26

50+ visits. Not 3 or 8. But over 50. That's pretty substantial no? Does that not ring humongous alarm bells for trained professionals ?

It's not about getting parents to be responsible and not simply passing the buck. Because these parents were evidently bloody useless, neglectful and abusive. It's about protecting helpless children who end up being tortured, starved and eventually murdered. Whilst on the SS radar.

If the agency tasked with protecting innocent helpless kids can't see any red flags and take action after FIFTY visits to one family then we as a society have failed.

These cases seem to be regular news stories these days.

horsetowater Sun 26-Jan-14 10:22:29

Without reverting to a feudal witch-hunt based legal system we have a great weapon that we can use to prevent these cases arising.

The weapon is education. Informing young adults of the definition of abuse and teaching them to recognise it for the poison that it is.

Helping abusive young people earn how to recognise a healthy relationship and thrive eithin it.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 26-Jan-14 10:30:58


Victims can make good parents, but many times on here we see threads where the victim has to be convinced that their DP isn’t a good parent because they abuse them.

“Why do you think women who suffer DV go to such lengths to get their kids away from the perpetrators?”

I am fairly sure that you don’t want to go in to the lack of provision for males victims of DV.

“the deaths probably wouldn't have been so 'completely unexpected' if he hadn't lied about her being the one to stab him...”

Again many victims of DV do not report the truth about what happened to them.


“Please do not project your own prejudices onto me.”

You mean where you take a full account of one person’s situation but not the other persons situation?


“So you are saying he shares no blame whatsoever?”

I am not saying that at all, I am saying that if we are going to take all of the mother’s problems in to account then we should do the same for the father, if for no other reason than he didn’t kill them.

The visits might have been regular things though. SS found that the family was struggling and say offered to visit weekly over a year or so for support (and monitoring of situation I guess) But I'm just saying that it would be quite easy to have 50 visits if you had a social worker assigned to your family?

Like your post too horsetowater - I think we could do much more through the education system to prepare people for relationships and parenting. Also other aspects of living independently as an adult.

Goldenbear Sun 26-Jan-14 10:32:22

Sharaluck, exactly, the 'neglect' happened after they were born - SS were proven right. She abused her children and went on to kill them - do you honestly believe that she did that to spite them and prove them right in their assessment of her? I don't think it would have made a blind bit of difference. She had the mindset of a murderer, how can you negotiate with that. The only solution that would've saved these children would've been their removal from her presence!

horsetowater Sun 26-Jan-14 10:45:24

50 visits isn't a lot. It is once every 3 weeks for 3 years. That is the problem with ss, they should be doing more support and education and less policing.

horsetowater Sun 26-Jan-14 10:47:28

Goldenbear the ss cp orders were there before the children were even born. They tried to preven this disaster but the law failed them.

Daddyofone Sun 26-Jan-14 10:53:56

Yeah, once every three weeks for three years still sounds like a hell of a lot to me.

TheXxed Sun 26-Jan-14 10:57:16

SS work with families long term, Daddy of one, some families can have 100s of visits to ensure that they are making improvements, monitor changes and adapt new strategies to ensure a positive outcome

Goldenbear Sun 26-Jan-14 10:58:21

Yes I know the law failed them and I know the protection orders were in place before they were born. My response was spefically relating to points made by Sharaluck. This woman committed the ultimate act of violence- murder and towards her own children. I think if she was of that mindset prior to having children as murder is a very extreme act it will not have been triggered by SS's 'overeaction' as Sharaluck assumes!

thecatfromjapan Sun 26-Jan-14 11:01:38

Can I just say that, for every story like this, there are many stories we don't hear about because SW, midwives, Child Protection people have managed to successfully intervene. Not only by taking the children into care (the nuclear option) but because the lower-level interventions of support and education have been offered, accepted and implemented.

Those "saves" can never make the news (it would be breaching confidentiality for a start, and "saves" are not news, because "nothing" has "happened" except for normal lives, rolling forwards) and it's a shame, really, because we get a ridiculously skewed view of the work that child protection people, social workers and so on do - and what they achieve.

horsetowater Sun 26-Jan-14 11:08:03

What a breath of fresh air, catfromjapan. smile

Goldenbear I wish we knew why they wanted to prevent her keeping the baby in the first place as I think that is the crux of the matter.

horsetowater Sun 26-Jan-14 11:10:09

It was clearly a tragedy waiting to happen.

Good point catfromjapan - I think that's such a problem for the social work profession. I wonder if social work organisations could work with representatives from the media and/or government to address this aspect?

Lioninthesun Sun 26-Jan-14 11:28:11

Boneyback no I don't want to turn this into a sexist debate - I was merely saying that no matter what your personal aspect as a parent is (victim or no) you are still a parent. Those children do not stop being your responsibility, unless you decide to hand them over to someone more capable (in itself possibly the most responsible thing either parent could have done here).

I am happy to hold into account the father's problems, although it won't distract from the fact he had some responsibility here. Can you state what they were? All of his suspected MH issues?

Lioninthesun Sun 26-Jan-14 11:32:20

Yes Juggling it would be nice if SOMEONE who is in charge of this country could put out some figures on how many children have been 'saved', seeing as there is so much mis-information on 'snatching' and the ever present 'forced' adoption (which is a label applicable to cases where the child has been rightfully removed but the abusive parents refuse to hand over rights for the child to be adopted into a loving family).

horsetowater Sun 26-Jan-14 11:42:24

I think we have to take it as given that most parents want to have a happy family for their children. When ss get involved the first thing they will want to tap into is the positive human trait of protection of their own. I am sure there are many cases of success but I am certain there would be a lot more if victims of abuse were able to learn about healthy relationships before they had their own. Perhaps this is what ss were hoping for when they tried to prevent this mother from keeping her first child.

Also think it would be good if we, as a society, could move more towards enabling those parents who are unable to cope with the challenging demands of parenting, to see working with social services and possibly letting their children be fostered by another family if that is for the best, as the most sensible and responsible way forwards.
I think there could be some helpful changes in the culture around all of this, even though legislation sometimes needs to come into play too.

Lioninthesun Sun 26-Jan-14 12:10:39

The sad thing is that the only MP who seems interested has a bone to grind with SS himself and has spent at least a decade setting up blogs and websites to scare the public by guessing at figures of 'forced' adoption (without fully explaining what that could and does entail) and telling the press that LA's get money for 'snatching' babies for adoption (without taking into account how much it then costs that LA to have a baby in care and legally arrange an adoption, which is a far far greater cost). Until some more MP's pull together and take this on to project a clear and non-bias presentation to the public, nothing will change. Next week or the month after JH will pop up again saying how he has had to pay a family to leave the country because they were being investigated for something they claim not to do, and it all starts again. No one ever points the finger to him and asks how he KNOWS that he isn't merely aiding abusive parents to continue their abuse in another country. Apparently this doesn't worry anyone.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 26-Jan-14 12:53:25


"I am happy to hold into account the father's problems, although it won't distract from the fact he had some responsibility here. Can you state what they were? All of his suspected MH issues?"

I can't state what they where, but neither can posters state what the MH situation was, yet her "vulnerability" is taken as a fact. Someone even posted that she must have been scared of what the Bf would do.

Does the father have responsibility for the children?
yes he does, he was still visiting them and had not abstained from responsibility.
Did he murder them or was he responsible for their murder?

No he wasn't, he wasn't there when it happened, but then NRPs are not always there.

TheXxed Sun 26-Jan-14 13:00:20

Women who are victims of domestic violence and also parents are held responsible for their childrens welfare.

Women are victims of domestic violence and do not take meaningful action to change the situation have losing parental rights as a consequence.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 26-Jan-14 13:15:01

"Women who are victims of domestic violence and also parents are held responsible for their childrens welfare."

But not held responsible for there murder at the hands of the father.

TheXxed Sun 26-Jan-14 14:02:48

Hello boney I don't think I made myself very clear in post.

I was not implying the father should be criminally liable for the deaths of his children.

I was simply pointing out to those who perceive a gender imbalance in these cases that women are held to account.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 26-Jan-14 14:36:52


Sorry, you are not but others on here are, many on this thread see the father as "culpable".

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