Another child who starved to death by sounds of things.

(85 Posts)
JakeBullet Wed 18-Sep-13 14:48:23

On the BBC news website.

Police found the mummified remains of a 4.5yr old child in a cot (in 2011).

Wearing clothes which would fit a six month old!

So

He didn't start school and nobody noticed.
Mum was an alcohol and cannibis user and nobody noticed.

Can't link as am on phone but can hardly believe that this child slipped so easily beneath the net and nobofy realised until his body was discovered two years afyer he dies!

Surely we have to be asking that ALL children are seen once a yeae for a mandatory welfare check.

PassTheCremeEggs Wed 18-Sep-13 14:50:55

Link here - m.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-24145299

So incredibly sad, these stories make me want to weep.

aStitchInTime Wed 18-Sep-13 14:58:47

I know, I just read that now. Horrifying.

NaturalBaby Wed 18-Sep-13 15:01:07

sad What went through that woman's head for all those months that her baby lay there?!

moondog Wed 18-Sep-13 15:02:30

How could people not notice he wasn't there any more?

CatAmongThePigeons Wed 18-Sep-13 15:04:26

That poor child. I heard this on the 2 o'clock news, not much can shock DH and I, but that did.

How that child could be so utterly failed by so many, I do not know.

picnicbasketcase Wed 18-Sep-13 15:07:21

Utterly appalling, so so sad. May he rest in peace.

thegriffon Wed 18-Sep-13 15:11:45

Its very easy for children to disappear. The family could have moved to the UK and not registered with a GP. Or child could have been born at home and birth not registered.

Nancy66 Wed 18-Sep-13 15:21:42

I'd like to know how come the father didn't notice that his kid hadn't been seen for two years.

He wasn't with the mother as far as I understand but he still lived in the area.

bootsycollins Wed 18-Sep-13 15:25:24

That poor little boy, his life must have been hell on earth.

Nancy66 Wed 18-Sep-13 15:35:57

In the only picture there seems to be of him he looks absolutely terrified of whoever is taking the photo.

BlackMogul Wed 18-Sep-13 15:49:16

This little boy was seen by Doctors because he had injuries. They just didn't ask how he got them and neither did the school. Dad is now in Poland but one can assume he was absent. He now says it is everyone else's fault but it looks like he took no part in the latter months of his son's life. It is of course, the fault of the mother and her boyfriend. I do wonder whether professionals are more diligent with some children than others. This Mother kept putting up plausible excuses and the professionals were not experienced or questioning enough to look behind her excuses. I thnk everyone involved here should hand their heads in shame and face the consequences.

FunnysInLaJardin Wed 18-Sep-13 16:17:50

Black that a different little boy. This one was found mummified in his cot. Awful and I have no idea how no one could notice for 2 years.

NanaNina Wed 18-Sep-13 16:30:56

blackMogul I think you are talking about the Daniel Pelka case, but others seem to be talking about another child.

My social work career spanned some 30 years though I retired in 2009. Until you have been on the "front line" of child protection work, you will not know how difficult and stressful that work is, and the point is that while ever there are cruel duplicitous people around who torture and murder their children, then there will be more deaths and that's a fact. All the procedures and "working together" will never totally eliminate risk to a child and I get so frustrated when these matters come to the public's attention because Chief Execs of Council will never say this, and always trot out the line about "lessons being learned." Every sw knows that you can't eliminate risk altogether, so why don't the Directors say so when they are interviewed on TV.

As it happens it's the school that seem to have overlooked so many signs of ill treatment and the Paediatrician that examined Daniel 3 weeks before he died, didn't spot child abuse and put his low birth weight down to worms.

So NO bm I don't think everyone involve should hang their heads in shame. Thousands of children on "at risk" registers on a national basis are monitored and kept safe by agencies working together. Occasionally a child dies and yes that's terrible but the blame lies with the mother and the step father.

Patients die in hospitals because of medical errors or have the wrong limb amputated or the wrong kidney removed but there is no Serious Case Review, no one knows anything about it (other than the family/friends of the patient,) because it doesn't come to the attention of the public. The police kill people and then lie about it to cover their tracks and again no Serious Case Review, so please lay off social workers who do their utmost to protect children, though it's small wonder that social workers do NOT want to go into child protection work and who can blame them.

BinarySolo Wed 18-Sep-13 18:17:55

I i originally thought it sounded like the mum was mentally ill or drunk/stoned. Apparently she drank more after his death. The article says something about her still claiming cb, but surely this was just not cancelling it. Then I read she didn't call for help the night he died but did order a pizza.

Also she'd gone to the chemist because he was very ill, but was called back due to how I'll he was. Who was looking after him and why did they not notice/report his death.

It's too easy to slip through the net. I moved counties and registered my Ds with a doctor and health visitor. I've been here over a year and have only just met the health visitor and that's because we've just had another baby. Imagine if I'd wanted to disappear.

lagoonhaze Wed 18-Sep-13 18:24:00

well said nananina.

CinnabarRed Wed 18-Sep-13 18:38:10

It really bothers me that my county no longer ever tries to see every child at key ages. They send a letter for you to fill out and return when the baby is 8m and 2 years. No-one seems to monitor whether the letter is actually returned, or that the content marries up with the child.

JakeBullet Wed 18-Sep-13 18:57:04

NanaNina is right and this is not a "bash the social worker" thread. I am just amazed that a child can be born here and nobody asks questions when that child does not start school etc.

I agree that if a child moves into the country it can be harder to monitor. I used to work with families and while visiting one family was called by a couple emptying out a flat to ask if I knew where the occupants had gone (disappeared owing lots of rent) and I knew NOTHNG about them despite the fact that they had a small child. They had come from another country, never registered with a GP and then left again....presumably to go home. Child never seen.

I wonder if there is a case for mandatory welfare checks for ALL children. Or is this damning the vast majority of excellent parents out there?

BinarySolo Wed 18-Sep-13 19:02:46

Jake, it's not just parents that have move countries that can slip through the net, it's those that move counties. I moved from Derbyshire to West Yorkshire and never saw the health visitor even tho I registered. Seems you only have to change boroughs to disappear. It's very worrying.

LynetteScavo Wed 18-Sep-13 19:15:46

I'm not amazed that nobody notices when a child starts school.

What is there in place to ensure a child has started education? Does anyone check if a child is registered with a school, or if they are being home educated?

DN was HE for three years before anyone seemed notice. SIL told the school verbally rather than officially de-registering by letter, so I don't know if that made a difference.

DD was born at home, and the midwife obviously missed out some paper work somewhere. The registry office obviously didn't expect her to be registered, she was never sent apt's for hearing tests, I had to chase for things like vaccinations, and we weren't given the information on registering for schools, which seem to be sent out automatically to most people.

So, I can see how easily a child could be invisible.

bonzo77 Wed 18-Sep-13 19:19:08

This has brought tears to my eyes. That poor poor little boy. I'm not defending her, the poor mother had some serious problems. Addicted and a victim of domestic abuse. I guess she saw little value in her life or that of her baby. If the boy was in aged 6-9 months clothes at 4.5 years, this situation must have been going on for at least 3 years. Probably more. How can no one have noticed? Or worse still noticed and do nothing?

nicename Wed 18-Sep-13 19:22:52

Another one? There was one like this not all that long ago - a poor mite lying in a filthy cot basically mummified and under a pile of manky clothes.

Shooting is too good for some people...

nicename Wed 18-Sep-13 19:24:54

Oh shit why did I look at that link? The poor wee soul looks the spit of DS - big chocolate eyes and gorgeous curls.

Erebus Wed 18-Sep-13 20:44:23

You either want a Big Brother State where everyone and everything is monitored 24/7; or you want a functional democracy where people are entitled to their privacy and freedom.

In the first this child and the little Pelka boy don't die (but you maybe pay 50% tax to pay for all the surveillance and you accept many intrusive questions and checks into your own family); in the latter, some poor little kids fall through the net.

Choose.

But the people who let this poor child down were his parents. Not a social worker with a massive caseload; not a teacher with 27 odd DC to 'monitor'; not anyone other than his parents, when push comes to shove.

It's horrific, it's confronting, it's shocking. But it's actually not my fault (or necessarily yours), nor Social Services, or the school where this child may have been.

Those who may think differently: Can you name and age every child on your street? In your block? Notices any irregularities? Worried enough about 'stuff' to contact the police? (In some places I've lived that'd be every second house!)- Or not taking much notice beyond the odd 'Hi!' to the harried/disengaged parent? So are you guilty if the above atrocity happened to that child? Or is it just 'agents of the state' who carry the blame? Whether that DC has come to their notice in a persistent or unusual way yet didn't act?

We need to be careful for what we wish for.

Lagoonablue Wed 18-Sep-13 21:44:37

The photo is haunting. He looks scared.

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