Amanda Hutton found guilty of manslaughter

(348 Posts)
Rowlers Thu 03-Oct-13 17:12:53

Just that.
I find the photo of that poor little boy very distressing.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 03-Oct-13 18:10:30

I find the fact that a child could go missing for 4 years very distressing. It took a community policewoman responding to a complaint about nappies being thrown over a fence two minutes to realise something seriously wrong was going on. How did this terrible woman escape detection for so long?

deepfriedsage Thu 03-Oct-13 18:14:26

Very distressing.

Mintyy Thu 03-Oct-13 18:17:54

Its astonishing that an entire family could live in a house like that and neighbours/relatives/teachers not even know! I don't know if social services were involved?

HoleyGhost Thu 03-Oct-13 18:25:11

I suspect that HVs and SS often rescue families like this. Utter tragedy that this one slipped through the net - for all involved.

Somethingtothinkabout Thu 03-Oct-13 18:27:47

Heartbreaking. It's so tragic when you think of how many couples would have been thrilled to give that little boy a loving home.

Has it been reported where his father was?

duchesse Thu 03-Oct-13 18:31:47

Holey I agree. We have some awful cases in the news at the moment and a lot of anger being misdirected at social services. I have a few SW friends and I know that they routinely deal with families like these, teetering on the edge. The ones they deal with are the ones where the children remain relatively safe. These unfortunate little ones slipped between the cracks.

There will probably always be incompetent parents. SW will always be needed. They will not always get it right.

curlew Thu 03-Oct-13 18:33:01

I can't understand why his father wasn't in court too.

peachesandpickles Thu 03-Oct-13 18:36:38

I can't get my head around the fact that there were other children living in that house.
Poor, poor kids. Where did think their little brother was? They must be deeply traumatised.

duchesse Thu 03-Oct-13 18:37:41

What I can't stand is the extended families (ie the dad of little Hamzah, the older brother etc) blethering on about how they tried to get SW and police interested, how they knew this was going to happen, and blaming social services.

Surely, as adults in the entourage of the poor little mite, as the flipping relatives, they could have basically taken over the situation, gone to house, demanded to see the child, taken him away and fed him and alerted the authorities. I rather hope that even they didn't know how bad it really was- if they did then they're almost as guilty of neglect as the mother herself. In fact the older brother did know. He even knew his brother was dead as apparently he was baby-sitting the night the child died. I bet the dad knew he was dead as well- how could a late teenager keep something like that to himself and deal with it? The older brother will surely have told him. Which I guess is why they didn't pursue the matter of the little one's whereabouts and welfare.

curlew Thu 03-Oct-13 18:40:34

Wasn't the father charged with something bizarre like failing to dispose of a dead body properly?

curlew Thu 03-Oct-13 18:41:21

It said on the news she was an alcoholic, and one day of the trial had to be adjourned because she was too drunk to attend.

CheeryCherry Thu 03-Oct-13 18:50:13

That photo sad Those eyes...
It's 2013...this shouldn't be happening in our country, in any country.
So so tragic.

TensionWheelsCoolHeels Thu 03-Oct-13 19:01:46

It's her eldest son who is also charged with failing to properly dispose of a dead body, not the father.

I hope she gets the maximum sentence possible.

Wannabestepfordwife Thu 03-Oct-13 19:02:41

I really don't understand the father or brother if I suspected my child or sibling was being abused I would move heaven and earth to get custody not just leave them to it.

The poor other siblings I really hope they get the help they need and aren't left with PTSD or severe trauma from their ordeal

duchesse Thu 03-Oct-13 19:02:54

I have a whole bunch of questions:the older children were all school aged. Were they attending school? Did their mother ever take them? Did she ever take their poor little brother with her? Did nobody look at the child and notice that he seemed pinched and tiny at best?

Frankly, given that all the older children all seem to have survived, I'm surmising that Hamzah did in fact have some kind of medical problem that meant he was more vulnerable than his siblings. I'm not saying the mother looked after her other children well (she almost certainly did not) but they all seem to have survived so there must have been some food in the house. She was however ridiculously gung-ho about a child with enormous health problems. The mother says that the child did "from natural causes". What the stupid bat fails to understand apparently is that starvation is rarely what actually kills people- it's the diseases enabled by a weakened immune system that kill. A child that malnourished could have been carried off by the common cold.

Mintyy Thu 03-Oct-13 19:06:35

Its also deeply shocking that you can hit rock bottom like that as an alcoholic (is it possible to go any lower?) and that still not be enough to make you give up drinking.

curlew Thu 03-Oct-13 19:09:14

mintyy- I have a dear friend who was found by 4 of her neighbours unconscious and naked on her kitchen floor in a pool of her own urine and faeces. That was a year ago and she's still drinking........

ZiaMaria Thu 03-Oct-13 19:12:52

The father wasn't allowed near the house I think. There was DV and she had a nonmolestation order against him.

Rowlers Thu 03-Oct-13 19:21:36

The more you hear about it, the worse it gets.
The sad thing is, you know there will be another similar story along in the near future.
Curlew sad

DowntonTrout Thu 03-Oct-13 19:29:22

This is a failure of a whole community, not one person.

This disgusting woman, I say that because she disgusts me but so do the others involved in this, was an alcoholic, with 8 children, living in an absolute hovel , was abused by the father of some/all of her children.

5 children living in that house were school aged, can you imagine that not one of them noticed or said anything about their baby brother?

The sad excuse of a father, who was charged with a domestic violence incident against this woman, is just as guilty as she is. So is the elder brother charged with failure to dispose of a dead body, I mean, what the hell goes through the minds of these people?

This is a sad reflection on a very small section of society. There were mistakes made along the way, by the police, social services and midwives/her GP (she was struck off from the surgery for not attending appointments.) but at the risk of going all Daily Mail, how are such dis functional families able to keep breeding and being paid for by the state?

Thank goodness for the policewoman who had the tenacity to keep going back and trying to gainaccess. Sadly too late.

Catkinsthecatinthehat Thu 03-Oct-13 19:44:54

That photo Those eyes...

Oh God, I know. I was thinking about this case last night when sorting out some of DS's old baby clothes for a charity shop. His body was found dressed in a 6-9 month babygrow when he died as he was so stunted and malnourished. DS is 20 months, and those size clothes looked tiny next to him. For a four year old to fit in one....

MikeLitoris Thu 03-Oct-13 19:52:55

Those photos are shocking. I just cannot fathom how this happened.

So many people failed that poor child.

BMW6 Thu 03-Oct-13 20:01:52

The Mother failed the child. No-one else starved that poor child to death.
The buck stops there.

curlew Thu 03-Oct-13 20:03:47

"The Mother failed the child. No-one else starved that poor child to death.
The buck stops there."

No it doesn't. The mother was an alcoholic victim of domestic violence in a country which supposedly has systems in place to protect the vulnerable. The buck does not stop with her.

duchesse Thu 03-Oct-13 20:05:09

No BMW, the buck does not stop there- many other adults were aware of this child's existence and failed to help him as well. His mother may have been his main carer but she is patently unable to look after any child, let alone with potential health problems.

WiddleAndPuke Thu 03-Oct-13 20:11:11

I don't like myself for thinking this but I really sincerely hope that this creature gets beaten regularly in prison. I know its wrong but there you go.

DowntonTrout Thu 03-Oct-13 20:11:37

Bloody hell. The child had a father as well. He is equally responsible.

curlew Thu 03-Oct-13 20:12:58

"I don't like myself for thinking this but I really sincerely hope that this creature gets beaten regularly in prison. I know its wrong but there you go"

Yep. That's wrong. Glad you know it is.

DowntonTrout Thu 03-Oct-13 20:14:42

Or, at least, he should be.

D0G Thu 03-Oct-13 20:16:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mintyy Thu 03-Oct-13 20:22:10

I am also just so desperately sad for all the other children involved.

Living in a house like that ... didn't they turn up for school every day in filthy clothes, and undernourished?

It just seems impossible. What about her neighbours? I am honestly scratching my head about it all.

Rip dear little boy.

There are many parents who deal with domestic violence and alcohol addiction together with a host of other problems. They still raise children who are not negelected to death, though they aren't unaffected either.

This is an extreme case and the responsibility for the neglect lies at the foot of the person convicted today who should have cared for him. That doesn't mean that other people connected with the family - both personally and professionally - shouldn't also be questioning their actions.
Cruelty may be hidden by a malign will. Neglect should perhaps be more obvious. This should never have happened.

BMW6 Thu 03-Oct-13 20:31:26

FFS if a father had done this to a child under his parental responsibility there would have been a unanimous 100% voting to string him up.

There is no-one else responsible for her child starving to death, then being left for 2 years to rot in his cot, than her.

I'm all for vulnerable children being taken into care, but so many (far too many) times now the child's rights are being outweighed by the parents.

Coffeenowplease Thu 03-Oct-13 20:37:42

I just dont understand it.

The older children went to school. There is no way they were always dressed/clean/not hungry. No way. No one noticed ? Did they ever talk about a brother or what was going on ? Some off hand comment ?

I just dont understand how something so bad was missed

And her and the brother, when the child died they "didnt want to call the police" What the fuck did they think would happen ? The body of the poor child would vanish ? And when he was dying the didnt get any kind of help. She rushed home - why didnt they call an ambulance then ?

Coffeenowplease Thu 03-Oct-13 20:38:23

I am also so shocked she still turned up to court so drunk she couldnt testify.

BMW6 Thu 03-Oct-13 20:43:38

Every day, several times a day, she alone made the choice not to feed that particular child. out of all her children, she CHOSE to starve that one child.
SHE heard him crying. SHE had food available to feed that child. SHE did not feed him.

How can anyone say that she is not responsible?

Mintyy Thu 03-Oct-13 20:51:07

I don't think anyone is saying she is not responsible.

Sindarella Thu 03-Oct-13 20:53:52

I don't get the manslaughter conviction. It wasn't manslaughter, she didn't accidentally kill that poor boy. He was purposely neglected, starved and left to die. In my eyes it was murder. But then i think its murder if you kick someone in the head and they die from their injuries. If you know doing something could kill someone, and do it anyway, i believe thats murder.
That poor boy, makes me want to cuddle my boys just a little bit longer tonight.

Pinkpinot Thu 03-Oct-13 20:56:09

Just shocking
So sad
So many questions

Sindarella Thu 03-Oct-13 20:57:24

I think she is more responsible than anyone else, he was in her care. Everyone else involved let him down, they failed him.

BMW6 Thu 03-Oct-13 21:03:11

I don't think anyone is saying she is not responsible.

Read upthread. The Father, Social Services, The Neighbours..... anyone but The Mother. It appears to get you a Get Out Of Jail card. Or at least, a Someone Else's fault voucher.

Absolutely sickening. I hope the bitch suffers horribly. I wish she would be starved too, but that isn't going to happen, sadly.

BMW6 Thu 03-Oct-13 21:14:31

No it doesn't. The mother was an alcoholic victim of domestic violence in a country which supposedly has systems in place to protect the vulnerable. The buck does not stop with her.

See, an example of utter crap.

No BMW, the buck does not stop there- many other adults were aware of this child's existence and failed to help him as well. His mother may have been his main carer but she is patently unable to look after any child, let alone with potential health problems.

More absolute shite.

I will reiterate, this Mother CHOSE to not feed this partcular child. No-one forced or coerced her to do so. She CHOSE to do so.
When the child finally died, she alone CHOSE to leave the body in the cot to rot.

For whatever reason, she alone singled out this child for her abuse, no one else.

wannaBe Thu 03-Oct-13 21:18:00

and yet again because she is a woman people are saying she is a victim (mercifully not many of them but still...)

if this was the father nobody would be calling for the absent mother to be charged.

A mother starved her child to death and then kept his body for years. That was her choice and her's alone.

Should others have spotted something was amiss - almost certainly.

but she didn't allow professionals in. Nowhere has there been talk that the teachers etc from school had concerns about the children (such as in the case of Daniel Pelka).

How many people on here for instance, if someone says they don't like their hv and are sure everything's ok advise them that "you don't need to see your hv if you don't want to."

It should have been murder not manslaughter and she should get life.

meditrina Thu 03-Oct-13 21:19:30

There were reporting restrictions on this case.

They have been lifted only partially.

handcream Thu 03-Oct-13 21:24:09

I have to say I agree with BMW. When mothers do things like this or stand by and let their children be abused by their latest boyfriend time and time again they make a choice, they choose themselves. They dont choose their children. Its all about THEM. We can say 'ah , well yes she was a DV victim'. So bloody what in this case. The alleged abuser had long gone. So, lets think up Excuse 2. Blame SS, and so it goes on.

Having said that I believe that women who have committed this sort of crime dont do well in prison as in they are prone to be attacked by other prisoners. Of course they will be protected but if they are with a prison offcier and someone runs toward her with a home made knife then not in a million years would the prison officer be expected to defend her with their life.

JumpingJackSprat Thu 03-Oct-13 21:27:20

i too do not understand why its not murder. a child is dead because of her deliberate actions. rest in peace.

handcream Thu 03-Oct-13 21:28:01

I have to say I have seen posters saying you dont have to let HV's in or attend GP's appointments. You can claim to Home Educate. Its YOUR right. And then something like this happens.

I agree, when a women kills her child some are looking for excuses and to blame others. If the father had done this I would suspect that all of us would want him to rot in hell.

And it does seem much more common for mothers to do this to their own children. The women who jumped off a cliff holding her children. Daniel P, Baby B. There were scum bag partners often but they werent the child's father.

Bowlersarm Thu 03-Oct-13 21:28:44

curlew I think you're being too kind to her.

I cannot believe that a mother could do that to her child. There is no excuse for her.

Mintyy Thu 03-Oct-13 21:39:39

But why not question the father's role in all of this? It doesn't mean no one is blaming the mother.

timtam23 Thu 03-Oct-13 21:47:40

Very, very sad.

The BBC report says that in 2011 (when Hamzah's body was found) there were 5 children of school age in the house - the youngest was 5. So when Hamzah died in 2009, that youngest child would have been 2 or 3 - presumably that child was missing appointments etc as well, or else more concerns might have been raised about Hamzah?
I work in health care services and do hear & see some awful awful things about the consequences of alcohol abuse and also child safeguarding but this case has been really harrowing. And as meditrina says, I'm sure we don't know the half of it.

Sindarella Thu 03-Oct-13 21:50:23

He should have done something, all this about him phoning ss an them not doing anything rubbish, if i suspected my dc was being treated like this and no one was listening i would go and take them, i dont care what order was against me. If i got away with it, great, if not at least someone would have to take me seriously.

He is part to blame. But as his main carer, she takes full responsibility. Alcohol is no excuse. She chose to abuse him, she chose to let him die.

handcream Thu 03-Oct-13 21:56:26

This is clearly a very disfunctional family. FGS - the women had child after child.

I do think though that with the ethnic side of this and also the sheer number of children, that people were loath to report or storm in and get those children out. It is drummed in by many on MumsNet that we must not judge people, 8 children, her choice, not working or clearly has a problem with drink. Still dont judge. House smells to high heaven, maybe she has hoarding issues and it goes on and one. The signs were there

handcream Thu 03-Oct-13 21:59:03

The house was truly in a shocking state. However there was a hoarding thread recently and when I suggested that some people living in pig stys were doing it by choice I was flamed. I was told that they had mental health issues and I needed to understand them better. Of course there are some people who suffer mentally around throwing things out. However some are lazy, it means no cleaning, no putting out the bins, no people around because your house is a tip, no changing towels and beds.

Chipstick10 Thu 03-Oct-13 22:08:06

Why do we have social services? Omg how many children are going to be failed.? Agencies, police, doctors they all failed the poor little soul. I could cry. And every time they say " it was wrong, we have learnt lessons" then it happens all over again.

Mintyy Thu 03-Oct-13 22:08:11

I don't see what "the ethnic side of this" has to do with anything.

handcream Thu 03-Oct-13 22:18:22

In fact didnt the statement come out today 'saying lessons will be learnt'. It's becoming the 'thing' to say. Problem is that no one believes it!

SinisterBuggyMonth Thu 03-Oct-13 22:45:36

I suspect it was reduced to manslaughter instead of murder to reduce the chance of her being found not guilty, although in my eyes it was murder.

That poor little boy, the photo is so haunting, he looks terrified. Whose to say his school age siblings weren't the same?

DV and alcholism effects millions of people and parents, but imo slowly starving your child to death is something completely separate.

curlew Thu 03-Oct-13 23:07:39

"I do think though that with the ethnic side of this"
What does that mean?

curlew Thu 03-Oct-13 23:09:20

"I have to say I have seen posters saying you dont have to let HV's in or attend GP's appointments"


You don't hve to let HVs in. You don't have to go and see the GP. But don't complain when you do those things and have them questioned. In a MINORITY of cases the reason for doing that is not parental choice but to cover up wrongdoing. As parents if we want choices about how we bring up our kids we have to accept that those choices will be challenged and questioned and that doing so IS in the interests of all children, however much of a pita it may be at the time.

Re the murder/manslaughter thing. I think that for a charge of murder you have to prove some intent or knowledge by the accused that their actiuons would lead to death. In this case you can argue that though she starved him she didn't intend to kill him. Same with Mick Philpott - although he set fire to the house where his kids were sleeping he didn't intend to kill them. In neither case does the distinction mean much. Children died at the hands of their parents. It's a crime.

wannaBe Fri 04-Oct-13 01:24:46

"he should have done something." What exactly? There was a restraining order preventing him from coming near the house. For all we know she may have claimed that these were malicious alegations because of their acrimonius split. In fact I would like to bet that she was never a victim of domestic violence at all.

deepfriedsage Fri 04-Oct-13 05:47:18

Wannabe, maybe she drank to escape memories of abuse she endured and guilt at failing her children?

curlew Fri 04-Oct-13 05:50:06

" In fact I would like to bet that she was never a victim of domestic violence at all."


cupcake78 Fri 04-Oct-13 06:21:20

Wanabe that's an appalling thing to suggest! What she did was horrendous and unimaginable however she most very definitely had issues. Sadly its extremely common for alcohol/drugs/reckless behaviour to be used to hide memories and trauma. Where was the help for her? She was in the system, her dh had a restraining order on him. Who was checking up on her and her other children, obviously no one!

Yes she as his mother is responsible but so is every other adult who suspected/knew and didn't make enough fuss to get something done or report the death.

Those children must have smelt bad, why were they not checked up on at school? The brothers who knew where adults and should have reported it. As for the dad! If I suspected my child was ill/small/mistreated I would move heaven and earth to get someone in that house. He didn't have to go to the house but a few days standing in the police station refusing to move until someone checked should have done it. He is to blame as well! He still saw his son, he could have taken him to the doctors every time he had him until somebody did something. He knew she had a drinking problem and was responsible for children yet let it continue. He should be jailed for child neglect at least.

She is responsible for starving him but everyone else is guilty of allowing it to happen. I genuinely hope she gets the help she needs to realise the full extent of what she's done instead of just getting drunk.

PlatinumStart Fri 04-Oct-13 06:22:32

The father had been prosecuted for DV and as I understand it was not allowed near the house. In one of the police interviews in relation to his DV he tells the police she is neglecting the child and that someone needs to do something - the tape was played in court and rather chillingly concludes with him saying when this comes out, when you understand what she is doing I will come back and say I told you so.

A female police officer also claims she spent a significant amount of time at the house 8 months before body was found and there was nothing untoward hmm

cupcake78 Fri 04-Oct-13 06:26:24

And then what did he do? Just give up!

Yes I agree the police have been shockingly bad but the dad should have kept going and going and going until something was done.

meditrina Fri 04-Oct-13 06:44:54

"And then what did he do? Just give up!"

When no-one believes you, because it's assumed that the accusations are a continuation of the DV/abuse/control, then yes there does come a point where you know you will never be believed.

cupcake78 Fri 04-Oct-13 06:50:36

So you go to social services and sit there for days. To the school and sit there for days. To the doctors and sit there for days. You go to the local press and report it. You stand on a bench in the middle of town and scream till something is done about it. You get arrested time and time again and each time you insist they do something about it because.

You become the biggest pain in the bum known to mankind until the agencies get so sick of you they have to do something with you.

If its your dc you never never never just give up on them.

cupcake78 Fri 04-Oct-13 06:52:58

I do realise this shouldn't need to be done but he still held parental responsibility. He knew. He is responsible as well.

meditrina Fri 04-Oct-13 06:55:07

There were also calls to SS alerting them to the situation of Keanu Williams, which did not lead to action. Not much detail on those as such.

When you are written off as making abusive and malicious accusations, then whereas yes you could carry on, you will make no headway.

cupcake78 Fri 04-Oct-13 07:09:55

If he was so sure why didn't he go to the house, if he could go upstairs to the baby. Phone the police and say come and arrest me. Im in breech of my restraining order, then I will show you what I'm talking about with regards to my son?

Did he? Not that I'm aware.

meditrina Fri 04-Oct-13 07:15:21

I think he didn't go to the house because of the restraining order against him. I do not think he knew what was going on, other than things he had heard from others (and it is often hard to get hearsay listened too, even without the background of abuse).

There were however other adults who did have access to the house, and perhaps they should have done more.

Lazyjaney Fri 04-Oct-13 07:26:30

The thing in common with all these events is the ability of the RP to lead everyone a real dance. Add to that the real issues NRPs have with access if RPs are not co-operative, IMO people here are being far too quick to implicate others and reduce the responsibility of the mother.

JakeBullet Fri 04-Oct-13 07:57:06

If Amanda Hutton has been drinking every day then she is going to have one hell of a hangover this morning. She was remanded in custody and I can't imagine that vodka was on the menu in the custody suite.

As for the case, sadly it is all too easy to avoid the authorities if you are determined enough. I gather that the Serious Case Review has already been done but not published until all criminal procedures have finished. From what I have read it would appear that this child wasn't known to anybody in an official capacity....or at least not known well enough to raise significant concerns.

Nobody HAS to see a HV, nobody HAS to see a GP. If nobody raises any concerns then that is that. In fact it seems there were some concerns in this case and a community support officer spent months plugging away until the day Amanda Hutton let her in.

duchesse Fri 04-Oct-13 08:21:47

A female police officer also claims she spent a significant amount of time at the house 8 months before body was found and there was nothing untoward

Maybe this was a situation that needed the fresh, unjaded eyes of a brand new community police officer. I guess police people see so many awful things that a bit of crud on the floor of a family house seems unremarkable.

duchesse Fri 04-Oct-13 08:30:54

Don't get me wrong, I think this woman is a shit mother whose allegiance was entirely to alcohol. I do think however that this child may have well have had additional needs that meant he was unable to fend for himself as presumably the others had been.

Without wanting to out anybody, I have two sets of friends who have adopted UK sibling groups. In both cases the children were vastly neglected. In one set a group of very young (toddler) siblings were found in a park across the road from their house looking for food for their baby (under 1) brother whom they had in a pushchair, because even they had realised he needed feeding.

In the other group, police officers broke down the door of the house to find all the children malnourished, but the littlest one (under 1) fiercely guarding from the others a packet of cereal that she'd found.

I think that most NT children even under the age of 1 have a basic survival instinct, which this little one seems not to have had even though his siblings appear to have done. There must have been food in the house or the older children would have starved as well. Which is why I'm wondering whether he did not have additional needs that obviously being totally shit at parenting, his parents did not cater for.

JumpingJackSprat Fri 04-Oct-13 09:29:23

duchesse what difference does it make if the child has SEN? its not up to him to look after himself!!

kiriwawa Fri 04-Oct-13 09:43:28

I'm not sure that the older children were at school - the report I read in the Grauniad said that they were malnourished, in nappies and unable to walk sad

Of course the system should have looked out for these children. It doesn't make Amanda Hutton any less culpable, but children should be protected against abject parental neglect. It's not binary. And it's absurd to say that people wouldn't feel that social services/other agencies had a responsibility if she'd been a man hmm

wannaBe Fri 04-Oct-13 09:56:38

Oh so it was the father that was responsible (even though he did go to the police), the police, the social workers, everyone else but the mother who was the one who knowingly neglected six children and kept a body in her bedroom for two years. She seems to have had the presence of mind to evade the authorities for that length of time, yet she clearly was suffering and the poor love didn’t get any help.

Fuck that. I’m sick of this attitude which seems to suggest that if it’s a woman who kills her children (through whatever means) then there must somehow be some mitigating circumstances. Mental illness/abuse/alchoholism, anything but personal responsibility. When will people realise that women kill their children. That women are just as capable of abusing their children as men?

Amanda hutton chose to drink. She chose to neglect her six children. She chose to conceal the body of her child who at the age of four was in a nine month babygrow. She chose to carry on drinking even though her drinking had led to the death of her own child. Maybe the brother who helped conceal the body was also a victim of abuse? After all he was her child, so it stands to reason that he will have grown up in an abusive household. Sympathy for him? Oh no, because he’s a man isn’t he. angry

Coffeenowplease Fri 04-Oct-13 10:11:26

I read a report saying the youngest were still in nappies. Youngest plural. The youngest child you have been 5.

Thats worrying. Im guessing they didnt go to school either then.

Wannabestepfordwife Fri 04-Oct-13 10:13:36

kirwawa just read that it really brought a lump to my throat those poor children are going to need such specialised care.

Hutton killed the poor mite no doubt about it but the father and brothers could have and should have done more. Also if she's the horrific person he says she is (I am inclined to believe him) then why did he keep having children with her. I'm not blaming him for the situation I just don't quite understand it.

wannaBe Fri 04-Oct-13 10:26:48

aren't there always other parties who should be aware when someone murders their children though?

These things rarely happen in isolation; there is almost always some sign that things are amiss, surely? even if it's not outright neglect, then evidence of mh issues etc?

Who knows why anyone stays in a bad relationship, but there are enough people who do which mean it's far too simplistic to suggest that leaving is the easy way out...

And given the father was then denied access to his children once the relationship ended it's not hard to see why he stayed.

FairyJen Fri 04-Oct-13 10:28:40

What gets me in particular about this case is that it IS murder. The level of deception involved tells you this. The child was found in a cot in the mothers bedroom. So how does that work? We're the other children told never to enter that room? We're they told he had left? Or were they forced to say silent?

What needs to happen to help prevent this is a change I. Legislation which grants health care professionals and as the same rights if access as the police.

As a sw I cannot enter a house without permission. If I feel the need is so great I can ring the police. However ( speaking from bitter experience) if the police cannot see a visible cause or a significant and immediate risk of harm to a child from the doorway ( if still refused access ) they won't get ou in either!

duchesse Fri 04-Oct-13 10:30:47

Fairy- I bet that despite the rules even as a SW, if you knew a child was in immediate danger inside you'd be in there like a shot! Anyone would, surely? If a house were on fire you wouldn't wait for a warrant to save the occupants.

Wannabestepfordwife Fri 04-Oct-13 10:31:51

Another thing I don't quite understand is did she quit drinking while pregnant or was it just not picked up on I mean it would be a huge red flag someone drinking heavily while pregnant

Lilka Fri 04-Oct-13 10:33:38

duchesse Whilst I agree that generally even very young children have a strong survival instinct and try and fend for themselves if they physically can, this child was only in 6 month clothes wasn't he, when he was found. He probably never grew much at all and it's unlikely IMHO that he could have supported himself even to crawl by his last months/year, let alone walk - I've seen pictures of 5-8 year olds waiting for adoption is foregn orphanages, weighing very little and totally unable to crawl etc, just from malnutriton, literally sometimes weighing under 10 pounds, size of a newborn. It's quite likely IMHO that in the last months before his death, Hamza couldn't even crawl, so how's he supposed to do anything for himself or find food?

FairyJen Fri 04-Oct-13 10:33:54

To the pp who mentioned her hangover, if she is a serious alcoholic she will ha e been given a drink to stop her going into shock. With serious alcoholism going cold turkey can kill you

FairyJen Fri 04-Oct-13 10:35:07

If your not allowed access how do you k ow of the danger tho? Rushing in and being wrong means you've lost our job and never working as a sw again

wannaBe Fri 04-Oct-13 10:38:35

"Fairy- I bet that despite the rules even as a SW, if you knew a child was in immediate danger inside you'd be in there like a shot! Anyone would, surely?" no. Because you have to get it right for the benefit of the child. Enough people see sw as heavy-handed child snatchers as it is without them taking the law into their hands and rushing in on a gut instinct. Plus doing it wrong and without a warrant would almost certainly prejudice any future trial and the sw would never work again.

It's likely this child had fetal alcohol syndrome if the mother was such a heavy drinker, and this would have stunted his growth amongst other things... sad

whatnameshallibetoday Fri 04-Oct-13 10:41:38

Some of you have no idea how hard it is for an NRP to see or help his children in the face of intractable hostility from the mother, because that eventually extends to the children.

And I speak as someone whose husband has court orders and sought help.

Too often emotional abuse and legalised kidnapping (which is how I view denying a loving parent be that man or woman and their children the chance of a relationship) are passed off as a dispute between parents.

Agencies wont get involved, schools are legally stopped from getting involved in parent disputes - I should know - we tried enough agencies.

That poor boy, another example of a terribly underfunded system.

duchesse Fri 04-Oct-13 10:42:54

When I say "immediate danger" I mean sounds of being beaten up or mauled by a dog or muffled cries coming from a cupboard type of immediate danger. Not a suspicion the kids weren't being fed enough.

I never understand why these disgusting excuse for mothers continue having child after child. Abort them, give them up for adoption, leave them on a strangers doorstep. But for fucks sake, how could she just leave him in a cot to starve to death then leave his body to rot?

Absolutely no excuses, I have no sympathy and I hope she gets exactly what she deserves in prison.

I don't see how she got only manslaughterconfused, it should have been murder. She purposely took his life.

Very, very sad that the system is still failing children and lessons are never learnt enough to change anything.
It's very shocking and that no one noticed he was missingsad

How many more brutal child murders does there have to be to get the authorities to save future murders happening?

Nusatenggara Fri 04-Oct-13 11:10:45

I think it is manslaughter they go for so that they could be sure of a conviction.

I guess resources are so stretched and there must be many dysfunctional families who are doing their best to keep out of the way of SS that it would be easy enough to slip under the radar.

I imagine being a SW is a pretty thankless task tbh.

What on earth has happened to the siblings? How will they ever grow into anything other than completely skewed adults if how they lived was their 'normal'.

Be interesting to know her background, it is such a vicious circle and seemingly impossible to break sad.

kiriwawa Fri 04-Oct-13 11:30:58

He was not a 'loving parent' - he was convicted of assaulting her and she was considered at very high risk of further assault. Loving parents don't batter their children's mother

moldingsunbeams Fri 04-Oct-13 12:07:36

I think its easy to lose a child from the system.

Three years ago we moved back to this town. We were then made homeless last year as landlord went bust so moved again still in this area. My dd is in school.

In May dd fell and broke her arm at school, we went to walk in centre. As is normal the school nurse followed it up and rang to see what school she was at and confirm details so she could file.

When I rang back with info they were shocked that they had no info for dd AT ALL, the child system that is meant to follow them round (sorry cant remember what she said it was called) had no info on her, they did not know what doctor she was under, what school she went to and only knew where she was living from the address I had given at the walk in centre weeks before.

The school nurse passed it on to a records manager who rang me back. When she asked how long we had been in county and I said three years her reply was "fucking hell". She apologised for swearing but said had we not registered with school basically they would have had a child completely off the radar.

Very dangerous for a child at risk of abuse.

JakeBullet Fri 04-Oct-13 12:43:18

Yes indeed he could have been affected by foetal alcohol syndrome. That might explain a lot about his refusal to eat or other issues that his very unreliable mother mentioned.

roadwalker Fri 04-Oct-13 13:10:06

This is what I find hard to comprehend on mumsnet- not everyone I agree
Women, it seems, can never be blamed for whatever terrible thing they have done to a child, they are always victims
As an adult, unless there is LD, we make choices. She could've made choices to save that poor child
She could've put him into care, asked for help, fed him
I think he probably did have FAS given his history so needed more care

My friend has recently had to change career, she worked in SCBU and is no longer able to cope with distress of seeing babies born addicted to drugs and alcohol. She said the pain they suffer is so terrible
What is the answer to protect these poor children whist allowing women their own rights??

wannaBe Fri 04-Oct-13 13:11:15

fifteen years.

JakeBullet Fri 04-Oct-13 13:12:40

Yeah...difficult one for the judge tbh. Not really enough but suspect his hands were probably tied to a certain extent.

wannaBe Fri 04-Oct-13 13:22:33

I'm not sure women like that deserve rights. That sounds harsh I know, but what I mean is that there is too much emphasis on the parents rights to see/have a relationship etc with their child no matter how dysfunctional.

And perhaps if I lived with an alcoholic who neglected their children to that extent I might be tempted to turn violent. no, not a politically correct thing to say I know, violence is not ideal but I can't help thinking that someone with that kind of reputation for being quite that aggressive/unpleasant and who was capable for doing that to her own children wasn't exactly an innocent victim. Even the neighbours said that if they'd realised how bad things were they would have alerted the father. Perhaps he was a wilful abuser, or perhaps he was someone at the end of his tether with an alcoholic, abusive woman who had no consideration even for her own children.

FairyJen Fri 04-Oct-13 13:52:11

I'm sure when she's sat in her cell for the next 15 yrs she will learn what people think of monsters like her

handcream Fri 04-Oct-13 14:39:02

I agree with the posters who say as a women some are looking for excuses as to why she did what she did. Her house was a complete pig sty (but dont judge!), she had 8 children (dont judge!) and was presumably on benefits and being funded by the state (again, dont judge!).

We have to be so careful nowadays not to seem as though we are knocking people's lifestyle choices, that we ignore the red flags.

I hope she rots in prison tbh. If this had been a man people I suspect might not be using the same excuses some on this thread are for why she did this.

The Baby P mother is out. Will it be any surprise if she ends up being pregnant and demands her human rights when SW try to take the baby. And she will be given chance after chance....

Clawdy Fri 04-Oct-13 14:49:04

Facially Hamza did not have the physical characteristics of the three children I know who have foetal alcohol syndrome. I think it would have been mentioned by the defence,if that was the case.

ReviewsOffers Fri 04-Oct-13 14:59:34

that is so so awful. Poor little boy. God I hope there is a heaven

what a fucking bad bitch.

And the father no better. A restraining order wouldn't keep me from my children if they needed me. It can't be that fucking hard to outwit an alcoholic

Wannabestepfordwife Fri 04-Oct-13 15:13:18

reviews alcoholics are addicts and like all addicts they are capable of manipulating and deceiving people to get what they want

PlatinumStart Fri 04-Oct-13 15:16:15

clawdy I think it's fair to say that since Hamza was not seen by a medical professional after the age of two weeks and had been dead a considerable time before his body was found it would be impossible for anyone to make a judgement as to whether he had Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or not.

That aside, his death was an absolute tragedy and I'm appalled at how many red flags were missed. I also absolutely refuse to believe that the PC who attended to carry out a welfare visit 8 months before hamza died didn't notice anything amiss. That poor little boys problems didn't start in his last 8 months

ReviewsOffers Fri 04-Oct-13 15:17:26

I know. I know.

But if it were my child being abused like that, or if I even suspected it, or if I though they were in teh care of someone with a drink problem. would I fuck sit back going Nah, I'll let my baby suffer after all I don't fancy a night in the cells while the police investigate and find out I'm right.

I am not adding anything to this conversation it's just a visceral disgust and anger really at soem fucking animals that we don't seem to want to put down

ReviewsOffers Fri 04-Oct-13 15:18:14

not a very measured closing comment by me.

i don't disown it though. For the moment, anyway

CaterpillarCara Fri 04-Oct-13 15:24:09

I don't think anyone is saying she isn't responsible.

It's just "the buck stops here" implies that she alone is responsible.

Yes, absolutely she failed her child in the most horrendous, sickening and tragic way. But society also failed, because no-one stepped in to remove the child from her care or to protect the child in any way.

Social workers, the police, etc, are all supposed to form a safety net so that having an incapable mother is not a death warrant.

There were points where the ending of this story could have changed. We need to learn so that next time, hopefully, there is a happier ending.

handcream Fri 04-Oct-13 15:28:19

review - I think most of us understand your views tbh. I just cannot understand why someone would do this. Evil? Perhaps so drunk she didnt know what she was doing, maybe but for years on end? That and having sex to produce 8 children. Did she get any maternity care? Did anyone notice how she was?

handcream Fri 04-Oct-13 15:30:31

I am wondering if the women with no partner or history of DV with so many children and a house like a pig sty with no record of attending GP's and HV appts needs a bloody big flag next to her name....

curlew Fri 04-Oct-13 15:31:12

"It can't be that fucking hard to outwit an alcoholic"

That could only be said by someone who has never actually dealt with an alcoholic.

handcream Fri 04-Oct-13 15:35:14

Having personal experience of dealing with someone with alcohol problems - it IS easy. They are slurring their words, they jump from being very happy to grumpy in a flash. They are unsteady on their feet, they drop off in unexpected places. They dont appear normal and able to hold a proper conversation.

ReviewsOffers Fri 04-Oct-13 15:37:41

Lucky me eh curlew

But when you are pissed and/or passed out you are not at your cognitive peak. I'm no einstein but I'd manage to get my kids away from an unconscious/sleeping pisshead. If I gave a shit

Wannabestepfordwife Fri 04-Oct-13 15:39:29

I know this is slightly off tangent but if the younger children are still just crawling, would they be able to learn to walk and go on to have a normal life or have they been neglected to the extent they will always be developmentally delayed and always need specialised care.

If its the latter she deserves another life sentence

midwifeandmum Fri 04-Oct-13 15:40:24

Man slaughter????
Disgusting!!! This woman is a poor excuse of a human being! I deal with domestc violence and alcoholic mothers on a daily basis in my job and that does NOT give her any excuse to starve a poor child to death or refuse to provide medical care for him

Her fellow inmates will dish out some punishment for her. And i for one will be pleased.

midwifeandmum Fri 04-Oct-13 15:43:50


I completely agree with u.

nocarsgo Fri 04-Oct-13 15:47:11

Probably the most sickening child neglect/murder story I've ever heard, and let's face it, there have been a lot of those in recent years.

But "lessons will be learned" of course hmm How I loathe that meaningless cliche of a phrase. Were they learned after Victoria Climbie? Or Khyra Ishaq? Or Baby P?

Now we have Daniel Pelka, Keanu Williams and Hamzah Khan to add to that list. All these "invisible" children failed by so many authorities.

kotinka Fri 04-Oct-13 15:47:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Candustpleasefuckoff Fri 04-Oct-13 16:00:06

When these women give birth there must almost always be a midwife involved. I say give enormous powers to midwives. If they notice anything, anything at all - nicotine stained finger nails, poor personal hygiene, missing rotten teeth, alcohol breath, anything at all, then SS should be informed and an Indepth inspection of the babies home environment and family should be taken urgently. Even if this is found to be ok, the child you be kept under close watch until they start school.
I really think the midwives must get an instinctive feeling about some people. Fuck parents rights. You have no rights, i don't care about liberal leftie views on this, being wishy washy and treading carefully is when poor vulnerable children like this little boy face unimaginable cruetly at the hands of the very people who should be keeping them loved, fed, warm, clean, comfortable and entertained and inspired. The child has all the rights.
I hope she rots.

Brillig Fri 04-Oct-13 16:02:29

The Guardian report says that the siblings (or some of them, anyway) did go to school - albeit having to 'wade through' the utter filth of the house to get to the door.

So how in God's name did no-one at the school pick up on the fact that something was horribly wrong? Can we seriously believe that these children were turning up washed, brushed and fed, with lovely neat uniforms - and that their behaviour and demeanour rang no alarm bells whatsoever?

I can scarcely bear to believe that everyone in this poor child's horribly brutal and deprived life let him down (and the other children too, of course). But they did. 'Slipped through the net' - what net? Nobody seems to have given a flying fuck.

handcream Fri 04-Oct-13 16:13:22

Its because Candust and Brillig because no one wanted to 'judge' this women. Her house was a pig sty (never mind she is trying). She has had 8 children (that's her choice) she is staggering around drunk (poor women, she needs support).

I sometimes watch those midwife type docs set in hospitals. More and more they are showing young girls often with their Mum's or some 'bloke' who spends most of the time on his Blackberry if indeed he turns up. Well, are they going to struggle with a baby. They are dying for a fag. They are sometimes grossly overweight but still not allowed to judge.

So, situations like this go on and on. We know when various agencies called that there was a dead body in the place. People are saying well why didnt they storm in. Well, if they had and there had been nothing there they could end up losing their jobs. So they dont....

What would they have said ' the house was a pig sty so I thought there was something wrong'. People would be claiming that her human rights were breached or that people were picking on her because she had 8 children, no partner.

Apparently Baby P lived in squalor and the SW's didnt bat an eyelid. They told the mother a few days before Peter died that they were really proud of her.


filee777 Fri 04-Oct-13 16:18:21


HCP need same rights of entry as police and quickly. We live in a plentiful country for goodness sake, there is No reason for children to be starving to death.

Candustpleasefuckoff Fri 04-Oct-13 16:23:27

We need an national attitude of complete intolerance to all bad parents. And to people with children who can't even look after themselves!!!!!!

Candustpleasefuckoff Fri 04-Oct-13 16:25:30

It is bloody pisses me right off that rescue dogs get more time and care put into their placements with families than children. So what you had sex and became pregnant, that gives you no rights to take your child home if you haven't got the ability or desire to look after them.

kotinka Fri 04-Oct-13 16:29:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

handcream Fri 04-Oct-13 16:37:08

Kids having kids

Life on benefits

No fathers

No thought given to what having a baby actually means

Human rights - I can do what I want

No chance of people judging you - you can do what you like..

Smoking, under the influence of drugs - no problem - do what you like again. We will give you chance after chance.

House (if you can get in) in squalor. No worries - no one will judge

Late night parties that the neighbours complain about - dont worry, we understand - you are only young once. Baby can be surrounded by smokers (or worse) but dont worry. We understand you cannot afford a babysitter.

People coming to the house at all times of the day and night - visitors to help care for the baby of course.

Thes are all red flags of various degrees but they ARE red flags...

handcream Fri 04-Oct-13 16:50:15

I have just read the news about this case. Wont read any more but that SC, she had been in the role 2 DAYS and knew something was wrong. She threatened to kick he door in if Hutton didnt let her in. There were flies coming off her body!

Initially the SC was there because Hutton was throwing nappies into a neighbours garden. So lets add anti social behaviour to the list.

Perhaps its about time we start judging people's lives. People who live like this need to be flagged and spot checks need to be undertaken again and again. Why are people allowed to live in such squalor with children around and not be told to clean and clear up. Otherwise we are telling the adults that their needs and wants are MUCH more important than their kids!

Candustpleasefuckoff Fri 04-Oct-13 16:52:20

Shall we run SS hand cream?

Lagoonablue Fri 04-Oct-13 16:54:47

I have worked in social work and in an associated profession. I got out. I was told not to 'judge' and had to learn to accept 'good enough' parenting. Thing is.........all this anger, yes we need better child surveillance but you watch if try to up the ante with anything compulsory, there would be a massive outcry about rights.

Additionally I am now betting that the serious case review will find the same fails as in Daniel Pelluck, Keanu, Baby Peter, victoria Climbie's, Maria Caldwell FGS and many more........lack of communication, an optimistic view, agencies not fully following procedures.

Social workers err on the side of optimism, they want to help, they believe in change which is why it is so hard to tackle situations like the one this poor child was in. Someone should be appointed to be the 'bad guy' when a child is identified as at risk. Yes support and assist the family but the bad guy can be the critical friend, can look after the interests on,y of the child, to say the difficult things, to challenge the optimistic view. Give them the powers to enter houses, to check rooms etc. they can be the enforcers of social work if you like. They can think the unthinkable and say the unsayable.

The probation service changed it's philosophy from assisting and befriending offenders to one of managing risk, usually successfully. Something to learn I think.

midwifeandmum Fri 04-Oct-13 16:55:17


Thankyou. This is exactly what my colleague s ns I have been discussing
We usually do get an incling when somethings not right. All we can do is fill in a form for sw and usually hear nothing else about it.

kotinka Fri 04-Oct-13 16:56:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

curlew Fri 04-Oct-13 16:57:05

"Having personal experience of dealing with someone with alcohol problems - it IS easy. They are slurring their words, they jump from being very happy to grumpy in a flash. They are unsteady on their feet, they drop off in unexpected places. They dont appear normal and able to hold a proper conversation."
Having alcohol problems is not the same as being an alcoholic.
But don't let the facts get in the way of a good story.......

curlew Fri 04-Oct-13 16:58:33

"Having personal experience of dealing with someone with alcohol problems - it IS easy. They are slurring their words, they jump from being very happy to grumpy in a flash. They are unsteady on their feet, they drop off in unexpected places. They dont appear normal and able to hold a proper conversation."
Having alcohol problems is not the same as being an alcoholic.
But don't let the facts get in the way of a good story.......

handcream Fri 04-Oct-13 16:59:38

I would loved to have been that SC - having the nerve to threaten to kick the door in having only been in the role for 2 days. Wow!

I do think though that things need to change. We cannot allow people to do whatever they like with no come back. We are so nervous about being seen to judge someone that we dont say anything at all.

Last week I saw a women in Waitrose with a wheeler wandering the store and filling it up. Maybe she was just using it as storage until she got to the till. But I did tell the security guard she was doing it.

I hope if I saw anything I would step in. I saw last year a boy being pushed and shoved on his way to school. I stopped the car and ran over. Quite what I thought I would do I am not sure. I have boys myself, maybe that's what spurred me on. I offered a lift to the boy to get him away from the situation and told the other boys to clear/piss off.

I felt safe doing it because it was 8.30 in the morning and there were lots of people around. Would I do the same in the pitch black - I am not sure.

duchesse Fri 04-Oct-13 17:00:37

Perfectly possible to have alcoholism and show very few signs of it. My father downed 30 units a day for 40 years without his partner ever believing he was alcoholic the stupid deluded mare.

handcream Fri 04-Oct-13 17:04:07

Lagoon - its a shame you left SS. I do think you are right though, I like the idea of the critical friend looking at it from the child's point of view.

If there are complaints of late night parties and people coming and going what is that doing to the child. Its not just about the mother having a good time.

MrsOakenshield Fri 04-Oct-13 17:05:24

I'm afraid that stories like this turn me into a real hardliner who believes that far more children should be removed from their parents far earlier, at birth in many cases. This woman should never have been allowed to be responsible for 5 children - frankly, she should never have been allowed to give birth to these children.

MrsDavidBowie Fri 04-Oct-13 17:05:58

Laughable. Fifteen years.

Well she will have a tough 15 years ahead. Or less, as no doubt she will get out early.

I hope her other children are safe and getting proper care. They will have an uphill struggle.
There is so much more which hasn't come out yet.

handcream Fri 04-Oct-13 17:09:27

In this case plenty are saying she was staggering around drunk most of the time. FGS - there were flies coming off her. She wasnt hiding it. It was just seen as being acceptable. Did no one think if she was drunk most of the most what the children must be suffering.

I strongly disagree that you cannot spot someone with a drink problem unless you choose to ignore it.

The smell of drink, the shaking hands, the red face, the ability to not stand on your own feet, the hiding of bottles around the house thinking they wont be found (they will!). The look of someone the next morning. Even very small signs like trashing the view that A&E have a problem with drunks, they are just enjoying themselves and it goes on and on.

Just so sad this is still happening sad no lessons have been learned at all.

When my daughter dislocated her elbow and we went to the hospital we left without seeing a doctor as the nurse could see she popped it back in herself (boak!)....

First thing the following morning my HV rung me and wanted to know what had happened as it had been fed back to her that 'sleepingbunnies didn't present at the doctor '

How comes in the cases it's not needed checks are rightly made but where a family is living in such utter filth and neglect it isn't?!

handcream Fri 04-Oct-13 17:11:30

It makes most of us into hardliners tbh. Baby P's scum bag mother will be pregnant within a year without fail. She will then claim her human rights to have another baby. And the shocking thing is - she just might win.

Agree with. mrsoakenshield

Jammyforeigner Fri 04-Oct-13 17:12:46

In the news yesterday I heard, on average in the UK a child a week is killed at the hands of a parent/ guardian etc. we have the highest rate of child sex abuse in Europe.

This is only the tip of the iceberg. I'm sure there lots more cases that never even make the headline news.

I'm sorry to say. As much as authorities attempt to put in measures to safeguard these children, some will always slip the net. Humans are not infallible. There will always be a parent who will do whatever it takes to deceive and hide whatever atrocious things they're doing to their little ones. It's very sad. But I personally have very little hope in anything ever changing.

handcream Fri 04-Oct-13 17:13:42

Sleeping bunnies - you are right.

I wouldnt mind a HV checking things out. You have nothing to hide. But some do and some even think that HV should be checking. What you do or dont do is 100% up to you

everlong Fri 04-Oct-13 17:15:27

Where did his siblings/father think he was?

I mean all those years missing.

Beyond horrible sad

When they asked me to remove her dress I didn't think twice. It wasn't till afterwards that my SW friend told me they would have been looking for bruises that I felt so sad but again it's because I had nothing to hide.

handcream Fri 04-Oct-13 17:16:42

I have heard its 1-2 per week are killed within the family. We should hang our heads in shame. Then decide what we are ALL going to do about it... Is it to call SS when a child keeps crying, when neighbours are anti social. When New York Mayor many years ago introduced zero tolerance to crime however small the murder rate dropped over 60%.

Maybe zero tolerance for the red flag families.

aturtlenamedmack Fri 04-Oct-13 17:17:22

I'm truly heartbroken about the whole situation. It's something that will stay with me for as long as I live, I will remember where I was when I heard her sentence.
I will remember the overwhelming reaction too.
I don't think it's the right one.
Everywhere I look people want her to hang or to be attacked in prison. I have those feelings for some people (Mark Bridger springs to mind) but not for her.
I think that she was patently severely mentally unwell.
The fact that she kept his poor body in the house demonstrates to me that she was not a calculating killer - she was derranged.
This does not of course make what happened to that poor, poor child any better, worse even, because it was prolonged.
But perhaps understanding that this woman was not in her right mind and seeing the horrific outcome when het situation is left unchecked could teach us something.

duchesse Fri 04-Oct-13 17:19:04

My father's score on your handy chart, handcream:

The smell of drink, yes, when he'd been drinking
the shaking hands, nope
the red face, nope
the ability to not stand on your own feet, nope
the hiding of bottles around the house thinking they wont be found He didn't bother, they were all over the house in plain view.

handcream Fri 04-Oct-13 17:19:50

Why was Mark Bridger not derranged if that was your thinking?

handcream Fri 04-Oct-13 17:21:12

Duchesse - and still his partner didnt think he was a drinker. Really??

That's the sign tbh - the large number of bottles all empty. Who on earth did she think was drinking them...

aturtlenamedmack Fri 04-Oct-13 17:27:24

Perhaps he was, but it's a completely different situation isn't it?

Jammyforeigner Fri 04-Oct-13 17:29:40


I wasn't paying full attention it could have been 2 children a week. All I remember thinking is, that's much higher than I thought it would be.

I think the zero tolerance approach may help. But I'm sure there's plenty of families that live under the radar. I'm sure there are instances where a family isn't known to the authorities. They don't seem outwardly dysfunctional yet abuse is going on behind closed doors. My point is no matter how much you legislate, carry out serious case reviews etc. children will never be 100% safe if a parent/guardian wants to harm them.

handcream Fri 04-Oct-13 17:31:04

Someone said its difficult to spot a drinker. I beg to differ. The signs are there if you choose to accept them. Sadly your father's parnter chose to ignore them

handcream Fri 04-Oct-13 17:32:40

I agree they are under the radar (it would be awful if they were top of the list and still nothing was done) but in the vast majority of cases they are know to various authorities who dont seem at all joined up.

BMW6 Fri 04-Oct-13 17:32:53

*I don't think anyone is saying she isn't responsible.

It's just "the buck stops here" implies that she alone is responsible.

Yes, absolutely she failed her child in the most horrendous, sickening and tragic way. But society also failed, because no-one stepped in to remove the child from her care or to protect the child in any way.*

No. She did not fail her child. She murdered him. And as for Society stepping in to remove the child from danger, there will immediatly be howls of protest about the State interfering with Parents. Some of the very loudest protests would be on Mumsnet. Don't kid yourself that it would not be seen as an abuse of Human Rights.

Orangeanddemons Fri 04-Oct-13 17:33:13

Have just read that the older brother wasn't allowed to say anything about the body. She told him she would kill the rest of the children if he did.

GoshAnneGorilla Fri 04-Oct-13 17:37:24

I wonder if there will still be howls of outrage the next time someone posts "Should I call social services?" on here, with complaints that we are a bunch of judgemental busy bodies?

Probably hmm

DiamondMask Fri 04-Oct-13 17:42:37

How did the school not raise any flags. ffs sake the smell of a rotting body permeates anything for a start. Let alone filthy unkempt children.

kotinka Fri 04-Oct-13 17:45:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

handcream Fri 04-Oct-13 17:53:47

My DM works in a Inner London school (her old school before she retired) as a volunteer although she was a primary school teacher for 40 yrs. She reported a child to the head as smelling and always wolfing down his lunch. She was told as this child was from an ethic miniorty that the head felt she needed to tread carefully. They were claiming asylum and didnt want to be accused of picking on them!

I told Mum to ring SS. And she did. Sadly the child then disappeared a few weeks later. Head seemed disinterested. It was I guess someone else's problem now....

BMW6 Fri 04-Oct-13 17:54:37

We, as a society, have to make up our minds some fundamental questions if we want this child cruelty, neglect and murder to stop.

Whose rights take precedence - parent, or child.
Should we be more vigilent in spotting possible neglect, and reporting to police or SS accordingly, even if our concerns turn out to be unfounded.
Should an authority have the right to enter homes to check on childrens welfare, without permission of the parents.
Should an authority have the absolute right to remove children deemed to be at risk, and keep them safely away from abusing Parents for as long as is judged neccessary.

Unless we accept radical change and support it, children will continue to suffer and die at their own parents hands.

What do YOU want?

kotinka Fri 04-Oct-13 17:59:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

handcream Fri 04-Oct-13 17:59:37

BMW is right, what do we want?

More of these cases and less 'rights' for the parents who seem to take precedence over any children's.

If a parent refuses to let a SW in unannounced because they claim their child is sleeping does the SW break down the door? Or even threaten to?

That's what the SC did in the Hutton case and look what she found. I think what she did was fantastic but what if she had found nothing. She had only been in the role 2 days. She would I suspect be asked to leave her role. Or put on a written warning...

wannaBe Fri 04-Oct-13 18:00:38

How can you say she was deranged and Mark Bridger wasn’t? If anything it could be argued that Mark Bridger snapped in a moment of insanity as he had no previous history etc. She on the other hand neglected her children for years and years, and calculatedly kept the authorities away. Not that I have any sympathy for Mark Bridger – I don’t. But ykwim.

Lots of murderers are mentally ill. Harold Shipman had serious drug addiction issues, Peter Sutcliffe/Ian Brady are in Broadmore (secure institution for the criminally insane). Do we suggest they didn’t get the help they needed before murdering several hundred people between them? No I didn’t think so.

We need to stop using mental illness as an excuse for neglect/murder. It’s an insult to those who are mentally ill and wouldn’t ever hurt anyone.

ReviewsOffers Fri 04-Oct-13 18:00:43

it seems shocking that one or two children a week are killed by parents.
The figure isn't conflating accidents in the home with cases such as this, is it?

handcream Fri 04-Oct-13 18:01:08

I believe (someone correct me if I am wrong) that SW have no rights to enter houses without permission. They can get the police but often dont. Why is that?

ReviewsOffers Fri 04-Oct-13 18:03:26

I don't entirely agree with that.

I think the term Mental illness is too broad really, encompassing both the criminally insane and evil, for want of a better word, with most people who have a mental illness which means their thought patterns may be a bit erratic from time to time.

it's such a pity for the ordinary person with a mental illness, they have to suffer the stigma as well.

handcream Fri 04-Oct-13 18:03:45

Wanna makes a very good point. There are plenty of people suffering with mental issues who dont undertake these awful crimes. We are almost excusing them because 'they are mentally ill'.

Well, that's Ok then, do what you like and blame it on being 'mentally ill or mad'.

kotinka Fri 04-Oct-13 18:04:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mental illness does not excuse this, there are plenty of mentally ill people that carry on with day to day tasks and treat their kids well.
She starved her own child, that is a decided thing!

handcream Fri 04-Oct-13 18:08:15

Parental rights are given much greater importance than the children's. SW seem to give the parents chance after chance.

Someone further up the thread who had worked in SS said its time we had a critical friend SW. Someone who was looking after the kids interests as opposed to the parents only. Have an all night party and take drugs. Well, what is that doing to the child? Leave your child alone (and I think this is really common) while you go out to enjoy yourself. After all you are only young once. When you are caught you will be given chance after chance and providing you dont get caught again no one will ever know...

FairyJen Fri 04-Oct-13 18:08:50

Sw do ring the police however even the police cannot remove a child unless there is an immediate risk of significant harm. If they cannot see that then they will not remove a child and you have to apply to a court. All this takes time which savy parents use to remove the risk the sw was initially concerned about.

I remember one case where there was a baby living a home similar to this case, I was allowed in and didn't actually see the child at first asshe was buried under tons of filth! I contacted the police, when they arrived they were refused entry and stated the area they could see ( the porch! ) gave no indication of significant harm and left. I battled with the mother for hours before she agreed for me to take the child under section 20 - voluntarily placing child in care.

The law needs to change so that hcp can remove if they feel the need is great enough without having to go through the above rigmarole

kotinka Fri 04-Oct-13 18:09:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

handcream Fri 04-Oct-13 18:09:36

I will admit that I dont know an awful lot about mental health but I have heard that mentally ill people are often a danger to themselves as opposed to anyone else.

FairyJen Fri 04-Oct-13 18:10:59

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kotinka Fri 04-Oct-13 18:11:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

deepfriedsage Fri 04-Oct-13 18:11:45

No way should a child be removed without a court order.

kotinka Fri 04-Oct-13 18:11:57

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handcream Fri 04-Oct-13 18:12:35

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juneau Fri 04-Oct-13 18:12:36

In cases like this I wish our justice system was more like the US. There she would be locked up and the key would be thrown away. In this country she'll serve half her sentence (so, seven-and-a-half years), and then be free to drink herself to death, housed by the public purse. I just hope she does it quickly.

deepfriedsage Fri 04-Oct-13 18:13:14

Mental health illness is protected under equality law 2010, support should be put in place.

FairyJen Fri 04-Oct-13 18:13:43

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handcream Fri 04-Oct-13 18:14:33

Kotinka - I think you are worrying a few posters including me. You say that you can be a safe parent yet you say you have thought many times of killing yourself.

I am sorry if you are offended but its a red flag to me.

deepfriedsage Fri 04-Oct-13 18:16:08

Disablist comments are reportable and against guidelines on mnhq, hope I don't have to report.

Candustpleasefuckoff Fri 04-Oct-13 18:17:10

The SC who threatened to 'knock down the door' is inspirational.

That should be SS new motto. 'Let's knock down doors' (metaphorically).

Let's stop pussy footing around and get to the truth of each situation quickly and efficiently. SS can always apologise if they get it wrong, but nothing will repair the life of a child who has been horrendously abused, and nothing can be repaired once a child is killed.

We need less tolerance of these disgusting parents. Be disgusting, but then don't be parents, and if you happen to have sex with each other, let that child be given to a family who will cherish it.

Everyone in the UK lives in the land of opportunity. We all have access to excellent healthcare, excellent education, excellent charities who support us during bad times. We have freedom to be who we want. We are an extremely welcoming and tolerant society. We should be proud of this and motivated by this and use the fact that we are british to become the best that we can be. Not use it as an excuse to be lazy, and feckless and scummy.

why are there so many scummy people everywhere? What the fuck has happened to us?

FairyJen Fri 04-Oct-13 18:20:42

As well as agreeing with handcream my issue kotinka is that your blaming ss for this tragedy.

I'm obviously missing something but I thought it was a pretty basic lesson - dont fucking murder your children! The blame lies with the mother. Ss can only do so much. We are restricted very tightly by legislation, lack of funding and in some areas over triple the amount of cases we should carry.

handcream Fri 04-Oct-13 18:21:40

Deep - I am concerned about Kotinka if you are referring to me. I am hopefully doing what didnt happen in the Hutton case. Making sure everything is OK

handcream Fri 04-Oct-13 18:24:20

Fairy is right. Often their hands are tied by rules, policies and human rights. I suspect a good SW WOULD want to smash down the door of a house to find out what is going on. But they cant. They need to ask permission and that is often not given when someone has something to hide.

handcream Fri 04-Oct-13 18:26:36

This SC was different though wasnt she. She did threaten to kick the door in. Was she right - of course. But if she hadnt found anything there would be the bleeding hearts out all night on MN talking about human and parental rights.

kotinka Fri 04-Oct-13 18:30:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Jammyforeigner Fri 04-Oct-13 18:33:40

"Should an authority have the right to enter homes to check on childrens welfare, without permission of the parents.
Should an authority have the absolute right to remove children deemed to be at risk, and keep them safely away from abusing Parents for as long as is judged neccessary."

I agree with what you're saying BMW. I just feel a little uneasy, esp. the cases where the SS have made huge errors and babies are taken away from "good" parents only to be returned many many months later. I know for certain if my child was taken from me through no fault of my own I would be livid to say the least. And it would not cross my mind to think "oh well at least they're thinking of child safety" etc.

Why should all the decent loving parents out there be monitored heavily because of a minority of alcoholic, drug addicted, unsuitable parents?

While we're at it why don't we just sanction CCTV in every home? That will surely solve the problem!

kotinka Fri 04-Oct-13 18:33:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

wannaBe Fri 04-Oct-13 18:35:18

but it’s not just the authorities that need to change their attitude but society as a whole. If someone posted here for instance that they knew a family living in filth they would be told not to judge, perhaps the mother has mh issues, perhaps she needs support and the poster should be the one to offer it, etc etc.

We need to stop reacting when ss do remove a baby and stop vilifying them.

We need to accept that sometimes a baby has to be removed before something happens, not after.

There is currently a poster in legal whose baby was removed shortly after birth and is to be placed for adoption because she has serious mh issues, has attempted suicide and her issues are such that she needs to go into a long-term therapy programme. It is desperately sad that it has come to this, but SS have acted by the book, and the baby’s long-term future is considered best by being adopted.

And yet there are plenty of posters on that thread calling them baby snatchers and the like. When reality is we do not know at what risk that baby is because of the op’s issues, and her psychiatrist doesn’t anticipate a change for at least a year. So what should happen – should the baby be left with her until something happens to it? In the hope that it doesn’t? Or perhaps the baby is best off at this point being brought up in a loving home, adopted at a time in its life when attachment issues are likely to be less, rather than ss waiting a couple of years and hoping it won’t come to that?

Devastating for the mother – of course. But not as devastating as it would be for the baby if she didn’t come through her issues.

FairyJen Fri 04-Oct-13 18:41:05

So basically we are damne if we do and damned if we don't.

kotinka you are right about the verdict however my personal opinion is that this child died of neglect. There was no need for this neglect therefore it's murder in my mind. She could have fed him, taken him to drs, accessed services, etc etc etc

She couldn't be bothered to do any of these things but could be bothered to claim cb for him hmm

kotinka Fri 04-Oct-13 18:48:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MissDD1971 Fri 04-Oct-13 18:52:09

kotinka not meaning to not read the whole thread but in a way it IS the parents who failed in this case. The mother chose to have the kids, chose to ignore her health problems etc or accept help which I am sure was offered.

SS can do a lot in cases like this but with no co-operation or parents hiding stuff (not sure if this woman did this) then what can they realistically do?

FairyJen Fri 04-Oct-13 18:52:58

I can yes however of we were to construct a hierarchy as such ss wouldn't be at the top as without actual access to the property or seein the children there is little they can do and I should mention that plenty of innocent good parents avoid ss as well so the issue is not clear cut.

Teachers failed to act as did neighbours until nappies were being thrown in their garden. As did the father and the other children.

kotinka Fri 04-Oct-13 18:58:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

kotinka Fri 04-Oct-13 19:02:04

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MissDD1971 Fri 04-Oct-13 19:02:22

Kotinka - interesting - I agree with you in some respects.

I used to work with a children's SW who was Canadian (now gone back to Canada) - she worked in inner city London. Not excusing her - she really was a good SW but she often had struggles with parents - can't recall re SS offices herself but it seemed to me her hands were tied by them (her workplace) sometimes. quite sad and harrowing.

MissDD1971 Fri 04-Oct-13 19:03:24

and my god - the work is draining especially in big cities, so my friend said. emotionally draining too.

i think there should be more co-ordination between schools/SS/parents etc. etc.

kotinka Fri 04-Oct-13 19:03:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MissDD1971 Fri 04-Oct-13 19:04:32

I wouldn't do it.

My friend is now back in Canada and studied further. she says its better there.

kotinka Fri 04-Oct-13 19:06:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MissDD1971 Fri 04-Oct-13 19:12:32

co-ordination is key - think about the Daniel Pelka (sp?) case - no co-ordination between health workers/doctors and schools there now was there? and in this case too.

parents or anyone who abuses they weave a complex web, tell all sorts of lies etc, whether down to illness or other aspects I don't really care (well I do if they can get helped) but in the long run it's the kids and their welfare that matter.

handcream Fri 04-Oct-13 19:15:19

I have to agree with Miss - it was 100% the mother. Someone used the word deranged and I think that sums it up. Does she have MH issues which seems to be a much softer way of saying it. Of course. She was a serious drinker and a liar.

But she also covered her tracks again and again. Neighbours reported her behaviour but no one took that next step. She was certainly anti social and a shocking mother. She chose to have 8 children who are almost definitely damaged for life.

I think if I am really honest that people didnt want to be seen to 'judge' her lifestyle. She was living off the state with 8 children and with a drink problem. But no one wanted to say anything. Didnt want to be accused of benefit banshing or of picking on single mums, So nothing was done. Maybe its about time we did start judging people who lead these lifestyles

She had red flags everywhere yet no one thought to check her parenting skills. Eight children, no father, supposed victim of DV (and I say that because I dont think we really know what went on apart from the fact she killed her son by starving him to death and threatened to kill the other children if her older son told anyone). She is not a reliable witness and could have made it all up. We just dont know. Over the next few weeks we will wring our hands, officials will say 'lessons have been learnt' but until someone starts to change our perception of what we can do in our lives without being judged or asked to proof we are capable of bringing up children nothing will change.

Please - lets stop ignoring the red flags and start to act.


kotinka Fri 04-Oct-13 19:17:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

handcream Fri 04-Oct-13 19:24:49

They have had failures I think because more and more people feel 'entitled to do what they want, have as many kids as they like, send their children to school with earings (when they are banned) because its their right to do whatever they like.

The truly feckless, the Daniel Pelka's mother and her 'boyfriend' Philpott and Baby P's mother. Now those are the people we must judge again and again. We must question their lifestyles not think 'well' they can do what they like'.

I have said it a number of times and I dont mind repeating.

Baby P's mother will be pregnant within a year as she is now out of jail. Hasnt she already allowed the murder of one child. What is to stop it happening again.

I have to say if I had to decide I would make it clear to her that any baby that arrives will be immediately taken and given up for adoption. There are no appeals, no question of human rights. She has given up all her rights when she allowed Baby P to die

MrsDeVere Fri 04-Oct-13 19:27:08

There are enough rules and laws to keep children safe.
We do not need new ones.
We need the resources to enforce the existing ones.

SS are firefighting but they are still far more proactive than many other countries.

I note a comment way up thread criticising the extended family.
There are thousands of extended family members who are concerned about a child and are doing all they can to bring this to the attention of SS and/or do something themselves.

It is impossible to do anything without the cooperation of the parents if SS decide they are not going to get involved.


What the hell are you supposed to do? March in and take the kids?
Yep give that a try and see how quickly the police get involved then.

You will find yourself on the wrong side of a restraining order and possibly with a criminal record and no way of getting anywhere near the kids again.

MrsDeVere Fri 04-Oct-13 19:30:15

handcream if that woman gets pregnant again her chances of keeping the baby are next to zero.
She will have to be assessed but the process will start pre birth and it is unlikely she will get to take that baby home.
She has a proven record of abuse and has had all her children removed.

In those cases it is much easier for SS to be able to gain access to a family's life. Because they have strong evidence that any child will be at significant risk of harm

handcream Fri 04-Oct-13 19:31:47

I dont think its a question of resources. Many of these cases were visited by endless amounts of SW's. It's what they do when faced with perhaps someone pretending to be out or refusing to open the door that's the issue.

MrsDeVere Fri 04-Oct-13 19:35:04

Of course its about resources.
Have you any idea how much time it takes to bring one case to court? And a case MUST be brought to court to remove a child.
SW have vast caseloads.

MrsDeVere Fri 04-Oct-13 19:35:49

You do realise that SW are no more allowed to enter a property than you or I don't you?

filee777 Fri 04-Oct-13 19:35:54

I think it's quite simple, make the meetings and interviews with HCP's with the child rather than the parent, there are too many stories of meetings taking place without the child present. As the meeting is with the child, access to view the child's bedroom should be mandatory.

handcream Fri 04-Oct-13 19:36:29

I wouldnt be so sure....

I read that she is claiming to recognise her part in this horrible crime and is truly sorry. It only needs one softy to say she was perhaps under the spell of that scum bag boyfriend of hers and now he is off the scene she feels much better and more hopeful that she will be able to cope yarda yarda yarda....

handcream Fri 04-Oct-13 19:38:29

Then we need to change the laws that allow them to enter Mrs Devere. Do you agree that the SC who kick started all of this threatened to kick the door in of Hutton's house/ I am interested - do you support her actions or only because something was found

handcream Fri 04-Oct-13 19:39:54

I am also wondering why the parent often doesnt allow access to the child, claims they are sleeping, and such like. Perhaps they claim they are not even there.

Surely that is a red flag for anyone.

PeaceBeWithYou Fri 04-Oct-13 19:41:53

I thought I read in earlier news reports that Hamzah was a twin? How come she did not starve the other one? Surely if one twin had FAS, the other would too? Not that that is true, relevant or has any bearing on this case except for the mother saying the child 'starved himself' hmm so she was insinuating he had some type of medical problem. Surely a HV would have picked this up or they would have had low apgars at birth so follow ups would have been necessary. She must surely have given birth in hospital with a twin birth. Why were they not monitored afterwards as she was a mother of 6 having 2 more at once. The police had already been called for domestic abuse incidents prior to their birth.

The very possibility that that fucking evil bitch deliberately starved him from birth (which she would have had to for him to be so stunted), while feeding his twin is worse than horrific. She must have scapegoated him in some way? There were reports that she hit him and called him a fucking bastard.

I imagine she needed money for booze so spent less on food for all her DCs. That's not a mental illness, that is pure evil.

That poor twin. I hope to god he or she together with the rest of the DC are in a safe place TOGETHER and are put into an intensive course of therapy.

ReviewsOffers Fri 04-Oct-13 19:42:23

I do blame the extended family, tbh.

if it was my sister I would just march in there. With a bottle of vodka and a bag of smack, if necessary. I know it sounds awfully melodramatic, but it's what would have to happen. Would risk that I wouldn't go to jail because as soon as they opened the door the authorities would see what was going on.

I imagine it's what goes on in low key, more civilised ways all over the country.

But then she was so damaged it may have been done in her family of origin, so if I were her sister I would probably have my own issues.

Such a tragedy

IrnBruTheNoo Fri 04-Oct-13 19:42:26

Alcoholics tend to be very good at manipulation tactics, so all the stories the mother has spun out so far about being scared of hospitals and doctors as an explanation as to why the little boy's body was left for months sounds like utter BS. Were we all born yesterday.

filee777 Fri 04-Oct-13 19:43:22

I know what you mean handcream, if ss turned up at my door and the kids were sleeping, I would at very least show them the sleeping child!

There have been cases of children locked in cupboard with broken legs while HV's have been given tea downstairs from parents who act like everything is 'normal'


handcream Fri 04-Oct-13 19:48:38

Yes, and children being gagged and tied up to ensure that they didnt scream out.

If you refuse to let your child be seen you will have such a massive red flag on you it will be seen from space. Until that child is seen you will be checked on again and again. I think the issue in a lot of these cases is that people are visited time and time again and refused access and it seems to be acceptable. That will no longer be the case.

handcream Fri 04-Oct-13 19:50:12

I really dont think its resources Mrs Devere. Its what those resources do with their time that's the issue here. Dont allow parents to hide their children from you.

filee777 Fri 04-Oct-13 19:55:19

Resources are definitely a problem, social services is just being squeezed and squeezed with more and more caseloads being pushed onto already overworked people.

bigkidsdidit Fri 04-Oct-13 19:56:35

Mrs dv, as someone who knows what it's like, do you think there is anything that can prevent all cases like this? Or will a few sadly slip through the net?

MrsDeVere Fri 04-Oct-13 20:01:33

If you did that you would be arrested.
The child would be taken off you and given back to your sister.
And you would have lost ANY chance of helping that child.

MrsDeVere Fri 04-Oct-13 20:06:36

bigkids I think whatever we do, parents will continue to kill their children.

All we can do is minimise the risk and try and keep those deaths to a minimum.

We need more CP social workers. They need more admin support.
We need more family units for assessment.
We need more family support.
More detox, rehab places.
MUCH more support for family and friends carers (those who take care of children from within the family/community).

Assessment processes have to be fair and robust but they should not be held up by lack of court dates, SW sickness, SW leaving and cases not being reassigned/followed up.

This type of child death is not new. There is no modern phenomenon going on here.

MrsDeVere Fri 04-Oct-13 20:08:45

If you get a visit from SS they do check the child's bedroom.
It is policy.

filee777 Fri 04-Oct-13 20:16:49

They have no legal right too, it can't be such solid 'policy' when it was missed out of the Daniel Pelka's case, HCP's do not all check bedrooms, they also do not have meeting with the children rather than the parents, two things that would make a huge difference.

handcream Fri 04-Oct-13 20:18:01

What if you arent allowed in or told a child is sleeping. It seems often that SW's are turned away, is it only if you get invited in that you can check the bedroom?

MrsDeVere Fri 04-Oct-13 20:21:12

What can be done then?

Do you really want to give SW more powers than the SAS?

filee777 Fri 04-Oct-13 20:21:38

I think you'd have a hard time checking the bedroom if you can't get in the front door!

It shouldn't be up to the parents, it should be a meeting with the child in their space. Similar to a lodger I suppose

FunnyRunner Fri 04-Oct-13 20:21:43

I do feel utterly depressed by how many of these stories there have been sad

I would rather social services were granted more rights tbh. I know first hand of two different kids who were returned to birth parents who were unfit to parent them. One was back to eating out of dustbins within months of her return to her mother ('a changed woman'! hmm no, a fucking manipulative sociopath). The other was returned to be mentally and physically tortured by her cunt of a mother and her partner who was basically the antichrist. That child is now dead.

And I agree that there is something to be said for shame. Not silly stuff like people bonking outside of marriage but something about society saying: look, we expect people to behave to a basic, bare minimum standard. If you don't, don't expect sympathy or understanding. If people have problems society should support them but if they don't change with support then it's time to get tough.

bigkidsdidit Fri 04-Oct-13 20:24:15

Could we make the optional one year review by HV compulsory, and at home? Or is that you much even?

filee777 Fri 04-Oct-13 20:25:19

Perhaps if social services had more rights, they would be able to make choices that people in general would be more comfortable with?

kotinka Fri 04-Oct-13 20:26:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bigkidsdidit Fri 04-Oct-13 20:26:42

TOO much.

Thanks for replying mrs dv. It's very hard drawing the line between preventing deaths like these and not imposing hugely on the lives of the vast vast majority of good parents. Especially if people are absolutely intent on killing their children and are manipulative and clever about it, you'd have to bring in huge powers which would make the lives of everyone else harder too. And cost billions, I guess.

duchesse Fri 04-Oct-13 20:30:59

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filee777 Fri 04-Oct-13 20:31:53

What happens when the parenting starts to fail later than that though?

There needs to be a change in people's reaction to obvious abuse of parenting and in the funding given to social services so they can deal with it.

Schools are a huge aspect of that, but teachers are also overworked!

MrsDeVere Fri 04-Oct-13 20:32:20

When I had my older children HV made regular checks at clinic and at home.
By the time I had DCs 4&5 I only saw one once for a booking in visit.

The HVs I work with seem to be on a par with SW. They only have time for the complex cases and those on CP plans.

The job seems to have changed totally.

If I have a family who are involved with SS they take up 10x more time than any other because of all the meetings and reviews.

I have a small case load because I am part time. Imagine the huge amount of work your average HV or SW has.

I wouldn't do it.

kotinka Fri 04-Oct-13 20:36:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

filee777 Fri 04-Oct-13 20:39:38

It definitely is, but for that to happen there needs to be more support for social workers and less red tape.

Because a lot of time is spent in that 'red tape' and it doesn't help anyone.

filee777 Fri 04-Oct-13 20:41:39

I think this 'we don't judge' culture has to change too, it angers me when people are accepting of domestic abuse 'oh I know he beats his wife but I still have a drink with him when he comes in the pub' sort of thing. People not wanting to rock the boat. People observing but not, as a society joining together and saying that if we know a fellow human is being abused we will not smile and nod at their abuser.

duchesse Fri 04-Oct-13 20:58:26

Have to say I feel really sorry for the oldest son. Poor boy was stuck between a rock and a hard place. He was only 20 when his brother died, younger than that when he was so sick and malnourished. That's a lot of responsibility for a teenage lad with an unstable upbringing. I hope he doesn't receive too big a sentence.

Pixel Fri 04-Oct-13 21:10:21

Teachers failed to act as did neighbours until nappies were being thrown in their garden. Apparently the neighbours didn't even know most of the children existed. I can understand that, how would they know?

I do blame the extended family, tbh.
Saw in a newpaper report today that Hutton's father hadn't seen her in years. Don't think it's fair to blame the family for not stepping in to save a child they knew nothing about. I don't go around wondering if people I haven't seen for years are living in squalor with eight children.

* In fact I would like to bet that she was never a victim of domestic violence at all.*
I said this to dh today actually. I know someone who was accused of DV because his wife wanted him out of the picture so she could play happy families in his house with his children and her new partner. Luckily his daughter was old enough to speak up for him as she knew what was going on, otherwise he'd have lost everything as his word against hers. Someone else in my family was being beaten by his wife for years. She got away with it because he didn't want to lose his children and because he'd been brought up not to hit a woman. When he eventually left, all their mutual friends were led to believe that she'd thrown him out because he was hitting her.
Now I realise these cases are in the minority (and am definitely not belittling DV, having lost a beautiful cousin to an utter bastard husband), but I know it can be all too easy for a woman to accuse a man of DV and there isn't always much he can do to prove otherwise. It is a pretty good way to ensure he is a) kept away and b) not believed when he tries to raise the alarm about something as he's already branded as a troublemaker by all connected authorities.
Of course, the father could have been abusing Hutton, probably was as we don't know all the details, but I'm just saying there is still a chance he wasn't, given that she's emerged as less than honest.

TwistedReach Fri 04-Oct-13 21:27:14

Duchesse I agree with you- god knows what his life must also have been like. The trouble is people so often only often have sympathy when these children are abused and little. God help them if they actually become seriously disturbed by what has happened to them and actually also go on to hurt. It is as if then all sympathy had gone. I suppose life is simpler that way...

duchesse Fri 04-Oct-13 21:35:25

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

sinistersal Fri 04-Oct-13 21:38:29

doesn't explain the aftermath Duchesse. the failure to move his poor little body, the threats.

there is a big jump from alcohol induced weakness and selfishness to what happened here

duchesse Fri 04-Oct-13 21:47:29

Honestly though, even though sleeping alongside his dead body for two years feels as though it should be worse than what happened to little Daniel, it seems that there was much less murderous intent and cruelty in the case of Hamzah than in Daniel's case- evidenced through the respective sentences meted out to Daniel's mother and stepfather (30 years apiece) and Amanda Hutton (15 years) by courts that had heard all the evidence.

Once the poor little boy was dead, frankly it is relatively irrelevant what happened to his body. The important events happened (or failed to happen) when he and Daniel were still alive.

sinistersal Fri 04-Oct-13 21:48:27

That is true.

filee777 Fri 04-Oct-13 22:14:41

I totally agree with you duchee, I don't quite understand why all the focus is on the treatment of the body. It's the treatment of the child before he died that bothers me the most.

GoshAnneGorilla Fri 04-Oct-13 22:20:22

There is a difference between troubled families and actively abusive families.

The services (not just social services, the health service and police too) could see the problems in these families, but not the abuse.

Both Daniel and Keanu presented with injuries, but the services (the health service is particularly culpable here) involved did not see or seriously consider the likelehood of abuse.

Families with problems leading to neglect, poor parenting need support and careful monitoring, families where a child us actively being harmed need a very different, far more interventionist approach.

HoleyGhost Fri 04-Oct-13 22:41:10

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

curlew Fri 04-Oct-13 22:42:20

"I totally agree with you duchee, I don't quite understand why all the focus is on the treatment of the body"

Because people are irrational.

Because people don't want to think that children are most at risk from their immediate family. They prefer to think of the risks as coming from the outside. From strangers. Or from parents so lost to decency that they don't even dispose of the body properly. Because thinking anything else brings it too close to home.

filee777 Fri 04-Oct-13 22:46:16

You are painfully right curlew sad it's exactly why folk jump all over the incredibly rare cases of child abuse from 'strangers' but fail to acknowledge that a much more real risk comes from far, far closer.

sinistersal Fri 04-Oct-13 22:52:28

That's true curlew, it seems counterintuitive but it's where the real risk lies.

DiamondMask Fri 04-Oct-13 23:04:17

There is a lack of resources and a lack of joined up resources. When parents do ask for help there isnt any. When a parent maybe goes to the doctors once with PND or crying with tiredness as a 'cry for help' she is dismissed. She never goes back and spirals downwards.
Now obviously the majority dont go on to neglect or kill their children but where are the early interventions? Where are the raised flags? Where is any help that might spot that something is not right? Something that might not just helpprevent some of these appalling cases (you will never stop them all) but help parents in need, poor parenting, mental health issues, moderate neglect, desperation?
My last child didnt even have a health visitor! I kept asking for one but the GP surgery said theirs wasnt qualified to 'do' a baby with special needs and we saw no-one for years. Luckily I'm not an alcoholic and I'm pro-active but WTF. Now there are no Sure Start Centres in this area which is an area of severe economic deprivation. It's only going to get worse.

BMW6 Sat 05-Oct-13 00:04:26

We seem to be digressing, or faffing about.

back to basics, we want to stop this from happening again, Yes?


Actually, we are an enourmous force. It has just occurred to me that we can literally make a difference. we are all parents, one way or another. We have a voice.

We have Mumsnet. A very influential body, politically,

I have no idea how to go about this, but can we get some sort of campaign going? I will be happy to put my own head above the parapet, so to speak.

claretandamberforever Sat 05-Oct-13 08:44:20

I've been trying to get my head around this, but it's just too shocking and massive. RIP Hamzah

MorrisZapp Sat 05-Oct-13 08:49:31

She had four other children in the house. Of course leaving a body to rot is relevant.

I wasn't dismissed when I presented with pnd. What evidence is there that this woman tried to access support but was rejected?

filee777 Sat 05-Oct-13 09:45:32

I agree BM, we have to do whatever we can.

JakeBullet Sat 05-Oct-13 10:34:00

I thnk what strikes me is how easy it is for a child to disappear off the radar as this poor child did. Nobody saw him after the age of two weeks and reports are that the house was in a normal state at that time.

When I worked as a HV there were families who were not seen after the two week visit because they were utterly normal and no needs were identified. In the case of AH she was seen, an experienced mum, house looked normal, she didn't come to clinic but parents who have a number of children often don't as they feel secure that they baby is doing well and don't see the need.

Nothing came up in the radar for a long period of time.

I remember getting a call once about a child who had disappeared because the nursery were expressing concerns about his development. Nobody knew where the family were, they were not at their old house but this was still listed as their address. I finally caught up with them a year later when doing a new birth visit.....they had been out of the country for 18 months and had just returned. The baby was a cousin to their child and they were staying with the new parents while they sorted out a private let.

Their son dd not in fact have any development concerns but nobody knew where this child was and it took a very long time to find him.

In the case of AH it seems some concerns were raised but getting I to the property and getting AH to engage with anyone was a big issue. We still cannot just burst into somebody's house just because an abusive partner makes an allegation. If i had a £1 for every abusive partner who made spurious allegations regarding their child's mother I would be rich!

It is entirely possible for a child not to be seen just because a parent doesn't feel they need seeing...and they are usually correct.

Obviously there needs to be some way of addressing the issue of children not being seen by anyone. Then again there are plenty of MNers who would rather not see a HV or a doctor just because they are summoned for a development check. Then again their children are usually seen by many others and in nurseries etc.

kotinka Sat 05-Oct-13 10:44:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I totally agree jakebullet how he was missed liked this is so shocking!

All my children had to be seen at 8 weeks by Gp, and then various Hv checks at 9 months, 12 months, 2yo etc. Where was the health visitor for him?

Tiredemma Sat 05-Oct-13 10:47:43

I had DD 4 weeks ago today.

Im still waiting for the midwife to come back to 'sign' me off.

MrsDeVere Sat 05-Oct-13 10:48:11

My two youngest have not been seen by HV apart from the booking in visit.
A. because HV are too busy to be visiting every child in their area
B. because if I have concerns I am able to seek help.

I would be very annoyed if I was pushed into accepting visits that I did not want.

It is likely that my family would be flagged up as vulnerable due to where we live, my OH's disability, my Ds, disability, the loss of my DD etc., our income bracket ...

fending off HVs and (more likely) under qualified SW students or outreach workers would infuriate me.

I don't think I should suck it up in case it saves 'just one child' because it won't.

It will take up huge resources and the parent who want to avoid intervention will do so. If you live a chaotic life you can pack up and move when you need to, if you don't care about disrupting your child you can move them to a different school.

Us easy to find ones are not the problem however dodgy we might look on paper.

So much IS being done to protect children and I think it is really important we do not lose sight of this. For every one of these terrible cases there are hundreds where the child is helped.

But most interventions are unwanted and deemed unfair and pretty much every single removal of a child is 'unfair'.

I have yet to meet a birth parent who will admit they are a terrible parent and their child should be removed. Why would they?

IrnBruTheNoo Sat 05-Oct-13 10:58:48

I'm shock at the amount of people on this thread who did not see a HV or midwife regularly after the birth of their DC.

I have seen our HV regularly in the first couple of years of each of my DC's lives. I thought this was common practice. But I am in Scotland, so perhaps the level of care is much better? That sounds shocking what some of you have to put up with. I'd be raging if I wasn't getting follow up care after the birth, tbh.

Tiredemma Sat 05-Oct-13 11:01:29

IrnBru- I think I am sticking my heels in and just 'waiting' to see how long it takes for them to 'return' to me.

I am a nurse myself so I think I am just using this as an exercise to see just how inept certain aspects of healthcare actually are.

I suppose I am fortunate to have the knowledge of exactly who I can 'signpost' myself to should I have any worries about my newborn.

But what if I didnt have that knowledge???.......

duchesse Sat 05-Oct-13 11:07:40

My dd was born in 2009. We saw the HV at discharge, then at 8 mo for the hearing and development check. They were not standard by then but my HV believed in still doing them. Same lovely HV came to do DD's 2 year check, very much of her own accord as they were being actively discouraged by then (2011) from visiting non-problematic families. Lovely HV then left health visiting as team was being reduced. Another big loss to the profession, which is being turned into an arm of the SS and therefore will come to be as feared as SS by the very families that need them the most. The beauty of the HV system was that they visited everyone, thereby not singling out problem families.

IrnBruTheNoo Sat 05-Oct-13 11:13:28

I also am able to call for help (and have) and know which HP to contact too, but I agree Tiredemma, there are loads out there who may not have a clue who to contact at what time in their child's life.

For example, DS1 recently had troubles with tummy cramps at school so rather than doing nothing, I found contact details for the school nurse and asked her to have a look in on him and find strategies to help him stay in school to cope with the cramps rather than miss school life (with investigations ongoing outside of school via GP and paediatrician). I know how and who to contact should I have concerns, but appreciate not all people would have the know-how to do this. DS1 much better recently, and attendance at school is all good. Before taking a career break to stay at home with the DC, I worked as a nurse so very aware of what HPs are relevant in various different scenarios.

JakeBullet Sat 05-Oct-13 11:29:22

You are right MrsDV and because generally parents are seen as the experts in their own children you should not HAVE to accept visits either.

I saw one family for a new birth visit who specified no further HV input. Their baby had significant disabilities and they already had a huge number of people involved. Quite frankly a HV was the last person they needed to add to that list. I simply gave them the red book, mDe sure they knew where I was if needed and that was it, in fact they did come to me a few months later as their GP was being an arse about prescribing an adequate amount of meds....I got onto the Trust about this and sorted it out but had no other contact after that.

It is important that parents are not railroaded into accepting visits just because one child has died as the result of a neglectful parent.

filee777 Sat 05-Oct-13 12:27:20

I can't see why anyone would refuse to accept a change in policy that though might be a bit inconvenient, would save the lives of children.

There are children suffering in the uk and we all need to look at how to help them.

MrsDeVere Sat 05-Oct-13 14:14:01

What change in policy?
What would it take to stop parents killing their children?

The changes would be likely to be so draconian that noone would accept them. We are talking about the state taking away basic human rights from parents.

There are laws and rule and duties in place. They should protect children. I am duty bound to report any concerns I have about a child. If a child I am involved with is injured or killed I will be investigated, however small my involvement is.

People who work with children understand this. There is so much safeguarding going on all the time. Most people who work with families spend a lot of time working with these issues.

I am horrified that this little boy and Keanu (Birmingham) died when there were obvious problems. I can imagine the train of events that lead to these deaths.

There is something called 'drift' in these cases and I think drift is one of the biggest problems we have.

It means when things are allowed to bumble on, people DO report concerns and they do their jobs but wheels move so slowly that professionals move on, families move house etc.

In the Kenanu case 'friends' are coming out of the woodwork to say the mother was battering this poor kid and expressed amazement that he hadn't been removed.

WTF were they doing? Two few people are prepared to 'grass' and yet they are quick to blame professionals for not doing enough.

filee777 Sat 05-Oct-13 14:25:42

Obviously there is not enough awareness/concern/duty of care towards safe guarding young children. If giving HCP's right of entry stops children being murdered then it should not be stood in the way of. It would prevent those HCP's from making so many wrong decisions either way because they wouldn't have to make assumptions, they could simply go and look.

filee777 Sat 05-Oct-13 14:26:32

And I agree about the duty of care, it needs to be extended to everybody, we all have an obligation to protect every child.

JakeBullet Sat 05-Oct-13 14:32:31

I agree utterly with your post MrsDV, Safeguarding is everybody's business...not just the professionals.

MrsDeVere Sat 05-Oct-13 14:32:35

Who would you give right of entry to?
Even the police don't have right of entry do they? Only under specific circumstances.

SW can already call on the police if they need to gain entry in an emergency.

There is no way I would be happy with HVs, Outreach workers, and random professionals being able to insist they come into my house.

The implications are horrendous.

filee777 Sat 05-Oct-13 15:17:16

As I said in my post, I would give right of entry to HCP's who were visiting a child because they are there to see a child not the parents fundamentally.

filee777 Sat 05-Oct-13 15:17:56

I can't see why the implications would be horrendous unless someone had something to hide.

MrsDeVere Sat 05-Oct-13 15:40:24

So you wouldn't mind the police breaking your door down and searching your house at midnight?

Just on the off chance that you had drugs in the house?

We have rights in this country. We have the right not to have our family life interfered with.

You are talking about changing the basic tenets of British Law with no idea if it would help any child, any where.

The 'if you have nothing to hide' is a straw man argument. I have nothing to hide but I found SS arriving at my house due to the incompetence of a SW student incredibly traumatic.

The implications of me not knowing the law and my rights were utterly horrendous.

Unless you have been on the receiving end of mistakes made by inexperienced, unqualified or just downright prejudiced HCPs, SWs or other professionals I don't think you can state that its fine 'if you have nothing to hide'

Professionals are not infallible and some of them are downright dangerous. You cannot hand out these powers willy nilly.

I doubt very much that most of them would welcome the added responsibility they would bring.

The laws are there already. People need to know how to access the help they need if they have concerns. Information needs to be shared and cases followed up properly.

Otherwise all the room checking in the world will not save children.

filee777 Sat 05-Oct-13 15:41:44

There is a massive difference between police doing a dawn raid and social workers having the right to say 'we are here to see the child not the parent' and then demanding entry in the middle of the day.

MrsDeVere Sat 05-Oct-13 15:57:07

Why on earth would it be in the middle of the day?

I understand your concerns and it is obvious you have the best interests of the children at heart but I don't think you have thought this through.

I would be very, very unhappy with a group of strangers demanding to interview my child. They would be terrified!

Who would these people be?
On what grounds would they insist?
What protection, physical and legal, would they have?
What about the potential damage to the child?
Would these people be properly trained with regard to children with SN (because they aren't now, not even SW on the children with disabilities team)
What would the do once they had gained entry?
What standards would they use to decide if the child was at risk?

In the case of this poor little boy it was obvious and shocking but these cases are very rare.

You might be interested in googling Serious Case Reviews . It will give you a list of these dreadful cases in various boroughs and what findings were made.

It will give you a good idea of the way most of these cases are horribley mundane until the worst happens. It is generally only the lurid cases that make the headlines.

filee777 Sat 05-Oct-13 16:00:53

I have been studying serious case reviews, with a very different conclusion than you seem to have come up with.

Why on earth would a HCP want to do a 1/2/5 year check on a child in the middle of the night?? It's a ludicrous thought it really is.

Fact is, if HCP are visiting because a child is on the premises, they should be there to see the child, not the parents.

It would stop an awful lot of 'hiding' stuff that shouldn't be hidden and make it a lot easier for people to do their job, duty of care needs looking at too, it covers everyone in other countries in Europe, no reason why the same couldn't happen here.

filee777 Sat 05-Oct-13 16:01:45

Btw there are far FAR too many serious case reviews, not all of them make the press by a long shot.

MrsDeVere Sat 05-Oct-13 16:07:23

I am going to back away now.
Your tone is generally hostile towards me regardless of what I say to you and its getting tedious.

You do not care more than anyone else.

filee777 Sat 05-Oct-13 16:11:26

Ummm... Okay...

filee777 Sat 05-Oct-13 16:16:09

<scours posts, finds nothing even remotely like what she is being accused of (again) moves on>

duchesse Sat 05-Oct-13 16:18:22

France has a different way of handling child protection. Teachers for example have to report any concerns over child protection. In the case of FGM concerns, little girls can be examined by a doctor without their parents' consent. Health teams still visit children at school to check for any potential health problems (friend who is a TA in a nursery told me one of the 4 yo in her care was recently found to be profoundly deaf since birth in this way) which adds another tier of supervision in a manner that does not require parental consent for access to the home. I believe that France has far fewer child murders than the UK. Daniel Pelka would almost certainly not have been killed in France because his injuries, hunger and thinness would have been noticed far sooner.

filee777 Sat 05-Oct-13 16:35:11

Duchess that sounds exactly like the sort of system I would see put in place over here.

The 'duty of care' certainly in Norway (and it sounds like in France too) means that people are duty bound to act upon potential child abuse or harm.

It cuts out a lot of red tape, the teacher things there is a problem and phones the relevant people who examine the child/make sure the child is examined. No need for different organisations going over and over things and making a judgement having not met the child.

Most importantly the initial person who noted concern (the teacher) knows what is going on, knows that action is being taken. This is a vital part of it I think.

GoshAnneGorilla Sat 05-Oct-13 19:14:51

From SCR's of these sorts of cases there tend to be a few glaring similarities:

1) The child in question is never spoken to directly and alone - Victoria Climbe, Kyra Ishaq and Daniel Pelka (and many others) all featured this.

2) The needs of the parent are allowed to overshadow those of the child. Professionals will often be far too optimistic about the parent's ability to rectify their behaviour - "start again syndrome".

3) Even when confronted with a clearly abused child, professionals are still too eager to believe the parent's story, however unfeasible

When red flags are raised, there needs to be a change in how families are dealt with and the conclusions of many, many SCR's would back this up.

ImperialBlether Sat 05-Oct-13 19:18:21

Just thinking - whose nappies were thrown over the fence? Did the little boy's mother have another baby?

Clawdy Sat 05-Oct-13 19:22:38

One report said the older children were still in nappies.

filee777 Sat 05-Oct-13 19:29:10

The little boy was a twin sad sad

PeaceBeWithYou Sat 05-Oct-13 19:56:57

This is not the first time this has happened. There is another recent case and the home was in a similar state. This was linked to in another thread and totally horrified me again. The fact that this happened twice within 18 months is unbelievable.

AND the mother has has now been released and is free to live her life! We have a serious problem in humanity (and the court system) folks.

ImperialBlether Sat 05-Oct-13 19:57:52

Oh I didn't know he was a twin. Hope the other children are with people who are caring for them, but it's hard to think they'll grow up without problems.

filee777 Sat 05-Oct-13 20:09:32

Yes I linked to the other story on the other thread, when someone told me this was a one off, it isn't.

The other story was a woman who got addicted to heroin and left her baby for days at at time at 18 months old until he died of starvation.

Absolutely dreadful.

claretandamberforever Sat 05-Oct-13 20:53:01

Are there a lot of things that have gone unreported in the media due to restrictions not being lifted? There seems to be so many questions about the other children but no answers.

filee777 Sat 05-Oct-13 20:59:43

Yes until the end of the trial the Serious Case Review won't be published

Also there will be things not released to protect the other children

claretandamberforever Sat 05-Oct-13 21:05:16

I'm not up on things like this.

Does that mean the Serious Case Review has been completed by now?

filee777 Sat 05-Oct-13 21:10:29

Yes, it will have been completed by now, but not published until after the sentence.

Caitlin17 Sun 06-Oct-13 01:40:04

That was the thing that got to me as well, Hamzah wasn't the youngest. Did the youngest slip through the net as well?

Presumably yes given one of the police women referred to seeing 2 children wearing just dirty nappies

The other children were described as being of school age so presumably there were 2 children who were off the radar if at that stage they were still in nappies . Can you even begin to imagine the developmental damage that will have been caused to them.

Caitlin17 Sun 06-Oct-13 01:42:25

Sorry my post above was meant to be replying to an earlier post pointing out there must have been a baby born after Hamzah.

duchesse Sun 06-Oct-13 09:18:54

My online research on Ancestry (which goes to 2005) suggests that yes indeed if there were 8 children that one was born after 2005. Until the sibling before Hamzah and twin there are quite long, manageable gaps between the children. The child before the twins was born 14 months before them. (so she had 3 under 2 at one point) I can't know when the next child was born, but a bit of a handful for some spiralling into addiction.

duchesse Sun 06-Oct-13 09:19:21


filee777 Sun 06-Oct-13 09:23:32

Given what you have said, duchesse and also the fact that she recieved manslaughter not murder, I'm intrigued to read the SCR

claretandamberforever Sun 06-Oct-13 15:57:56

When is the SCR likely to be released? reported? whatever?

filee777 Sun 06-Oct-13 17:36:28

Week or two.

horsetowater Mon 07-Oct-13 12:50:45

Found this in the Yorkshire Post

"By October 2009 after repeated failed appointments, Hutton’s GP surgery removed mother and child from the patients list - as is normal practice"

That's one normal practice that needs to change.

handcream Mon 07-Oct-13 13:10:10

Without hijacking this thread what is happening to society?? I am reading about the 18 year old in East London and the 4 month old baby. She is also accused of neglect of 3 other children. Surely these cannot be her kids......

horsetowater Mon 07-Oct-13 13:19:05

What is wrong with society? Vulnerable women having babies without support or supervision.

horsetowater Mon 07-Oct-13 13:26:37

What is wrong with society? Buckpassing.

By the professionals and those with contact. "she didn't come to the clinic so we have no records" - GP. "We came to the door to register the birth and she had a black eye" - Registrar. "I kept trying to get her to let me in" - PCSO. "The family have always had complex issues" - SS. "She was an alcoholic" - Hamzah's father.

The only decent person involved so far was the neighbour who was convinced there was a child in there and something was up because they were throwing dirty nappies into his garden. The police sent an inexperienced PCSO to investigate, which simply delayed matters.

handcream Mon 07-Oct-13 13:34:51

Vulnerable women having babies - this women has been accused of causing the death of this baby!! You are surely not going to blame society for this are you??

I am sure she had 'support' but refused it, hid from SS etc.

What a horrible horrible story. Dont know the full story but if this had been a man doing this....

passedgo Mon 07-Oct-13 13:43:02

She met Hamza's father when 17, had her first baby at 18, he beat her and there was ongoing DV, she went on to have 8 more children, one every year or two. She had PND with her first child, not sure when she went on to the bottle of vodka a day routine.

I hardly think she deliberately got herself into this situation.

The people that allowed her children to stay with her (a depressed alcoholic in an violent relationship) are to blame for this.

wannaBe Mon 07-Oct-13 17:30:08

"The people that allowed her children to stay with her (a depressed alcoholic in an violent relationship) are to blame for this." no. she is to blame for this.

She wasn't in that relationship at the time she was starving her child to death.

The ex was apparently charged with dv offenses, so how is it she had the ability to seek the help of the authorities when it came down to her (a restraining order isn't something which is come by lightly) yet she didn't give a shit about her eight children. didn't give a shit about the fact that her children were living in a house with a dead body.

People need to stop making excuses for this murdering bitch, she was capable of making decisions for herself, to get the husband out of the picture, get the restraining order, get her next alcohol fix. She chose not to make decisions for her children. chose to starve a child to death and then conceal his body for two years while her other children lived in squaler.

Completely agree WannaBE!
She is a cold hearted killer, there is no excuse in the world for what she did.

TheCrackFox Mon 07-Oct-13 20:48:34

Completely agree with you wannabe.

She chose to neglect and abuse her children and the blame lies squarely at her feet.

kotinka Mon 07-Oct-13 22:40:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Clawdy Mon 07-Oct-13 22:56:40

They neglected their duties - culpable and wrong,no question.
She neglected her helpless child and caused him to die a prolonged agonising death - that is a hundred times worse and there is no excuse or forgiveness.

Caitlin17 Mon 07-Oct-13 22:57:11

There was clearly a breakdown down in the network but wannabe is quite right. She must have had enough gumption to consult a solicitor to obtain a restraining order, get rehoused in what actually looked like quite a nice house under the filth, apparently was able to continue getting enough money to pay rent and buy booze and enough food to feed herself and the other children.

Oh I agree there were plenty of people not doing their job but that does not absolve her in any way.

kotinka Mon 07-Oct-13 23:01:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

wannaBe Mon 07-Oct-13 23:05:42

But the buck stopped with her.

Did social services starve that child to death? no.

Did they fail to spot that there was an issue? yes certainly, but when they were denied access to the house they were powerless. And there was no indication that things were that bad.

Did the police hide a dead body in that woman's bedroom for two years? no.

Did they fail to act on the allegations of the father that something was amiss? yes, but again, the father had a record of abuse, a restraining order against him, and therefore a potential reason too make malicious allegations.

Did the neighbours, ss, the school, the police feed AH alcohol and leave the house in that state? no.

The only person responsible for that child's death is Amanda Hutton. The only person responsible for those children living in that state is Amanda Hutton. Others did not spot that there were issues but they did not kill that child - she did.

kotinka Mon 07-Oct-13 23:20:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

duchesse Mon 07-Oct-13 23:21:54

Firstly, she is NOT a "murderer". She has been found guilty of manslaughter, which requires altogether a different level of intent.

Yes, she was a shit mother.

Yes, she starved her child to death.


the systems that we have in place exist precisely because shit parents exist. The very systems that ought to have helped this child did not. And we need to know why. Especially since several children have died as a result of falling through the nets in Birmingham in recent years. Why Birmingham rather than Manchester or Gateshead? Well, that's what needs to be established.

kotinka Mon 07-Oct-13 23:28:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

passedgo Mon 07-Oct-13 23:40:31

Actually they haven't been able determine whether starvation was the cod.

If Amanda Hutton was solely responsible for this boys death there wouldn't be a serious case review, it would be a straight murder case.

What happened was a myriad of services running around and nobody getting a grip of the situation. Meanwhile a woman is left clinically depressed, alcoholic, abused and expected to look after 8 children on her own. The odds were stacked against all of them, this situation needed a miracle to avoid a tragedy happening.

wannaBe Tue 08-Oct-13 00:46:10

but people are shifting the blame from ah and excusing what she did. it's ss/the police/the father who are to blame. Amanda hutton was a victim/mentally ill/abused/an alcoholic etc etc.

the plight of these children should have been picked up earlier - of course it should, and hopefully the SCR will determine that.

But Amanda Hutton was an accomplished lier and manipulator who was able to evade the authorities for a considerable length of time. She knew what she had done was wrong. she threatened to kill the other children if the eldest one spoke out. This isn't a woman who was not in control of her actions - she knew exactly what she was doing.

She has not been given a lenient sentence on the basis of her victim status - she has been given fifteen years.

The failure of the safeguarding systems need to be called into question, but there will always be cases that slip through - for whatever reason. And no, making hv visits and giving SW free access to your house whenever and however they want is not the answer.

I am not absolving the the safeguarding systems of any responsibility but nor should excuses be laid at Amanda Hutton's door.

And it is only not murder because it wasn't a specific act e.g. a head injury which caused his death - such as in the case of Daniel pelka.

HoleyGhost Tue 08-Oct-13 08:55:49

Amanda Hutton neglected her children, causing one of them to die. Nobody has questioned that she was responsible.

However, in most cases, if a parent has a breakdown and stops coping, someone else will intervene. It is worth considering how AH came to be in a situation where nobody did.

She had PND, her mother had just died from cancer, she suffered DV, was an alcoholic, was a single parent to 8 children including Hamzah and his twin.

Pinkpinot Tue 08-Oct-13 09:14:21

Sorry, she murdered that child. I know she's been convicted of manslaughter, but she murdered that child as if she put her own hands round his neck
Sounds like she had a sorry life, and that's sad and shouldn't be allowed to happen
But what she did is unforgivable

GoshAnneGorilla Tue 08-Oct-13 09:18:01

The condition of Hamzah's body may have made obtaining a murder conviction difficult, due to its deteriorated state.

Serious Case Reviews take place regardless of whether the death was murder or manslaughter.

handcream Tue 08-Oct-13 10:59:40

We are going around in circles on this one. A child is dead at the hands of their mother. There is another case in East London where a 18 year old has been accused of the murder of a FOUR month old and neglect of 3 other child. Please God let them not all be her's (but I think they are)

What on earth is happening to our society. Why is is Ok for a young girl to have so many child and not an eyelid is battered. Maybe it is so common now and we arent allowed to judge so consequently it is seen as normal...

handcream Tue 08-Oct-13 11:01:59

child = children. Sorry, typing too quickly...

Elfhame Tue 08-Oct-13 11:24:15

Where is that story from handcream?

handcream Tue 08-Oct-13 11:29:37

Elfhame - its here

Pretty horrible but interesting that it doesnt get the coverage of the Hutton case.

Is it so common that these sorts of stories just get reported briefly and then disappear?

PeaceBeWithYou Tue 08-Oct-13 13:17:12

With regards to the East London case, I read that the children were 3, 1 and the 4 month old girl (who the mother apparently 'caused the death' of). The 3 charges of neglect include the 4 month old.

So this woman could have had a child at 15, another at 16/17 and then the last one at 17/18. Makes you wonder what support she had/where was the father/s AGAIN sad.

filee777 Tue 08-Oct-13 14:24:39

A child dies every week in the uk at the hands of an adult.

If they reported all of them, they would stop being news.

passedgo Wed 09-Oct-13 02:21:15

And the weekly deaths are only those that the courr believe that the parents were to blame. How many lives are lost but misinterpreted as 'accidents'.

A dozen serious case reviews is also a shocking figure.

And yes, where do the fathers disappear to while these women are neglecting their offspring?

filee777 Wed 09-Oct-13 07:14:26

I am currently doing a social work degree, I am only 3 weeks into it but i am already quite shocked by the 'shrug' aspect of the social work teachers and, sadly, other students.

'there is no point in serious case reviews, they are a waste of time we have already learnt the lessons we need to learn'

'parents will always kill their children, there is nothing we can do to stop it'

'when dealing with a child you are dealing with the person who has parental responsibility, the focus of care is on them and whether they are 'good enough' parents. Not on the child per say'

its a bit heartbreaking, I was sure that after Peter Connelly, Keanu Williams and a whole HOST of other children who have died, not just because of having sadistic parents but also because of the complete lack of action via social services who filed paper and did NOT intervene when awful abuse and neglect was so evident, that social services would change their methods to reflect that, but they haven't.

The fact is, that we could reduce that figure and change the world for a number of children who are being abused right now and everyone seems to go 'well, you can't save them all' and just leave it!

There has to be lessons we can learn, there has to be things we can do because children shouldnt just disappear for years and years and be totally unprotected by this society, I dont buy that we have enough money to bomb Libya but not enough money to provide support for our own communities.

I didnt choose social work to passively accept that the system was perfect. I am really so sad that so many do.

Tiredemma Wed 09-Oct-13 08:21:02

filee777- do you challenge these attitudes in your lectures?

handcream Wed 09-Oct-13 10:43:30

filee - how shocking. I think you are right though. If someone else after Serious Case Reviews say 'lessons have been learnt' I will scream!

Parents even the most appalling ones are given chance after chance.

Someone earlier was mentioning that resources are an issue and if only they had more money. Rubbish! Peter and his mother were visited 60 times and still nothing was done. Its not the number of visits - its what you do when you get there that is important and if there are certain things you cannot do those need to be flagged and then the law should be changed. Otherwise we will see more and more of these cases

filee777 Wed 09-Oct-13 14:34:06

I question them every time

I question the constant discussion of 'families' and 'mothering' in child protection when there is very little focus on the actual child.

I question why we are still learning to assess the guardian when we all know that part of the issue with the major big cases of the last 10 years have been such a flitting around in an 'anti-discriminatory panic' that actually massive signs have been avoided and children have been tortured to death.

I'm not doing social work to be a passive social worker who doesn't make a difference. If that means changing legislation then that is what I will aim to do.

passedgo Sat 12-Oct-13 13:13:49

There is a wall of silence in the sw sector. A lot of them keep their heads down, accept their pay and the status quo. They feel they can't escalate things to the next level. There is too much pressure all round. And now they have to have a degree which rules out all those with a natural talent that see it as a vocation.

Preventing family dysfunction has to be the answer. Nobody really wants to be a crap parent.

filee777 Sat 12-Oct-13 13:30:50

I agree with everything you say passedgo but not with your last sentence

it is exactly the mindset of 'nobody wants to be a crap parent, they just need support' that is causing immeasurable pain to children and in certin circumstances causing them to die horribly

passedgo Sat 12-Oct-13 19:53:29

I mean ensuring that people know how to take responsibility before they become parents. Time and time again in these abuse and neglect case, you find a violent man/vulnerable mother scenario. The services assume that the mother has a level of control over her life, more often than not they are controlled by someone else. These women need to be identified much earlier on and a much closer eye needs to be kept on them, with the authorities prepared to remove children much earlier.

This is the kind of thing I mean

'Unbelievably social services said I was intimidating the children by going around and asking for rent money.'

Read more:

filee777 Sat 12-Oct-13 20:17:39

I can't see where in that link it mentioned anything about domestic violence.

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