Baby's death - tragic trail of errors

A BABY boy's father attempted to warn Suffolk social workers of his concern for the child's welfare nearly three weeks before the youngster died, it emerged today.

A BABY boy's father attempted to warn Suffolk social workers of his concern for the child's welfare nearly three weeks before the youngster died, it emerged today.

But through a tragic series of errors, the points he raised went unheeded as first his letter was delayed and then it went to the wrong address. Finally it was not acted on due to an administrative bungle by Suffolk County Council's social care department.

Robbie Lee Taylor's father Neil today demanded to know why the letter he wrote 19 days before the Robbie Lee's death was not acted upon.

Mr Taylor also wanted to know why social workers decided to let his remaining two children and another child continue to live at Robbie Lee's home, while a police investigation is still under way.

The toddler died on August 13 near to his house in Hillcrest, Knodishall. It is believed he fell into a container of water and chemical fluid.

Mr Taylor, who received a letter of apology from Anthony Douglas - the former director of social care and health in Suffolk – still has issues with the way the case has been and is being handled.

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He said: "What I want to know is, is this going to bring Robbie back? And where Anthony Douglas talks about one letter the week before the death, what about the one dated July 26?

"Also why has social services allowed three children to remain there while there is an ongoing police investigation into Robbie Lee's death?"

Mr Taylor, who is not currently living in Knodishall, wrote a letter to social services from Norwich dated July 26

Although Suffolk County Council declined to comment directly on the timescale from the letter being written to its arrival at social care offices, sources are adamant it only arrived seven full days before Robbie Lee's death.

It is believed the letter was originally incorrectly addressed to a former child protection office in Sidegate Lane, Ipswich, which has been closed for some time. The postmark on the envelope was August 2 and an attempt to deliver it to the erroneous address was made on August 3.

The letter was then re-routed by Royal Mail and was eventually passed on to the social care and health main office in Tower Street, Ipswich, on August 5.

As Mr Taylor had not received a reply to the original letter he sent a second one dated August 7, six days before the tragedy, in the hope of drawing attention to his worries.

Mr Douglas, who has left Suffolk County Council to take up a pre-arranged senior position with children's agency CAFCAS, has apologised to Mr Taylor. Previously he stressed that although social workers were never alerted to Mr Taylor's concerns by other staff it was impossible to know whether Robbie Lee would still be alive today if they had been.

Regarding Mr Taylor's worries about the his two other children and a step-child remaining in the care of his wife Zoe, a spokesman for Suffolk County Council said: "Following a full assessment and case conference, social care staff are now providing enhanced support and supervision for the family."

A spokeswoman for Suffolk police said the investigation into Robbie Lee's death was still ongoing.

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