Care team acts after baby's murder

SOCIAL services staff at Suffolk have implemented all 33 recommendations contained in an independent report into the circumstances leading to the murder of Luigi Askew.

SOCIAL services staff at Suffolk have implemented all 33 recommendations contained in an independent report into the circumstances leading to the murder of Luigi Askew.

His father Duncan Mills, 32, is starting a life sentence after being found guilty of murder - he has been told he must serve at least 18 years in prison.

But the head of child protection at the county insisted that the tragedy could not have been predicted - insisting that when Luigi was seen by social workers the day before his death there were no major concerns.

Cliff James said: “When we visited them the day before the tragedy Luigi was in good health and not giving any cause for concern.

“His mother was not living with his father - she was living with her father and there was no indication of an immediate threat to the baby.

“The concern here was about domestic abuse, there had not been any serious incidents of injuries to children involving Mills.”

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Mr James said the tragic case had shown how important it was to identify the impact of domestic abuse on children.

He said; “It is clear that about 70 per cent of people who have issues with domestic abuse also have children who could be at risk in the relationship.

“The report and many of the recommendations relate to children who are involved in such a relationship.

“It is vital that people at risk of domestic abuse know who they can turn to if they want to get help. They can call health professionals, social workers or the police - it is vital for everyone that help is sought as soon as possible.”

Failings in the support provided to tragic Luigi Askew were identified in an independent report into the circumstances leading up to the baby's murder.

The 33 recommendations were made to a host of agencies after a serious case review, carried out by the Suffolk Safeguarding Children Board in a bid to prevent other children from suffering the same fete.

Technical failings meant that information was not readily available that would have highlighted Mills' violent past to social workers and other health agencies who already suspected Miss Askew as being a victim of domestic violence.

Two other separate police incidents were not logged as being of a domestic nature.

Mills, 32, was convicted in 2002 for causing grievous bodily harm to a previous partner.

It also emerged that Miss Askew had attended Ipswich Hospital on a number of occasions with minor injuries, prompting fears she was the victim of domestic abuse, which she consistently denied.

The recommendations made from the independent report related to GPs, health agencies, police, housing, the safeguarding board itself, children's services and the NHS Trust.

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