Concern over report delay

COUNTY bosses are today delaying the publication of a report on how they hope to prevent other Suffolk children suffering the same fate as tragic tot Luigi Askew.

COUNTY bosses are today delaying the publication of a report on how they hope to prevent other Suffolk children suffering the same fate as tragic tot Luigi Askew.

As revealed in the Evening Star, 32-year-old Duncan Mills was found guilty of murdering his month-old son Luigi on May 26 last year as well as battering the tot's mother Samantha Askew the same day.

During the case it emerged Suffolk County Council social workers had been in contact with Miss Askew over concerns she was a victim of domestic abuse.

However Luigi was deemed to be “well cared” for and no action was taken.

A statutory report on how the issue was dealt with - a Serious Case Review - has been drafted by Suffolk's Safeguarding Children Board.

Meanwhile social services chiefs say they have “developed more procedures” for dealing with children in a domestic abuse environment.

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However the council has refused to say what changes have been made and the contents of the Serious Case Review remain a mystery after a request made by the Star for a copy was denied.

The Star is now demanding that Suffolk County Council answer four key questions about what exactly happened with the Luigi Askew case.

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said the Safeguarding Children Board had made a decision not to release its findings, a public document, until after it has met to discuss them.

He said the report is unlikely to be made public until next month.

In a statement released to the Star, Peter Worobec - independent chair of the Suffolk Safeguarding Children Board - said: “Working with all the agencies that have contact with children and young people, we have revised our risk assessments for children living in households where there is evidence of domestic abuse.

“We are therefore better equipped today to protect the children of Suffolk than we were before this terrible event occurred.”

Rosalind Turner, director for children and young people at the council, said: I am convinced that our staff acted professionally and appropriately, in accordance with the information available to them.”

Key questions:

Was a comprehensive risk assessment carried out and, if so, what were the findings?

On how many occasions did social workers visit Miss Askew to assess her situation?

Were social services aware of Duncan Mills' violent past?

What changes have been made to procedures within social services?

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