Murdered tot's uncle criticises agencies

AN uncle of tragic Ipswich baby Luigi Askew today criticised child protection agencies for not learning their lessons in the wake of abuse atrocities.

Simon Tomlinson

AN uncle of tragic Ipswich baby Luigi Askew today criticised child protection agencies for not learning their lessons in the wake of abuse atrocities.

Luigi was murdered by his violent father Duncan Mills last year in a crime that shocked Suffolk and prompted an urgent review.

His uncle, Trevor Askew, spoke out in the wake of a similar case in Haringey in which a 17-month-old died after suffering hideous injuries.

The boy - known as Baby P - was under the care of the same council that was heavily criticised after the horrific death of eight-year-old Victoria Climbie in 2000, which sparked a national review.

Mr Askew said: “If social services throughout this country were doing enough with regards to protecting babies and children from abuse, we would not be reading about the latest murder of Baby P in London.

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“If the social workers, doctors and police had an ounce of awareness in this latest tragedy then Baby P might still be alive.”

Various agencies in the county have been implementing recommendations made after the murder of Luigi which saw Mills sent to prison for at least 18 years.

An independent report into the events leading up to his death identified a number of failings in the support provided to Luigi.

Earlier this year, social services in Suffolk said they had implemented all 33 recommendations made by the Suffolk Safeguarding Children Board and were continually learning from national cases.

Rosalind Turner, Suffolk County Council's director for children and young people, said: “In Suffolk, we have good safeguarding arrangements with strong training programmes for all staff. There is also a very strong commitment to joint working among all the agencies.

“Working closely together, we learn constantly from local and national case reviews to ensure that we have in place the most effective methods of protecting the children and young people of Suffolk.”

- Do social services in Suffolk provide enough protection to children? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

A LEADING politician in Ipswich today said he was keeping tabs on Suffolk's child protection strategies in the wake of a baby death atrocity in London.

Ipswich MP Chris Mole said he was making sure that recommendations in Suffolk made after the baby Luigi case were being followed through.

Mr Mole said: “There was a particular issue to do with hospital records of domestic violence cases which I pursued with ministers.

“The Strategic Health Authority has a job to oversee the implementation of any recommendations that came from the Suffolk Safeguarding Children Board.

“They were due to let me know in October what action they would take and I have written to them to see where that work has got to.”

Mr Mole stopped short of calling for a root and branch inquiry of the child protection system, but said he hoped any recommendations that arose from the Haringey case would be taken on board in Suffolk.

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