Events ending in tragic death of boy

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A 32-year-old man was found guilty at the Old Bailey today of causing or allowing the death of a 17-month-old boy on the child protection register in Haringey, north London. Here is a timeline of events leading to the boy's death.

* November 2006: Mother's boyfriend moves into her home but this is kept from police and social workers.

* December: Mother arrested after bruises spotted on baby's face and chest by a GP. She denies causing injury. He is admitted to the Whittington hospital in north London and placed on the child protection register. Child handed to a family friend.

* January 2007: Child returned to his family after five weeks. Mother blames child's grandmother for injuries.

* February: The family is rehoused in a larger, semi-detached property. Maria Ward is appointed their new social worker.

* March: A health visitor arranges for the mother to attend the Mellow parenting group once a week to improve her skills. A Haringey project worker visited to provide practical support.

* April: Child admitted to North Middlesex hospital with bruises, two black eyes and swelling on the left side of his head. The mother claimed it was from a fall on to a marble fireplace caused by another child. Mother tells doctors she fears meningitis. The boy is sent home two days later after meningitis fear is cleared up. The episode is not reported to police.

* May: The boy is taken to his GP after being said to have had an allergic reaction. Visits to or from health and social workers continue at least once a week but are cancelled in the last week.

* June: Marks seen on boy's face by Ms Ward. She sends him to the North Middlesex where 12 areas of bruises and scratches are found. Mother blames another child. The mother is re-arrested. Arrangements are made to pay family friend to live at the house for two weeks and then for a childminder to take the boy in the daytime.

* 2 July: Maria Ward manages to speak to the mother by phone after she failed to keep appointments on the previous days. The mother says she is nursing a sick uncle. In court, she admitted he did not exist and she was at home all the time.

* 9 July: Violence is increasing at home. Child taken to A&E at the North Middlesex for "scalp rash" and "ear discharge".

* 24 July: Childminder says she cannot take him until his scalp condition clears up.

The boy is likely to have then suffered his rib injuries and violence was increasing.

* 30 July: Social worker Ms Ward pays a pre-arranged home visit. She misses injuries to the boy's face and hands after he is deliberately smeared with chocolate to hide them.

* 1 August: Baby is taken to a child development clinic at St Ann's Hospital. Mother and her friend support the child during examination and Dr Sabah Al-Zayyat misses his broken back and ribs despite the child crying in pain.

* 2 August: The mother is called to the social services office and told by police she would not be prosecuted following consideration by the Crown Prosecution Service.

That evening, the boy receives the fatal last blow to the mouth, knocking his tooth out.

* 3 August: The boy is found dead in his cot. An attempt has been made to cover the crime, with his clothes and bedding removed and dumped.