Girl died after visit to parents: Burnt and beaten teenager had gangrenous wound, inquest told

IRISH police are investigating the case of a 15-year-old girl who died from gangrene just days after returning to London from Co Mayo where she had been staying with her parents.

A file on the circumstances of the girl's death is being prepared for the Irish Director of Public Prosecutions.

An inquest at Southwark, south London, on Wednesday, was told that Kelly Fitzgerald's body had multiple lacerations and bruises, suggesting she had been beaten with a belt. Scars on her buttocks indicated she had been burnt with a cigarette, and there was evidence that she had been denied food and water.

A post-mortem examination showed that Kelly, who weighed six stones - 25 per cent underweight for her age - died from blood poisoning stemming from a gangrenous wound.

The inquest was adjourned for reports on the case by Lambeth social services after the coroner, Sir Montague Levine, said there was 'ample evidence of abuse'.

Kelly's uncle, Garry Fitzgerald, told the inquest that she had been registered as at risk from abuse when she lived with her family in Lambeth.

Her parents returned to Ireland two years ago, but Kelly stayed in London with her grandparents, where she was 'a normal, healthy little girl'.

Last August, Kelly decided to go to live with her parents, who have five other children, but returned to England on 1 February, arriving at Stansted airport, Essex, in a wheelchair and semi- conscious.

Mr Fitzgerald, a social worker, said: 'I was in a state of shock when I saw her. She looked severely brain damaged, and had lost about 30 pounds.' She was taken to hospital, but never regained consciousness and died a few days later.

After the hearing, Mr Fitzgerald criticised Lambeth social services for not responding when he alerted them that Kelly was to rejoin her parents, despite being on the 'at risk' register.

But Lambeth Child Protection Service said its officials had alerted the Irish Western Health Board to the girl's risk status.

Brendan Howlin, the Irish health minister, said: 'We want to find out why a seemingly outgoing teenager could be abused in this way without coming to the attention of social services.'

But Mr Howlin added that the Irish DPP would have to decide whether there was a prima facie case for bringing criminal proceedings over Kelly's death.

Her parents, Desmond and Susan Fitzgerald, who did not attend the inquest, issued a statement through their solicitor, Charles Kelly, denying ill- treating her.

Mr Kelly said: 'The matter is sub judice, but my clients did not abuse or ill-treat their daughter, and they are satisfied they will be vindicated on that in due course.'

Last night the couple were understood to be travelling to London from Tonroe in Co Mayo, to attend the funeral of Mrs Fitzgerald's mother.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
Stik on the crane as he completed the mural
art
News
Happy in his hat: Pharrell Williams
people
News
i100(More than you think)
News
Phyllis Dorothy James on stage during a reading of her book 'Death Comes to Pemberley' last year
peopleJohn Walsh pays tribute to PD James, who died today
News
peopleExclusive: Maryum and Hana Ali share their stories of the family man behind the boxing gloves
Arts and Entertainment
John Hurt will voice Prince Bolkonsky in Radio 4's War and Peace
radioRadio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Commercial / Residential Property - Surrey

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: SURREY MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Programme - Online Location Services Business

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: What do you want to do with your career? Do yo...

Recruitment Genius: Senior QC Scientist

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company is a leading expert in immunoassa...

Recruitment Genius: Development Scientist

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Development Scientist is required to join a ...

Day In a Page

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?