Social workers in Climbié case are fired

By Terri Judd
Wednesday 13 November 2002 01:00
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Two of the London social workers who failed to save Victoria Climbié from abuse and death have been sacked for gross misconduct.

Almost three years after the eight-year-old died, having been imprisoned, beaten and starved, Lisa Arthurworrey, who closed the file on Victoria hours before her death, and Angella Mairs, a manager accused of tampering with the file, have been dismissed by Haringey social services.

A statutory inquiry into Victoria's death was told child protection services had missed at least 12 chances to save her life. Haringey social services was criticised for its chaotic team and for hindering the inquiry with the late production of documentation.

After an Old Bailey trial in January at which Victoria's great aunt Marie Thérèse Kouao, 45, and her partner, Carl Manning, 28, were jailed for life for the murder, blame fell on the "blinding incompetence" of Ms Arthurworrey, 32.

The social worker, who is planning to appeal against her dismissal, met Victoria only four times in seven months forno more than 30 minutes in total. After that she never made contact with Victoria, believing, without evidence, that the family had left the area. Ms Arthurworrey claimed she had seen Ms Mairs remove a sheet from the girl's file when her guardians were charged with murder. Ms Mairs admitted no one had read Victoria's file. She said she had spent "five to 10 minutes" discussing the case with Ms Arthurworrey, blaming a "lack of resources".

Haringey council says improvements to its social services have been made.

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