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Thread: baby p

  1. #1

    Default baby p

    a sad story. no jokes please.

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    When the infant known in court only as Baby P was brought home from hospital days after his birth in March 2006, it was as a bubbly, blue-eyed boy with the first signs of curly blond hair. He was, according to those who came into contact with him, a lively child with a ready smile.

    After 17 months enduring abuse of an almost unimaginable cruelty, the boy had been reduced to a nervous wreck, his hair shaved to the scalp and his body covered in bruises and scabs. Physical injuries included eight broken ribs, a broken back and the missing top of a finger, while the emotional damage was almost incalculable. Despite it all, Baby P was said to have still attempted a smile.

    The jury was told that details of the intervening months, leading to the baby’s death last August, would “fill [them] with revulsion”. But even this could not prepare jurors — one of whom could not hold back tears — for one of the worst cases of sadistic brutality and sordid child neglect to come before a British court.

    Baby P’s life in a council flat in Haringey, North London, began with gradual and growing neglect at the hands of his mother, who would leave him unattended for hours in his cot. The overweight woman, who had never had a full-time job and spent hours trawling the internet for pornography, split from the boy’s natural father when he was 3 months old after affairs with two men.

    When the second lover moved in, Baby P’s suffering increased dramatically. The court heard that while his mother gossiped with friends in online chat rooms, her boyfriend took to beating the boy, swinging him around by the neck or legs and pinching him.

    The Times has been told that the man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, forced Baby P to follow commands like a dog. At the click of a finger he would have to sit with his head bent between his legs; 20 minutes later a second click would be the signal that he could sit upright again.

    A second man, Jason Owen, also subjected the boy to similar abuse. Owen, who stayed at the house for five weeks with his 15-year-old girlfriend, was found guilty with the boyfriend of causing or allowing the death of a child. The mother admitted her guilt at an earlier hearing.

    Police were told that the boyfriend, a 32-year-old collector of Nazi memorabilia, wanted to “toughen him up”. Other routines included placing the baby on a stool and spinning it around until he fell off.

    The authorities had first voiced concerns about possible abuse by October 2006, when a GP noticed marks on the boy. But his mother, in the first of many episodes of deception and false reassurances, insisted she had found that his skin “bruised easily”.

    Two months later the GP sent the pair to the Whittington Hospital, North London, after inspecting a head injury. Insisting that her child was “a head-banger” fond of “rough and tumble play”, the mother claimed that fingermarks were merely the result of when he was caught after being lovingly held and thrown into the air.

    Social services were informed and visited the flat, which was found to be dirty, untidy and smelling of urine. They learnt that it was shared with the boy’s grandmother and three dogs, including a rottweiler, but remained unaware that it also harboured a violent boyfriend. They decided to let the child stay with a family friend while police inquiries continued.

    A month later, in January 2007, with no decision made on any charge against either woman, the boy was allowed back home. As he grew too old for milk and jars of baby food, Baby P scavenged bits of broken biscuits from older children and was even seen eating dirt in the garden. Detectives found that after the boyfriend moved in there was not one piece of the boy’s clothing that was not spattered with blood.

    The court heard that the mother, 27, had been taught at a boarding school where she gained GCSEs including English and IT. She had sought treatment for postnatal depression in the past. But, from the outset, she had appeared more devoted to her dogs, a German shepherd called Lady and a Staffordshire bull terrier called Lucky.

    Sources involved in the case said that when officers went into the house they found dead mice and chicks lying around — food for a snake that the boyfriend kept in his bedroom. The man was also said to enjoy torturing animals and would skin frogs alive before breaking their legs.

    Social workers tried to keep the family together, assuaged by the mother’s excuses. They were rehoused and allocated a social worker and health visitor. Yet the violence worsened, with A&E attendances for black eyes, swellings and bruises, “scalp rash” and “ear discharge”. One episode resulted in the mother’s rearrest.

    Maria Ward, the case worker, said that she visited the house four days before Baby P’s death for a prearranged meeting. She found the boy in his pushchair, his bruises covered up with chocolate. “He had eaten a chocolate biscuit and there was chocolate over his face,” she told the court. “He had chocolate on his hands and face.” She said that she asked the mother to wipe his face before they went out and the mother started cleaning him. Miss Ward noted that the boy had an infected scalp, which was covered in white cream, and an ear infection.

    But she added: “He appeared well. He smiled when I spoke to him.” The case worker said that she had been content to leave the boy with his mother because she appeared to be co-operative and properly supported.

    Days later — and 48 hours before his death — Baby P was taken to St Ann’s Hospital amid further concerns for his wellbeing. During an examination by Dr Sabah Al-Zayyat, a paediatrician, his mother and her friend supported the child. Despite Baby P’s repeated cries of pain, the consultant missed both his broken back and ribs.

    The next day his mother was called to the social services office. She was told by police that she would not be prosecuted after consideration by the Crown Prosecution Service.

    On the very same evening, back at the family home, Baby P received a fatal blow to his mouth, knocking a tooth out. After 17 months of agony, the tiny child finally succumbed. The next day he was found dead in his cot.
    Last edited by night86mare; 18th November 2008 at 10:25 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: baby p

    I am speechless, overcome with raw emotion and disbelief, yet at the same time, since nothing can be done anymore, it's sordid consolation that Baby P is finally resting in peace.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: baby p

    TNP reported this yesterday.

    Incompetent social workers too!
    Last edited by bovine; 18th November 2008 at 10:34 PM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: baby p

    Quote Originally Posted by Dream Merchant View Post
    I am speechless, overcome with raw emotion and disbelief, yet at the same time, since nothing can be done anymore, it's sordid consolation that Baby P is finally resting in peace.
    was there any coverage elsewhere other than here in the uk?

    i tried doing a search, but turned up nothing. i suppose this is just a case that came to light because it blew up big, there are probably even more out there that go unreported, because there was no interest and the public didn't get a chance to dive at it.

  5. #5

    Default Re: baby p

    There are other cases NM, there are, just that it may not culminate in death, and therefore goes undetected ... and the atrocities go on for far longer. Some of it happens right at our door-steps or just round the corners, but as in most 'nice' neighborhoods, people everywhere turn deaf and blind, especially adults.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: baby p

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    was there any coverage elsewhere other than here in the uk?

    i tried doing a search, but turned up nothing. i suppose this is just a case that came to light because it blew up big, there are probably even more out there that go unreported, because there was no interest and the public didn't get a chance to dive at it.
    TNP

  7. #7

    Default Re: baby p

    Quote Originally Posted by Dream Merchant View Post
    There are other cases NM, there are, just that it may not culminate in death, and therefore goes undetected ... and the atrocities go on for far longer. Some of it happens right at our door-steps or just round the corners, but as in most 'nice' neighborhoods, people everywhere turn deaf and blind, especially adults.


    thanks bovine.

    it is true, some days i am also not sure what we are turning into; i remember when i was new in london, i saw this guy walking top naked on the street in the middle of the road, with his pants unzipped and swaying unsteadily. i still have no idea what he was doing, but cars were just zooming by him, and i really felt like helping him, but i didn't. i just kept walking on, and looking back to see if anyone else did, and i was glad when a lady found enough courage to do what i couldn't do.

  8. #8

    Default Re: baby p

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post


    thanks bovine.

    it is true, some days i am also not sure what we are turning into; i remember when i was new in london, i saw this guy walking top naked on the street in the middle of the road, with his pants unzipped and swaying unsteadily. i still have no idea what he was doing, but cars were just zooming by him, and i really felt like helping him, but i didn't. i just kept walking on, and looking back to see if anyone else did, and i was glad when a lady found enough courage to do what i couldn't do.
    You were new there. I would offer a guess that it was more a sense of not being sure what, exactly to do or how to react, and a sub-conscious sense of self-preservation prevailing. It could also be that you were never posed with such a situation before.

    Anyway, apparently, word has gotten round on internet chats and forums, and people managed to identify and track down/expose the identity of the mother, but amidst the threats and outcries, facebook took the pages down.

    Also saw the same news report on an Aust news line.

    I figure it would only be hours before the inet lines would be burning up with the news again, with expressions of hatred and disbelief, as well as the already occurring debate and discussions of the systems' and court's lacking, and what was wrong/could have been done, which s a good thing I suppose. IF there are distinctive changes made for the better, and not out of pure neurosis, then at least Baby P didn't perish for nothing. I can well imagine that there are still thousands of infants and children suffering behind closed doors the world over.

    http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2008/...318687368.html

    http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standa...y+P/article.do

    http://uk.news.yahoo.com/4/20081114/...y-dba1618.html

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk...p-1019501.html
    Last edited by Dream Merchant; 18th November 2008 at 11:05 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: baby p

    Quote Originally Posted by Dream Merchant View Post
    You were new there. I would offer a guess that it was more a sense of not being sure what, exactly to do or how to react, and a sub-conscious sense of self-preservation prevailing. It could also be that you were never posed with such a situation before.


    I figure it would only be hours before the inet lines would be burning up with the news again, with expressions of hatred and disbelief, as well as the already occurring debate and discussions of the systems' and court's lacking, and what was wrong/could have been done, which s a good thing I suppose. IF there are distinctive changes made for the better, and not out of pure neurosis, then at least Baby P didn't perish for nothing. I can well imagine that there are still thousands of infants and children suffering behind closed doors the world over.
    nonetheless i am ashamed.

    i think hate, and hindsight, all that doesn't matter - what matters is a forward-looking approach. i think it is hightime that social services is given a huge reworking - not just here, but everywhere; it seems like there is a stigma attached to it, they don't get enough funding, etc.. the best part about it is that if they start getting significant pay raises to attract a higher quality of worker, people would start complaining about how they get enough pay in the form of "warm fuzzy feelings in their heart".

    that said, not all social workers are the results of a dumping ground, and that they meet many challenges such as understaffing, over-loaded with jobs..

    on another note, victoria climbie happened roughly 7 years before, in a similar situation. things were done, flags were waved, promises were made, today we see the result of all that. or lack thereof, rather.

    p.s. it is sad that this is going to remain a 3 way conversation, as people are more concerned about town councils.

  10. #10

    Default Re: baby p

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    nonetheless i am ashamed.

    i think hate, and hindsight, all that doesn't matter - what matters is a forward-looking approach. i think it is hightime that social services is given a huge reworking - not just here, but everywhere; it seems like there is a stigma attached to it, they don't get enough funding, etc.. the best part about it is that if they start getting significant pay raises to attract a higher quality of worker, people would start complaining about how they get enough pay in the form of "warm fuzzy feelings in their heart".

    that said, not all social workers are the results of a dumping ground, and that they meet many challenges such as understaffing, over-loaded with jobs..

    on another note, victoria climbie happened roughly 7 years before, in a similar situation. things were done, flags were waved, promises were made, today we see the result of all that. or lack thereof, rather.

    p.s. it is sad that this is going to remain a 3 way conversation, as people are more concerned about town councils.
    First off, never be ashamed of not knowing how to react, or if reacting in a certain situation may have gotten you hurt, badly. Be ashamed, if you are faced with a similar situation, and walk away, pretending you saw nothing.

    I'm not sure of the hierarchies and perceptions attached to Social workers in the UK, but on the whole, just like medical social workers and professionals in the mental health care sectors, a lot of things need to be changed before (populous negative) perceptions may begin to wane. In some way, I have seen some positive changes in the psych and counseling sectors here, but you have identified the fact that it's the people who have a problem with these topics in your post-script observations.

    In that sense, it's still a sad world we live in, because upbringing, conditioning and now it seems, even modern adaptations of the understandings of operant conditioning in scholastics environments seem to embrace euphemism seemingly at the total exclusion of unpleasant truths or information of students in such systems. To me, that seems to be a sure formula for atrophy.

    Try to recall the last time you witnessed a reasonable, matured discussion about death, suffering or atrocities with Singaporeans in general, or perhaps Asians?* It's not easy, because for the most part, people have not been educated or conditioned to face and discuss unpleasant things in life. So they do the only thing they know how to do, turn away and pretend they did not hear or see the pain ... and maybe it will go away.

    * Surprisingly, as seemingly 'open' as some western cultures appear to be, even the Americans (people I know/knew) have their own hang-ups and refuse to discuss certain serious life issues openly.
    Last edited by Dream Merchant; 18th November 2008 at 11:32 PM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: baby p

    Quote Originally Posted by Dream Merchant View Post
    I'm not sure of the hierarchies and perceptions attached to Social workers in the UK, but on the whole, just like medical social workers and professionals in the mental health care sectors, a lot of things need to be changed before (populous negative) perceptions may begin to wane. In some way, I have seen some positive changes in the psych and counseling sectors here, but you have identified the fact that it's the people who have a problem with these topics in your post-script observations.

    In that sense, it's still a sad world we live in, because upbringing, conditioning and now it seems, even modern adaptations of the understandings of operant conditioning in scholastics environments seem to embrace euphemism seemingly at the total exclusion of unpleasant truths or information of students in such systems. To me, that seems to be a sure formula for atrophy.

    Try to recall the last time you witnessed a reasonable, matured discussion about death, suffering or atrocities with Singaporeans in general, or perhaps Asians?* It's not easy, because for the most part, people have not been educated or conditioned to face and discuss unpleasant things in life. So they do the only thing they know how to do, turn away and pretend they did not hear or see the pain ... and maybe it will go away.

    * Surprisingly, as seemingly 'open' as some western cultures appear to be, even the Americans (people I know/knew) have their own hang-ups and refuse to discuss certain serious life issues openly.
    well, i think it's a hard, tough job with bad conditions, and that should be improved. and none of that can be done with apathy of people who are more concerned about their own selves than the society as a whole. the mass spewing of threads that result in people asking 'what about ME? where's MY money?' instead of caring about the long run, a bigger picture.. i guess you can't call it by any other name.

    the reluctance to admit mediocrity, and to feed people an idea of "equal outcome" (because people demand it) rather than "equal opportunity".. you are right, it is becoming a problem as i perceive it. the former is idealistic and impossible; the latter is good and should be defended as far as possible.


  12. #12

    Default Re: baby p

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    i think hate, and hindsight, all that doesn't matter - what matters is a forward-looking approach. i think it is hightime that social services is given a huge reworking - not just here, but everywhere; it seems like there is a stigma attached to it, they don't get enough funding, etc.. the best part about it is that if they start getting significant pay raises to attract a higher quality of worker, people would start complaining about how they get enough pay in the form of "warm fuzzy feelings in their heart".

    that said, not all social workers are the results of a dumping ground, and that they meet many challenges such as understaffing, over-loaded with jobs..
    I never realised there was a stigma attached to social work, well, apart from the infamous peanuts. Can't speak for all, but some social workers I've met don't get paid a lot, still pay for things out of their own pocket, and have long hours. I think these people are plenty high quality already, and deserve significant pay raises, but I wouldn't agree that significant pay raises can attract a higher quality of worker. It's like saying join social work for the money and not because you care, and it's the amount of care that makes the difference, IMHO. Speaking of which, the "warm fuzzy feelings" are paid for many times over by the overwhelming despair they face every day from the people they're helping. Some of them see the worst and the best of human nature out there every day they work.

  13. #13

    Default Re: baby p

    Quote Originally Posted by AlteredVision View Post
    I never realised there was a stigma attached to social work, well, apart from the infamous peanuts. Can't speak for all, but some social workers I've met don't get paid a lot, still pay for things out of their own pocket, and have long hours. I think these people are plenty high quality already, and deserve significant pay raises, but I wouldn't agree that significant pay raises can attract a higher quality of worker. It's like saying join social work for the money and not because you care, and it's the amount of care that makes the difference, IMHO. Speaking of which, the "warm fuzzy feelings" are paid for many times over by the overwhelming despair they face every day from the people they're helping. Some of them see the worst and the best of human nature out there every day they work.
    stigma being the perceived danger of being a social worker; being in a stereotypically volatile environment.. etc. loads of parents i know discourage kids from even thinking of being one. and it wasn't a glam job to begin with in the first place.


    well it may not; it may, depending on how you look at it.

    in any case, i am sure that many people just simply throw social work out of the window because they can make bigger bucks elsewhere. they could care about the society, the people that social worker typically deal with, but there are other priorities in their life as well, including family, support, etc. these are the people that the social worker industry loses because of higher pay elsewhere.

  14. #14

    Default Re: baby p

    It's very similar for professional counseling here NM.

    SIGHZ...

  15. #15

    Default Re: baby p

    I was gonna edit and add a comparison, but you guys beat me to it with your replies:

    It's like saying that higher pay attracts better quality teachers. While that is true to some extent, there are others who join teaching because of the pay, and don't really make such good teachers.

  16. #16

    Default Re: baby p

    Quote Originally Posted by AlteredVision View Post
    It's like saying that higher pay attracts better quality teachers. While that is true to some extent, there are others who join teaching because of the pay, and don't really make such good teachers.
    yes, i do get your point. it happens everywhere though, which is why we have ceos doing such a bad job of being ceos sometimes.

    to me, teaching should be a calling. not everyone can teach, and not everyone can learn teaching.

  17. #17

    Default Re: baby p

    Just a bump for Baby P, lest he is forgotten so soon ...

  18. #18
    Senior Member azul123's Avatar
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    Default Re: baby p

    I think that is a good thing to be after retirement, Social Worker. Give something back to society.

    ../azul123

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