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New review investigates babies harmed by fathers and stepfathers

Source: Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel published on this site Tuesday 21 September 2021 by Jill Powell

A new report investigating the death or serious harm of 23 babies is calling for midwives, health visitors and social workers to provide more support to fathers.

The independent Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel reviews serious child safeguarding cases – when a child dies or suffers serious harm, and abuse or neglect is known or suspected. The panel’s latest review looks at the lives of babies who were known or suspected to have been seriously harmed or killed by their father, step-father or male carer. The aim is to understand what led the perpetrators to harm their children, and what could be done to prevent similar incidents.

The key findings show that while maternal health and wellbeing are, and should be, the main focus of maternity services, insufficient attention to men means that support for them to be active and engaged fathers is limited. The Panel is calling for universal, antenatal and perinatal services to work with fathers so significant risk factors, such as domestic abuse, substance misuse, and mental health problems, are addressed and the fathers are offered support before the additional stressor of a baby’s birth.

Chair of the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel, Annie Hudson said:

The panel has received a significant number of notifications about non accidental injury to small babies where fathers and stepfathers are known or suspected to have been the perpetrators of the abuse. Some children died as a result and many of those who survived face a lifetime of life limiting conditions.

This report makes clear that these men must be held to account for this abuse but there is an equally strong imperative for everyone involved in safeguarding children to ‘see’ and know more about these men, their complex histories, the impact of substance abuse and of mental health issues.

This report indicates that there are systemic weaknesses in how services operate so that too often, fathers remain hidden, unassessed and unengaged. Everyone involved in safeguarding children must give more effective focus to working with fathers who are struggling and whose behaviour and backgrounds may present risk to children. This is vital if we are to protect better very vulnerable babies in the future.

Emergency Go Bags for Victims of Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking

Source: Suffolk Police Connect published on this site Monday 20 September 2021 by Jill Powell

Suffolk Constabulary has joined forces with partner agencies to fund emergency 'Go Bags' to help support victims of Modern Slavery (MS) in the county.

Anyone of any race or background could be a victim of MS. Offenders target people who are vulnerable and isolated, including those who may not speak English or do not have a family or friend support network.

Jointly funded by the constabulary and Suffolk's Community Safety Partnerships, and supported by retailers Argos and Morrisons, the Go Bags are designed to provide essential items for victims of MS and human trafficking, who often have nothing. Contents include items such as a wash bag with toiletries, for men and women, a basic mobile phone including a £10 top up, a food voucher and a panic alarm.

Protecting the vulnerable and putting victims first is a priority for the constabulary. Our aim is to provide a positive impression on victims of Modern Slavery at what can be a very traumatic time for them. Alongside our partner agencies we aim to provide victims with the enhanced level of support they need and deserve. We hope the bags will help victims feel reassured that there are strong support mechanisms in place in Suffolk to safeguard them.

"We are immensely grateful to Argos and Morrisons who are also supporting this initiative."

Cllr Andrew Reid, Chair, Safer Stronger Communities Board (SSCB) said: "It is recognised that most victims of Modern Slavery either flee their circumstances or are found in a distressed state with few or no belongings. The Modern Slavery 'Go Bag' is designed as an emergency provision to provide a victim of MS with a few basic essentials to assist them for the first 24/48 hours until they are safeguarded and partner agencies can assist.

"This is a great initiative by Suffolk Police MS and Vulnerable Communities Team and I am delighted that all three Community Safety Partnerships have allocated part of their Suffolk Public Sector Leaders funding to support this project. Modern Slavery is a strategic priority for the CSPs and through partnership working we can help to support victims of Modern Slavery."  

Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said: "Modern Slavery is a particularly abhorrent crime that commoditises people's lives.

"Many victims find it very difficult to escape from this criminality which is why I wholeheartedly support the "Go Bags" initiative. Anything that helps victims who suffer in such terrible circumstance is to be applauded.

"Very well done and thanks to all involved in setting up this excellent initiative especially the retailers Morrisons and Argos. I wish the scheme every success as I am sure it will make a very positive difference for the victims."The Go Bags will be managed by the Modern Slavery and Vulnerable Communities Advisors across the county and will distributed by Victim Liaison Officers.

Man jailed for 22 years for historic sexual offences against four children

Source Cheshire Constabulary posted Friday 9 September 2021 published on this site Friday 17 September 2021

A 57-year-old man who sexually abused four people has been jailed for a total of 22 years with 2 further years on prison licence.

Anthony Hulme, of London Road in Nantwich, physically and sexually assaulted two men and two women over a number of years.

It occurred at his home address in Winsford as well as other places in Cheshire and while on holiday in the United Kingdom between 1981 and 1988.

Two of the victims were aged two and three when he sexually assaulted them while babysitting at their home in Cheshire.

Between 1981 and 1988 he sexually assaulted, raped and physically abused another victim from the age of eight until they were in their late teens.

The fourth victim was abused by Hulme when he was nine years old and it continued for a number of years.

Hulme was found guilty of two counts of gross indecency with a girl under 14 years of age and six counts of gross indecency with a boy under the age of 14.

He was also convicted of committing buggery with a boy under the age of 16, two counts of indecent assault on a boy under the age of 16 and two counts of indecent assault on a boy under the age of 14.

The trial took place over eight days at Chester Crown Court and he was sentenced on Friday 3 September.

Hulme will also serve two further years on prison licence.

Detective Sergeant Paul Nolan, from the Major Investigation Team, said: 

“Hulme subjected each of his victims to horrific abuse both physically and sexually over a long period of time when they were babies or young children.

“It has taken great courage for them to disclose what happened and to go through the process to ensure justice was served.

“The conviction and sentence is testament to their bravery in coming forward and providing such difficult, upsetting and harrowing evidence. I hope it now provides them with a form of closure and although they will never forget what happened, they can begin a new chapter in their lives.”

Cawston Park: Vulnerable patient deaths prompt hospitals warning

Source: BBC News published September 9 2021 and published on this site Friday 10 September 2021 by Jill Powell

The deaths of three adults with learning disabilities at a failed hospital should prompt a review to prevent further "lethal outcomes" at similar facilities, a report said. 

There were significant failures in the care of the patients at Jeesal Cawston Park, Norfolk, it found. 

Norfolk Safeguarding Adults Board concluded such hospitals should "cease to receive public money". 

The owner of Cawston Park said it was "deeply sorry" to the families.

The report looked at the deaths of Joanna Bailey, 36, and Nicholas Briant, 33, both of London; and Ben King, 32, from Norfolk, between April 2018 and July 2020.

Police have named Dami Tobi Ayans, 60, as wanted in connection with an investigation into the ill-treatment of Mr King.

Ms Bailey, who had a learning disability, autism, epilepsy and sleep apnoea, was found unresponsive in her bed and staff did not attempt resuscitation, while the mother of Mr King said he was "gasping and couldn't talk" when she last saw him.

Mr Briant's inquest heard he died following cardiac arrest and obstruction of his airway after swallowing a piece of plastic cup. 

The report found: 

  • "Excessive" use of restraint and seclusion by unqualified staff
  • Concerns over "unsafe grouping" of patients
  • Overmedication of patients
  • High levels of inactivity and days of "abject boredom"
  • Relatives described "indifferent and harmful hospital practices" and said their questions and "distress" were ignored

The report recommends the Law Commission should review the current legal position of private companies providing services for adults with learning disabilities and autism.

"Unless this hospital and similar units cease to receive public money, such lethal outcomes will persist," author Margaret Flynn said.

The hospital, near Aylsham, closed in May after "consistent failures in meeting standards".

Operator, Jeesal Akman Care Corporation, went into liquidation in June, owing almost £4m.

Joanna Bailey had a learning disability, autism, epilepsy and sleep apnoea.

Her father Keith described her as a happy, fun-loving woman who loved Michael Jackson, musicals and pottery. 

The coroner's report gave her cause of death as sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP), primary generalised epilepsy, obesity and obstructive sleep apnoea.

Ms Bailey was not checked for two hours the night she died on 28 April 2018, despite 30-minute checks being in her care plan.

A registered nurse and five care workers - all first-aid trained - did not attempt resuscitation when she was found unresponsive in bed.

She used a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine for her sleep apnoea, but in the last 209 nights of her life, data showed it had only been used 29 times. 

The report said the "failure to ensure its regular use increased her risk of SUDEP".

It also described how hospital records of her care were "unaccountably inadequate".

Ben King had Down's Syndrome, severe learning disability and sleep apnoea.

He weighed 15st 10lb (100kg) on admission in July 2018 but was 18st 1lb (115kg) when he died on 29 July 2020 after an obesity-related breathing disorder was incorrectly diagnosed.

When distressed, he would smear his faeces, which, during his final hours, appeared to "trigger" a staff member.

The report says CCTV footage shows a staff member pushing Mr King roughly and dragging him down by his arms, before "hitting his head area with an open hand".

Norfolk Police said an investigation into Mr King's treatment was ongoing and a "number of inquiries have been carried out in an attempt to trace the suspect".

Mr King's mother Gina Egmore said her son was "gasping and couldn't talk" when she last saw him.

"They brought him out of a side door and he was slumped and held up by two staff," she said.

"He pleaded with me to take him home. I wish I had put him in the car then. I drove off."

An inquest heard that Nicholas Briant died of a brain injury following a cardiac arrest and obstruction of his airway after swallowing a piece of plastic cup.

He had told staff: "I cannot breathe. I am dying."

The scene was captured on CCTV, and the coroner said staff did not appear "to be doing anything".

The Jeesal Akman Care Corporation said: "The care they received at Cawston Hospital fell far below the standards we would have expected.

"We are deeply sorry that we let the families down.

"We closed Cawston Park Hospital and whilst the property is owned by our holding company, we will never run it as hospital again nor will we ever operate any other hospital."

Ms Flynn said "not enough has changed" since she carried out a previous review into the Winterbourne View scandal in 2011, when staff were secretly filmed by the BBC's Panorama programme abusing patients with learning disabilities.

In response, the government initiated the Transforming Care Programme to provide more community-based support to reduce "inappropriate" hospital admissions.

But more than 2,000 people are still in inpatient units like Cawston Park, according to a recent Commons report, which said "they are unable to live fulfilled lives and are too often subject to treatment that is an affront to a civilised society".

Hyperslice joins IWF's mission to eradicate online child sexual abuse

Source: Internet Watch foundation (IWF) posted 8 September 2021 published on this site Thursday 16 September 2021 by Jill Powell

Source: Internet Watch foundation (IWF) posted 8 September 2021 published on this site Thursday 16 September 2021 by Jill Powell

A “Leading independent managed hosting provider” has joined the IWF in its battle to eradicate videos and images of child sexual abuse from the internet. 

Leeds based Managed IT Solutions group, Hyperslice, owner of the eukhost and Webhosting UK brands, has becoming a Member of the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), the UK charity dedicated to finding and removing child sexual abuse material from the internet.

Robert King, Director of Hyperslice, said: “As the UK’s leading independent managed hosting provider, we are committed to making the internet a safer place for children. 

“Our membership of the IWF reflects our full support for its aims to eradicate online child sexual abuse and protect those children exploited by it.”

Susie Hargreaves, Chief Executive of the IWF, said: “Internet predators will use all means at their disposal to access, groom, and abuse children, and to share and distribute images and footage of that abuse. 

“Knowing this material is still being passed around can cast a pall over victims and prevent them from ever fully recovering from their abuse. Knowing partners like Hyperslice are onside and helping us in this fight is vital.”

Hyperslice joins the IWF at a critical time. In 2020, IWF analysts dealt with a record number of reports of online child sexual abuse material, while the coronavirus crisis has seen more people than ever relying on the internet to learn, work, and socialise.

Find out more about becoming a Member and the services the IWF can provide here https://www.iwf.org.uk/our-services