Staff suspended over child abuse case that shocked Britain
AFP - 1 hour 53 minutes ago
LONDON, (AFP) - - A British local authority responsible for a toddler who died after a lifetime of abuse suspended six members of staff, after a damning report into the case that has sparked national outrage.
The 17-month-old boy, known only as Baby P, died in a blood-spattered cot in August 2007, despite being on the child protection register and being seen by social workers 60 times.
The boy's mother pleaded guilty and her boyfriend and a lodger have been convicted of charges relating to the baby's death.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the British public were left "shocked and saddened but horrified and angered" at how the boy was not given help.
A petition by the mass-market Sun newspaper calling for those responsible to be sacked attracted 1.3 million names, and an inquiry was launched.
Inspectors investigated why the toddler was not taken into care despite numerous injuries including broken ribs and eventually a broken back.
The local authority involved -- Haringey Council in north London -- is the same one that failed to stop the death of eight-year-old Ivorian Victoria Climbie, a child abuse case that similarly shocked Britain in 2000.
Children's minister Ed Balls unveiled the results of the probe on Monday, describing them as "devastating" and saying the report delivered a "damning verdict on the current management of safeguarding" at the council.
Balls said one of the most worrying factors was the "failure to talk directly to children at risk".
Councillor Lorna Reith, deputy leader of Haringey Council, confirmed a director, a deputy director, a senior team manager and three social workers had been suspended on full pay.
Among them was Sharon Shoesmith, the head of children's services who had initially defended the actions of her staff following the baby's death.
Council leader George Meehan and the cabinet member for children and young people, Liz Santry, also resigned.
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A handout image obtained November 26 from Britain's ITV news shows a child identified only as 'Baby P.' A local London authority responsible for the toddler who died after a lifetime of abuse suspended six members of staff, after a damning report into the case that has sparked national outrage.
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