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Toddler tortured to death by mom, lover

They rubbed chocolate on his face and nappy creams on his body to hide the bruises. His 27-year-old mother said that the scabs and wounds were due to falls and accidents, reports Vijay Dutt.

world Updated: Nov 13, 2008 00:42 IST
Vijay Dutt

They rubbed chocolate on his face and nappy creams on his body to hide the bruises. His 27-year-old mother said that the scabs and wounds were due to falls and accidents.

The social workers were taken by her excuses. They did not know that a violent 32-year-old boyfriend of her’s had moved into the house. They continued to believe that the baby was a victim of neglect, not abuse.

This belief resulted in the death of a 17-month-old boy on a child protection register, known only as Baby P.

He suffered months of abuse by his mother, her boyfriend and a house guest, Jason Owen, 36.

Child officers, police and doctors saw him 60 times, temporarily took him under their care thrice and arrested his mother twice. However, according to lawyers at the trial, Baby P still did not pass the “evidence threshold” to be taken into care. Now, after the convictions, the administration is wondering how it went wrong.

On Tuesday, Ministers called for an urgent review of child protection laws as the full extent of the horrors inflicted upon a 17-month-old boy.

The calls came just hours after two men, aged 32 and 36, were found guilty of causing or allowing the death of little boy who was “used as a punchbag” for most of his short life.

A paediatric pathologist who examined Baby P after his death said that he had never seen such damage done to a child. The court heard that a tooth must have been swallowed after a violent blow to the head, fingernails were missing, eight ribs had been fractured and chocolate was smeared over him to cover his bruises when social workers visited.

His mother, who had a traumatic childhood with a drug addict mother, was able to manipulate social workers and police. They will be sentenced on December 15 when they each face a maximum sentence of up to 14 years in prison.