Sunday, 6 March 2016

Cumbria county council criticised for failing Poppi`s siblings and attempting to cover it up

"A local authority criticised for failing to protect Poppi Worthington’s siblings for almost a year after her death did not discipline social workers and instead applied for a draconian order in an attempt to cover-up the failings, documents show."

"Thirteen-month-old Poppi died after she was found with serious injuries at her home in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, three years ago."

"A high court family judge concluded that Poppi’s father, Paul Worthington, sexually assaulted her shortly before her death and she died as a result of the injuries she suffered during the assault."

"It has been revealed that her siblings were not taken into care until after their parents were arrested in August 2013."

"Documents made public by Cumbria county council show that after a high court judge criticised the authority in respect of Poppi’s siblings they applied for an order to bar the media from reporting their failings..."

"The application was made by Lyn Burns, assistant director for families and children, who subsequently stepped down from her role last year after government inspectors plunged the department into special measures for the third time in four years..."

"The judge concluded that the investigation into her death was hindered by police errors; including not securing the scene, failing to take vital items for forensic analysis and a senior detective not visiting the family home."

"Worthington, 47, was arrested and questioned on suspicion of sexual assault at the time but was never charged with any offence. He denies any wrongdoing in relation to his daughter."

"In his judgment, Justice Jackson found that, on the civil standard of the balance of probabilities, Worthington had abused Poppi in the hours before she died."

"Previous inquiries into the toddler’s death had either been cursory or heard in secret. An earlier fact-finding judgment into the death from March 2014, also by Jackson, had been kept private so as not to prejudice any criminal proceedings."

"A second inquest into the death of Poppi Worthington is due to take place on 18 March."

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