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KHYRA CASE REVIEW MUST BE MADE PUBLIC - AND SOON

25-02-2010

Now that the case of the tragic case of Khyra Ishaq has come to its conclusion – with a manslaughter verdict against her mother Angela Gordon – there must be no delay in the publication of Birmingham Council’s own inquiry into the little girl’s death.

Seven year old Khyra from Handsworth was starved by Gordon and her husband Junaid Abuhamza – a schizophrenic who believed she was possessed by evil spirits.

A serious case review was carried out by the local authority in the aftermath of the incident, and will no doubt have focussed on why social services failed to intervene despite safety fears being raised by her head teacher five months before she died.

The report - prepared under the auspices of the Safeguarding Childrens Board - was withheld from publication pending the outcome of the court case, and the legal outcome will now have to be integrated into the final report.

Let us trust that is done promptly, and that there will be no attempt at a whitewash.

Khyra had stopped going to school in December 2007, but five officials from a number of departments – including police officers and social workers – made four visits before she died in May 2008.

The question is whether more could have been done – especially by the city’s ailing child protection department, which was condemned last October as “not fit for purpose”.

18 children known to Social Services died over a four year period.

Birmingham MP Khalid Mahmood has previously called for the resignation of Cabinet Officer Les Lawrence and his senior officer Tony Howell.

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