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Tuesday, 11 June, 2002, 12:47 GMT 13:47 UK
New Climbie hearing over 'missing report'
Marie Therese Kouao (left) abused Victoria (centre)
The inquiry into the death of Victoria Climbie is to be reopened because a vital document was not taken into consideration during the original investigation.

The document casts doubt on an earlier report, which gave north London's Haringey Council, the local authority where Victoria died, a positive assessment.

Inquiry chairman Lord Laming believes the document is "potentially important" and has scheduled new hearings for 9 and 10 July.

Victoria had 128 separate injuries on her body at the time of her death, and the child protection system in Haringey was heavily criticised for not spotting the abuse.

Victoria and her great-aunt Kouao
Kouao systematically abused Victoria

She died in February 2000 after months of abuse at the hands of her great aunt Marie Therese Kouao and her aunt's boyfriend Carl Manning.

A report produced by the Joint Review, which was heavily relied on during the inquiry, declared that users were "generally well served" by Haringey Council.

But a further document produced by the Social Services Inspectorate (SSI) and Audit Commission, which investigated Haringey social services, found the Joint Review had accepted "an overly positive picture of Haringey's social services, particularly children's services".

'Fair and transparent'

An inquiry spokesman said: "Lord Laming has decided that this new document is potentially important and believes its significance can only properly be considered by calling for evidence from the witnesses concerned.

"Reconvening public hearings is the most fair, just and transparent way of dealing with this matter."

The head of the SSI, Denise Platt, will be cross examined at the recalled hearing.

She is likely to be asked to explain why the second report was not given to the inquiry before it closed, even though it had been available for a year.


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30 May 02 | England
03 Dec 01 | England
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