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 Monday, 6 January, 2003, 17:20 GMT
Climbie lessons 'must be learned'
Victoria Climbie
Victoria suffered months of abuse
Lessons must be learned from the case of murdered child abuse victim Victoria Climbie, Health Secretary Alan Milburn has said.

A report into the death of Victoria, 8, who died after months of torture and abuse, was submitted to the Department of Health on Monday.

The report by Lord Laming, chairman of the public inquiry into her death, is expected to identify a catalogue of failures by child protection services and call for a shake-up.

Receiving the report, Mr Milburn said: "Victoria's death was a tragedy. It is vital that all agencies dealing with children learn the lesson from this terrible case.

Chances missed

"Protecting children, particularly the most vulnerable, is a central priority for health and social services whether provided by government or non-government agencies."

The report could be published within weeks.

Victoria Climbie died in February 2000 after being tortured and abused by her aunt Marie-Therese Kouao and her boyfriend Carl Manning at a flat in Tottenham, north London.

She had 128 injuries on her body, had been starved and forced to sleep in a rubbish bag in the bath.

Kouao and Manning were sentenced to life imprisonment for her murder.

Marie Therese Kouao
Kouao made Victoria sleep in a bath
The inquiry looked at why at least 12 chances to save Victoria's life were missed by local authorities, by doctors and the police.

Kouao had first lived in Ealing, west London, after bringing Victoria from her home in the Ivory Coast via France.

Ealing social services failed to intervene after being told by a relative that Victoria was being abused.

And doctors at Central Middlesex Hospital disagreed over the cause of her injuries.

After moving to Manning's flat in Tottenham, Haringey, Victoria was once more in hospital but social services failed to speak to her on home visits.

Haringey social services was criticised for having a "chaotic" team and for delays in producing documents for the inquiry.

In November two Haringey social workers at the heart of the case were dismissed following disciplinary proceedings.


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12 Nov 02 | England
27 Aug 02 | England
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