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Last Updated: Friday, 7 April 2006, 10:45 GMT 11:45 UK
Care review follows baby murder
Paul O'Neil
Paul O'Neil was jailed in February 2006
Better methods of identifying at risk children are being brought in by a local authority criticised after a baby was battered to death by his father.

Paul O'Neil, 33, from Newcastle, was jailed for life in February, after he held the face of his son Aaron against a gas fire and fractured his skull.

Child care services were criticised in a subsequent independent report and a health worker was sacked.

Now Newcastle Council has made public revised measures it is to introduce.

O'Neil was told he must serve at least 22 years, after Newcastle Crown Court convicted him of the murder of three-month-old Aaron.

The baby had 37 visible injuries, skull fractures and broken limbs at the time of his death a year earlier.

Immediate action has taken place to develop and improve existing systems for sharing information about dangerous individuals who move between vulnerable families.
Newcastle City Council

Now Newcastle City Council says it is to introduce a raft of new measures to help prevent a similar tragedy.

These include more spot checks on social care staff dealing with children, better sharing of information - especially in areas concerning vulnerable young and potentially vulnerable unborn children.

Better information sharing between social workers and the police is also promised, as is specialist training in domestic violence for all social worker staff.

A spokeswoman for Newcastle Council, said: "Immediate action has taken place to develop and improve existing systems for identifying and sharing information about dangerous individuals who move between vulnerable families."

Following Aaron's death, the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) commissioned independent expert Catherine Weightman to investigate the case.

She found information which showed O'Neil as a violent individual who posed a risk to women and children, was held by health and social services, but not properly shared.

O'Neil had admitted cruelty, but denied murder and five GBH charges, between November 2004 and February 2005.




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