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Last Updated: Thursday, 31 August 2006, 07:51 GMT 08:51 UK
Care review follows baby's death
Alexander Gallon
Four-month-old Alexander Gallon died in the fire
A review has begun into the care given to a four-month-old baby, who was killed in a fire started by his mother.

Danielle Wails, 21, admitted starting a blaze, which killed Alexander Gallon at a house in Newcastle last year.

Wails initially clamed masked intruders who tied her up were responsible. She admitted infanticide at Newcastle Crown Court and will be sentenced later.

An independent expert has now been commissioned to review the role played by council and health officials.

The Local Safeguarding Children's Board (LSCB) is to conduct a "serious case review" into the child's death.

Where the report shows that there are lessons to be learnt by any agency, firm and decisive action will be taken
LSCB chair, Ch Supt Chris Machell

It will examine the role played by agencies including the city council's social services department and primary care trust.

Independent expert Catherine Weightman will lead the review. She conducted a similar inquiry following the death of 92-day-old Aaron O'Neil, from Newcastle, who was killed by his father, Paul, last year.

Chair of the Newcastle LSCB, Ch Supt Chris Machell, said: "All the agencies involved with the family prior to Alexander's death, have looked long and hard at their involvement.

"An independent expert was commissioned to take a thorough and impartial look at all of the agencies' actions, in line with the government's Serious Case Review arrangements.

"Although there can never be a social worker, health worker, police officer or any other official in every person's home every hour of the day to look over children, where the report shows that there are lessons to be learnt by any agency, firm and decisive action will be taken."

The LSCB is made up of representatives from police, probation service, health trusts, local councils and children's charities.


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