Murder by a teen known to Haringey Social Services

serious case review was released in May by Haringey and Enfield Local Safeguarding Children Boards. The review took place following a murder committed in Enfield by a young person known to Haringey Children’s Services (referred to as CH in the report) in August 2011.

CH was convicted of the murder of Mr Z by stabbing him. Mr Z was described by the trial judge as "an outstanding human being" and he was described by his mother as "caring and respectful". CH had an appeal against his murder conviction rejected at the end of 2014.

The serious case review report catalogues a number of failures by Haringey Council and other agencies. This included the failure to protect another child, GK who suffered 60+ injuries. GK ‘was placed with Mrs H (CH’s mother), who was known to have physically abused a child previously and who was a potential suspect in relation to the injuries to GK.’

Cllr Liz Morris, Haringey Lib Dem Children’s spokesperson, comments:

“This Serious Case Reviews rightly points out that there were serious failings in Haringey’s Children’s Services over a ‘prolonged period of time’.
 
'While I appreciate that it was some time ago, CH was a young person spiralling out of control and it is worrying that the various agencies were clearly overwhelmed and unable to deal with CH and the complex needs of the family.

“It is critical that learnings from this serious case review are applied and reviewed by Haringey to ensure that much earlier and much more robust intervention takes place to deal with violent families and young people.”

-Extracts from the report:

Page 18, Findings and conclusions:

‘h) The failure by Haringey CYPS to respond to the repeated requests by TSW1 and others for intervention was an unacceptable level of performance and put CH and other children in the family at risk.

‘i) The failure by Haringey CYPS to follow safeguarding procedures and to ensure the safety of GK in March 2011, after he was found to have suffered a large number of non-accidental injuries, put the child at unacceptable risk and was woefully inadequate and unsafe practice.’

Page 9:

‘While some of these failures are particularly grave, notably the poor assessment practice in Haringey CYPS over a prolonged period of time, it is important to note that none of the deficits noted above contributed directly to the death of Mr Z. It can be argued that had CH been removed from the community and accommodated elsewhere, he would not have been present at the fateful encounter with Mr Z on 31 August 2011.’

‘Aside from his convictions for burglary and assault, he had been arrested or interviewed by Police in relation to 14 other incidents, including drug-related incidents, theft of property, assaults, and crimes involving guns and knives. He had run away from home several times and in early March 2011 had deliberately injured himself, following an incident in his home. He was vulnerable, unstable, and rootless. Without the kind of rigid, structured, intensive programme advised by the Enfield YOS psychologist, CH was in a highly vulnerable state and in all likelihood was going to harm someone or be seriously harmed. ‘

Page 8:

‘Failure to respond to referrals and information, including the report of 60+ injuries, suggesting GK was at risk of physical and emotional harm. Failures to follow safeguarding procedures in relation to investigation compromising criminal investigation and resulting in GK being placed with Mrs H who was known to have physically abused a child previously and who was a potential suspect in relation to the injuries to GK’

Page 10: ‘Second, it is not clear whether the serial offending by Mrs H and AH, and the catalogue of over 40 incidents of household violence and violence against others in which they were implicated, have been fully considered in relation to their applications for asylum.'