Tragic death of dropped baby could not have been prevented, report finds
THE tragic death of a six-week-old baby in Bolton could not have been predicted or prevented, a report has found.
However, the serious case review found that sharing of information between agencies could be improved.
Mohammed Ismail Malik died after his father, Shakeel Hussain, was playing with his son in January 2012.
Hussain was charged with murder and causing or allowing the death of a child, which he denied, but those charges were later dropped when he pleaded guilty to manslaughter at Manchester Crown Court.
He was given a 16-month jail sentence, suspended for two years and an 18-month supervision order, in March this year.
It is usual for a serious case review to be held in such circumstances.
The couple, who already had one child, had moved to Bolton shortly before Mohammed Ismail was born. The review said they were “a young couple who showed maturity, ability to manage the household, with a warm and caring approach to parenting” and were using services available to them, such as children’s centres.
The review found a “good standard of practice” in all agencies and that there were no risks identified which could have been acted on at any time.
But it emerged that there were alleged problems in the relationship which were not passed on. The mother, Rabeel Malik, reported that she had been the victim of domestic abuse to her a GP.
It was discovered the matter was not recorded in a way which would alert others and the health visitor was not told — which should have been a “routine response".
Following the birth of Mohammed Ismail, the midwife made a referral for family support after she noticed the mother was tearful and spoke of her desire to see her own family.
Family support was due to start shortly after the baby turned two weeks old as the referral did not indicate a high level of priority.
The review stated: “Assessments did not complete the picture of the child’s mother needing more personal support and her possible acceptance of domestic abuse and the child’s father possibly needing more direct input to help him to parent because of his learning difficulty.”
It added that although there were missed opportunities to give the children’s mother information on how to get more support, the family needs did not warrant intervention or a child action plan.
“It is within this context the panel concluded the death of the child neither predictable nor preventable and there was no indication of any risk or harm,” states the report.
Recommendations made in the report are to improve the sharing of information between agencies and the way in which agencies record information. It also emerged the police were not informed of the unexplained death until two days after his admission into hospital.
Mike Tarver, chairman of Bolton Safeguarding Children Board, said: “We welcome the panel’s recommendations and have developed a comprehensive action plan.”
Margaret Asquith, director of adult and children’s services at Bolton Council, added: “We have already taken steps to implement the recommendations to improve, where we can, safeguarding of children.”