A catalogue of care failings allowed a 13-year-old boy to carry out the brutal murder of a man who was beaten and thrown on a bonfire, a shocking report has revealed.‘Care’ home…? Surely some mistake!
Teenage killer Jamie Smith was on the run from a care home when he savagely beat Stephen Croft and threw his body on a bonfire.
The well-built youngster was locked up indefinitely for the crime in April and told he must serve at least 13 years behind bars.Well, he’ll be far too old to repeat his crimes then, at the ripe old age of 26! I feel safer already…
An independent report into Smith's care was undertaken following the brutal killing on November 6, in Merseyside last year.So, the usual hallmarks of a disaster waiting to happen – violent underclass family, incompetent public sector workers, undue emphasis on the ‘rights’ of their clients and none on the rights of the people who pay their wages and pensions. Have I missed anything?
The report, commissioned by Wirral's Safeguarding Children board, also revealed that:
The report said the case had national implications as to how agencies involved in youth offending communicated.
- Assessments of Smith and his family were poor and not even kept in a file.
- Opportunities to assess risk were missed because Wirral Youth Offending Service knew nothing about a string of offences he committed while housed in Huddersfield.
- Despite a history of neglect, contact with Smith's family was increased in Wirral during summer and autumn 2007 - leading to an increase in aggression.
Speaking from his home in Birkenhead, the victim's dad Stephen Croft snr, 56, said his 34-year-old son had been let down through a string of errors.Mr Croft is a very, very trusting soul if he believes that if they had known about his ‘escalating criminality’, they’d have acted any differently…
'If he had been put in a more secure unit my son would still be alive and Smith would have a future - everyone has been let down,' he said.
Referring to the death of Baby P, Mr Croft, added: "We've seen in Haringey what can happen when agencies don't communicate.
'Why, given the nature of his dysfunctional family and his father's violent background, was he allowed back for increased visits?
'There was a breakdown in communication. But because he was committing criminal acts in other places they were under no obligation to inform Wirral.
'They had no idea about the escalation in his criminality and it resulted in murder.'
A Wirral council spokeswoman today said parental contact was always a difficult issue which was continually reviewed.Well, that worked out well didn’t it (for the unions)! Add another layer of bureaucracy – that’ll do the trick. It always does…
She added that all young people placed away from Wirral would now have a manager allocated to maintain links with Wirral's Youth Offending Service.
Director of Wirral Children's Services and chairman of the Local Safeguarding Children Board Howard Cooper said: 'The Serious Case Review has identified a number of areas where assessments, multi-agency work and information sharing were not of a sufficient standard.Big deal. You should be grovelling at the man’s feet and shovelling money at him to prevent him suing your pathetic organisation into penury…
'All the organisations involved have welcomed the Serious Case Review and have co-operated fully with it.
'I would like to take this opportunity publicly to again express our deepest condolences to the family of Stephen Croft.'