Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Poor Kid Might As Well Have Been Raised By Wolves…

The parents of a severely disturbed “feral” child have been jailed for the way they ill-treated and neglected her.
The description makes depressing, if familiar, reading:
The family’s squalid home stank of animals and was crammed with rubbish, clutter, dead and living flies and cages containing small animals, including six cages each containing two occupants in the kitchen, the court heard. Some of the animals were kept in an outside shed.
The mother screamed and shouted at the child at all times of the day and neighbours heard her crying and sobbing when she was locked in her bedroom, which the couple used as a storage area. Teachers at both the girl's infant and junior schools noticed abnormal behaviour by her.
It’s disgraceful! If people don’t want children, why do they continue to have them? Why not have them adop..

Oh. Hang on.
The middle-aged couple, who live in the York area, adopted the girl when she was 11 months old.
*stunned face* Even the judge couldn’t supress his disbelief:
"It is surprising that the two of you were ever approved for adoptions because it has become painfully apparent you lack many of the skills, the aptitude and the patience that is required to bring up a child," the Recorder of York, Judge Stephen Ashurst, told them.
"There is evidence that you (the mother) at times seemed to care more for the pets and the animals within the home than for (the child)."
Barristers for both defendants described them as "inadequate" people who had not been vindictive or evil.
How were they ever approved as adoptive parents? We are constantly told that the adoption process is long, complicated and intrusive. What went wrong?

Because something went very badly wrong.
The girl was so badly damaged she now lives in a residential home because her behaviour is too extreme for her to live in a family setting, the court heard. She has failed to improve significantly.
And will likely be institutionalised for the rest of her life.
Alex Menary, for the mother, said her own health had deteriorated. She lacked empathy and understanding of how her own behaviour impacted on others, and the child had been difficult to handle.
How’d she pass the strict and rigorous adoption interviews then?
David Hall, for the father, said the mother had been the more dominant member of their relationship. He had been unable to respond to the child's needs and had had surgery for problems to his legs.
How’d he pass the strict and rigorous adoption interviews then?
The parents obstructed attempts by social workers to see the problems inside the house. When the council employees realised its state and made repeated efforts to get the couple to remove the clutter from the house and the bolt from the top of the child's bedroom door, the father kept the child imprisoned inside the room by holding the door shut against her.
Once again, people with draconian powers to ‘protect children’, powers they’ve been only too happy to use in other circumstances, have utterly failed to use them.

So why aren’t they sharing the dock with this couple?


Anonymous said...

The child will be institutionalise for life. Sentencing will be easy then, life for the "parents".

Weekend Yachtsman said...

Were these "parents" perhaps members of some socially-privileged caste? It's the most likely explanation of why nothing was done about them earlier, and of how they were approved to adopt in the first place.

They don't seem to be named or pictures in the linked article.


(Parent of no appearance)

Anonymous said...

Well they passed the adoption screening as they didn't smoke and weren't UKIP supporters.

Woman on a Raft said...

WY makes a very good point in what is missing from the story. Also missing are the comments; the paper was obviously spooked, perhaps not just by the chance of the couple being identified.

The judge may have jumped to conclusions about the 'adoption process'. There is a chance that this is a Climbie-type setting where a child has not been adopted so much as traded for the ability to farm benefits. This would explain why over a period of about four years, assuming the child started school about four years ago as she is now eight, the school gradually became more worried. It would also explain why the social workers were too easily put off; a threat to play the race card slows them down.

There are several priviledged groups in York. I am glad the social services have finally stepped in. It may be that they are lately come to the case rather than having been involved from the first year.

staybryte said...

Genuinely very sad story. The damage vicious, evil people can do to a child is beyond measure, and I'm a long way from the "think of the cheeelderen" sort.

JuliaM said...

"Sentencing will be easy then, life for the "parents"."

If only...

"Were these "parents" perhaps members of some socially-privileged caste?"

I did wonder, but it seems they were white English, as far as anyone can make out. The child, however, was mixed race. The 'Guardian' naturally picks up on what to them is the worst aspect. Racist remarks... *sighs*

" There is a chance that this is a Climbie-type setting where a child has not been adopted so much as traded for the ability to farm benefits."

That 'Guardian' report does seem to incline that way, though it's certainly unusual...

"Genuinely very sad story."

It really is.

wiggiatlarge said...

The woman had placed her daughter with the couple, who were British and white, under an “informal fostering arrangement”. A residence order had been made in a county court in York 10 years ago, the judge said.

A personal arrangement ?

JuliaM said...

Yup, sounds a lot like it.