CAFCASS; Child and Family Court Advisory and Support Service

{June 22, 2009}   Eighth suspicious death of child in Doncaster

The suspicious death of a 10-week-old baby has forced a council to launch its eighth inquiry into child deaths.

Baby Ashley died two days after being taken to Doncaster Royal Infirmary from the nearby village of Skellow.

South Yorkshire Police later arrested an 18-year-old man on suspicion of harming the infant. He has since been released on bail.

An initial post mortem was inconclusive and detectives are awaiting more medical evidence before deciding whether the man should be charged.

The Yorkshire Ambulance Service said paramedics were called to a house in Skellow at 3.15pm on Saturday.

Social services in Doncaster are performing so badly that Government inspectors have been drafted in to lead local them.

Doncaster Council’s director of Children’s Services, Gareth Williams, confirmed that a serious case review had been ordered.

He added: “We did know the family, but I am unable to comment further as police proceedings are active.”

Ashley’s parents do not live together and the level of contact they and their baby had with local social workers is unknown.

The investigation into the infant’s death is the eighth to be launched in relation to local children dying from suspected abuse or neglect.

All have died in the last five years, six of them since 2007.


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