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Social workers showed 'no interest' in tragic Lily-Mai case, grandfather tells LBC

26 July 2022, 10:50 | Updated: 26 July 2022, 10:52

By Seán Hickey

The grandfather of tragic Lily-Mai Hurrell Saint George tells LBC that Haringey Council failed his granddaughter in her final days.

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Baby Lily-Mai Hurrell Saint George died at Great Ormond Street Hospital in 2018 after suffering 18 rib fractures, a leg fracture and a fatal head injury at the hands of her mother, just hours after a visit from social services.

Lauren Saint George, 25, was found not guilty of murder and manslaughter at the Old Bailey, but guilty of infanticide, an alternative verdict to murder, when a mother kills her child while her mind is disturbed by a failure to recover from the effects of childbirth.

Read more: Mother found guilty of shaking daughter to death hours after social worker visited

Ms Saint George will avoid jail time as a result.

Nick Ferrari spoke to Stephen Hurrell, the grandfather of the baby girl.

His son Darren had no case to answer for charges of murder and manslaughter and threw out a charge of causing or allowing the death of a child against both parents.

"I've put the blame with Haringey Council right from the start", Mr Hurrell told LBC.

Read more: Baby P's mum Tracey Connelly freed from prison after 13 years

Read more: Children's Commissioner says 'culture change' is needed to stop vulnerable children dying

Haringey Council have come under fire in the wake of the verdict, as it has emerged that tragic Lily-Mai was put back into the care of her mother against the advice of health professionals.

Read more: Archie Battersbee’s mum brands judges 'insensitive' after dad 'suffers heart attack'

Mr Hurrell went on: "The flat that Haringey gave them was a disgrace, there were rats running about the place."

"We had serious concerns over the baby...why they didn't take it into care, or put it into a secure unit before she was killed on that Wednesday, I don't know."

Nick asked Mr Hurrell if he truly believed the Council "showed no interest" in his granddaughter. "No", he replied.

Read more: Children left at 'unknown risk' by council inspected after Arthur Labinjo-Hughes' murder

Asking about his relationship with the mother, Nick was knocked for six when Mr Hurrell said Ms Saint George still "lives around the corner".

Nick finished the conversation by asking what the tragedy has done to Mr Hurrell's family.

"The kids would be breaking up for school – she'd be five now – and we should be going to get her uniform. It gets harder every day."

"You lose a parent, you can deal with it. You lose a child, it's harder."

Haringey Council Chief Executive Andy Donald and Haringey Council Leader, Cllr Peray Ahmet, said:

“We are deeply saddened by the tragic death of Lily-Mai and our thoughts are with those who loved and cared for her during her short life. 

“We would like to say how sorry we are that Lily-Mai did not receive the care and protection she deserved.

“There are clearly lessons to be learned and the Haringey Safeguarding Children Partnership has already commissioned a Serious Case Review from an independent expert which, now the trial proceedings are complete, will be concluded and published.

“We are confident we have now made improvements which could have better protected Lily-Mai and we are absolutely committed to protecting children and young people in our borough.”

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