Judge asked to reconsider social services evidence relating to death of 10-year-old

Council social services bosses are waiting for a High Court judge to make findings about the cause of death of a 10-year-old girl whose body was found in her bedroom more than two years ago.

Mr Justice Hayden had been asked to reconsider evidence relating to the girl’s death by social services bosses at Southwark Council (pictured), in London, who have welfare responsibilities for other children in her family.

The judge finished overseeing a private trial in the Family Division of the High Court in London on Thursday.

He is expected to produce a ruling later in the year.

The judge has imposed limits on what can be reported about the hearing, which began in January.

He said the girl, whose body was found at her home in London on a Sunday morning in November 2016, and the children at the centre of the case cannot be identified in media reports.

Another High Court judge had initially considered the case in late 2017.

Mr Justice Francis concluded council bosses had not proved that the “genital injuries” and “fatal neck injuries” the girl suffered were “deliberately inflicted”.

Council bosses had appealed against that ruling and in July 2018, Court of Appeal judges upheld their challenge and ordered a fresh High Court trial.

Both Mr Justice Francis and appeal court judges had criticised police.

Mr Justice Francis said, in a written ruling, there had been a “catalogue of failures”.

Appeal court judge Lady Justice King said the police investigation had been “replete” with mistakes.

She compared it to the police investigation into the death of 13-month-old Poppi Worthington, who collapsed at her home in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, in December 2012.

That investigation was also criticised by a judge who analysed evidence at hearings in the Family Division of the High Court.

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2019, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Stephen Craven / PA Wire.

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