Changes made to Leicestershire child protection

Sweeping changes are to be made to the way vulnerable children are protected after a toddler was murdered by his father.

Leon McIntyre, two, was smothered by his paranoid father, Andrew, who then tried to kill himself.

Today, distraught mum Marie Tuckey spoke publicly for the first time about the tragic death of her son – and said she felt she was not given enough support to deal with her violent ex.

An independent review into the tragedy has found no-one could have predicted McIntyre would harm his own son.

But the report recommended changes to the way staff deal with cases involving people in violent relationships – especially those with children.
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Ms Tuckey said her ex-partner’s violent rages against her – which she reported to care workers – should have rung alarm bells.

Ms Tuckey, 35, said: “These people may think they have dealt with Leon’s death, but that is not how I see it.

“They are on your back when you don’t need them and when you do they are nowhere to be seen.

“I contacted the authorities at least 20 times about Andrew’s abuse towards me, but I was told I had to sort it, to get rid of him. I didn’t get the support I needed.”

Last year, McIntyre pleaded guilty to killing Leon on October 5, 2007, in Thornholme Close, Beaumont Leys, Leicester, and was sentenced to serve at least 16 years in prison.

The serious case review examined the actions of Leicester City Council’s health and social care teams, health workers and police.

It found that while Ms Tuckey had told some staff her concerns, the information was not always passed on to other people dealing with the family.

It said no professionals realised how much time McIntyre was spending with Leon.

He was so controlling it was difficult for Ms Tuckey to talk about him with care workers.

The couple had split up when Leon was six months old – but McIntyre, who suffered from depression, regularly visited.

Ms Tuckey had made an appointment for him with a GP after he said he was depressed.

Days before he was due to see the doctor, McIntyre woke Ms Tuckey, saying he had slashed his wrists and had smothered Leon because he did not want to leave him behind.

Leon was covered in his father’s blood after McIntyre had attempted to climb into the cot with him and die by his side.

Ms Tuckey said: “I always thought if it happened it was going to be me, never Leon. I wish I had not gone to sleep that night.”

She said McIntyre would not let Leon out of his chair, would not feed him properly because he did not want him to be fat and would shave his head so Leon looked like him.”

Ms Tuckey, now 15 weeks pregnant, said: “I am trying to get on with my life and am happy I am pregnant.

“But I worry that Leon thinks that I am trying replace him.

“I’m not, I always think of him and am surrounded by his photos. I am still devastated.”