Family’s Anger At Social Services Over Baby’s Death
A relative of a murdered baby will meet Swansea Council officials to demand answers over the warnings she says she gave that the boy was being abused.
Sharon Hurlow says she made three calls to social services about Aaron Gilbert after his mother Rebecca Lewis – her cousin – took up with a new boyfriend.
Lewis, 21, was jailed for six years for failing to prevent 13-month-old Aaron’s murder by 23-year-old Andrew Lloyd.
Swansea Council said a review of all the agencies involved was under way.
Ms Hurlow, 43, said she became concerned about Aaron’s condition and treatment after Lloyd began living with Lewis.
Lloyd, also from Swansea, was jailed for 24 years after admitting murdering Aaron, who died from brain damage in May 2005.
His trial at Swansea Crown Court last year heard that Aaron had 50 injuries on his body.
Lewis was one of the first people in the UK to be convicted of familial homicide, which became law in May 2005, for failing to act when she knew Lloyd was harming the child.
She had denied the charge but was found guilty.
Ms Hurlow gave evidence at the trial, and said she spoke to social services three times in the five days before Aaron’s murder.
She said she wanted answers from Thursday’s meeting with council officials.
She said: “I know that child went through hell. I’m going to make a big fight out of this if it takes me another couple of years.
Ms Hurlow, who had helped care for Aaron since his birth, said she made her first call to social services when she noticed a dramatic change in Lewis’ care for him – he went unwashed and was smelling – after Lloyd was on the scene.
The second was after she met Lewis in the street when Lewis had Aaron in a pram.
She said: “I picked him from the pram and he had all bruising on his legs, like somebody had put hand prints [on him] and hanged him up by his legs.
“I asked her about it and she said it was nothing to do with me. She pulled his trousers back down. She stuck him back in the pram.
“He had old food on his face. His hands were all black, he hadn’t had a bath, a wash.”
She said the third call was two days before Aaron died, when she tried to push past Lloyd at the doorway of the home to reach the baby.
A spokeswoman for Swansea Council said there was little the local authority could say due to the Data Protection Act and a review was under way.