Review In Caerphilly Toddler Torture Case

A review is under way into the case of a man jailed for torturing his stepdaughter to death after neighbours had alerted the authorities.

Lois Lazenby was killed by Daniel Bishop, 27, just four months after he moved into their home in Caerphilly.

Lois’ mother Sarah, 29, was jailed for six years for “turning a blind eye”.

The judge is also to refer the case of Lois Lazenby, two, to the children’s commissioner.

The court was told on Wednesday how the child was systematically abused, tortured and ultimately killed by her stepfather Bishop, after he moved in with her mother in summer 2004.

When she died she was found to have 13 fractures, a cigarette burn and crushing injuries to her hands, as well as more than 50 bruises.

On one occasion Lois suffered severe burns to her foot when her leg was placed over a gas cooker hob.

The court heard how the little girl received no medical attention for her injuries and how her mother did everything to hide her injuries from the authorities.

In October 2004 the child was placed on the Child Protection Register under the category for emotional abuse.

In the end Bishop shook the child so hard she suffered a brain haemorrhage and died two days later.

The court was told how Sarah Bishop even now did not think her husband had committed any offence and remains convinced that he was the best thing to have happened to her.

In court, she tried to lean over and kiss her husband before they were sentenced.

Judge Nicholas Cooke QC told the couple: “There are some cases in which judges have to pass heavy sentences in order to express public revulsion to acts that have been committed and to protect future potential victims. This is such a case.”

Neighbours on the Lansbury Park estate in Caerphilly, said they did try to raise the alarm but nobody listened to them.

One, Diane Wiegold, said: “There was a little baby who died three years ago and things have been swept under the carpet.

“It’s as if the baby’s life didn’t matter to anybody. Us as neighbours seem to care but no authorities, nobody ever listens.”

Another, Nicola Brookman, said of Lois’s death: “I can’t get it out of my mind. She’ll always be with me. Nothing will bring her back.
Sarah Bishop tried to lean over from the dock and kiss her husband

After the conclusion of the case, Caerphilly Local Safeguarding Children Board said its review into the case would be completed in early 2008.

“It is agreed that now the criminal case is completed, a full multi-agency review can be concluded to ensure that anything that can be learned about the way that agencies worked together in this case is shared locally across Wales and the UK.”

The spokeswoman described Lois’s death as an “appalling crime”.

Gwent Police sought help from medical experts as far afield as America in their inquiry and Supt Peter Keen, the chief investigating officer, said it was only after that the Bishops had entered guilty pleas.

“This was a very complicated case to investigate and it involved a nationwide and international search for medical experts,” he said.

A Welsh Assembly Government spokesman said: “This is a tragic case involving a young child and to reduce the risk of such an incident happening again, the Caerphilly Local Safeguarding Children Board is conducting a thorough serious case review.

“All of the reports will be sent to the Welsh Assembly Government for analysis and to ensure that all the lessons from this case are identified and acted on. We expect to receive a report on the review early in the new year.”