Serious Case Review – Family G Review Report ( Barrass ) – Sheffield Children’s Safeguarding Partnership
Sheffield City Council notified the Department for Education (DfE) of a serious safeguarding incident in May 2019, which related to the death of two children by their parents as a result of strangulation/asphyxiation.
Facilitated by the Sheffield Safeguarding Children Board (SSCB), now Sheffield Children Safeguarding Partnership (SCSP), the key agencies undertook a Rapid Review as required by statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018).
The Rapid Review requires all agencies to undertake a review of their records and to submit a timeline, analysis and summary of agency involvement.
The Rapid Review Report was submitted to the national Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel in June 2019. The national panel agreed that the criteria had been met and a Serious Case Review (SCR) should be commissioned in July 2019 and that a national review would not be undertaken in August 2019. An Independent Reviewer and an Independent Chair were commissioned in November 2019.
The four surviving siblings are looked after by the Local Authority and subject to care proceedings. Two adults MG and FG, the children’s mother and uncle (later known to be father), were arrested on suspicion of murder. It would appear MG’s intention had been to overdose her children and then take an overdose herself.
When the initial overdose plan failed, MG and FG resorted to each killing a child by ligature strangulation. They subsequently appeared in court and pleaded guilty to two charges of murder, four charges of attempted murder and six charges of conspiracy to murder. In November 2019 they were both sentenced to a life sentence with a minimum period of 35 years in prison.
The purpose of a review, as confirmed in the current statutory guidance, Working Together (2018) is clear that the focus is on learning, not holding individuals or agencies to account. This review has therefore been undertaken in a proportionate way to ensure the key learning is identified to support improvements in single and multi-agency practice. It is, therefore, deliberately not detailed but provides a summary of the family circumstances and key agencies’ engagement with the family….
Picture (c) South Yorkshire Police / PA.