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Grayling backs criticism of starved boy review

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has told ITV News it is 'right and proper' for the Government to ensure tragic deaths like that of Hamzah Khan never happen again.

Earlier, children's minister Edward Timpson said a serious case review failed to address key questions.

He expressed his 'deep concerns' over the review's findings that the four year old's death could not have been predicted.

Mr Grayling supported his colleague's stand and said it was important no stone was left unturned in finding out what happened.


'No-one could have known' about starved boy

Hazel Dow who knew Amanda Hutton and her family says nobody would have had a clue what went on inside the house where Hamzah died. Credit: ITV News

A woman who knew Amanda Hutton and her family has told ITV News that there was no way anyone could have realised that four year old Hamzah Khan had starved to death.

Hazel Dow spoke after today's controversial Serious Case Review into Hamzah's death.

She told Calendar:

"We had an inkling that maybe it wasn't great in that house. But I think nobody would have had a clue of how bad it was.

"Because there was a bit of a 'keep away' feel to the house we didn't want to intrude."


  1. Penny Marshall

Professionals accept that system 'failed' Hamzah Khan

Today we heard from all the people involved whose work was examined in the serious case review into Hamzah Khan's death and it was a pretty heated press conference.

The professionals accept that systems failed. In fact rather movingly that chair of Bradford Safeguarding Children Board said that perhaps Hamzah could have been alive today if there had been more joined up thinking, if they had met together and shared information which is a pretty sobering thought.

Four-year-old Hamzah Khan's decomposed body was found in a cot at his mother's home almost two years after he died Credit: Police handout

But what they didn't accept was that there were any individual failings, no-one was negligent. It was simply that Hamzah fell through a system because no concerns reached the necessary threshold.

Well this has caused quite a row with the government who are of course asking for more answers as they say there were countless missed opportunities and that this once again raises concerns about the safety of some of our most vulnerable children.

Key questions asked by minister after Khan review

The children's minister Edward Timpson has requested answers to ten key questions following the publication of a serious case review into Hamzah Khan's death.

Here are some of them:

  • Whether or not one of Hamzah's siblings was assessed by social care workers after reporting domestic violence to the police in December 2006.
  • Why no assessment was carried out in April 2009 after police reported to social care that Hamzah's mother Amanda Hutton appeared to be "under the influence".
  • Why an assessment was not conducted in January 2011 when the school of one of Hamzah's siblings reported low attendance rates and that the child "appeared physically neglected".

College of Social Work: No child should fall 'off radar'

The Hamzah Khan serious case review brings into sharp focus why there must be strong, joined up and effective systems in place to keep in contact with, and track, children at risk. No child should ever fall off the radar or become invisible, to child protection agencies and society as a whole.

Several key issues stand out. The report demonstrates powerfully the paramount need to keep sight of children who may be suffering neglect or abuse; the needs of vulnerable parents must never obscure focus on knowing what life is like for children. Talking and listening to them, as well as observing how their lives are affected, is an essential element of child protection practice.

– Annie Hudson, chief executive of The College of Social Work
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