Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Echoes of Climbie in Murder of Girl, 6; Mother's Boyfriend Facing Life for Double Killing

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Echoes of Climbie in Murder of Girl, 6; Mother's Boyfriend Facing Life for Double Killing

Article excerpt

Byline: JUSTIN DAVENPORT

SOCIAL services and police are criticised today in a report into the murder of a six-year-old girl on an "at risk" register.

Ukleigha Batten-Froggatt was smothered and her mother Nicole Batten stabbed to death in an attack at their Somers Town flat earlier this year.

Miss Batten's boyfriend Mark Nicholas was arrested after a London-wide manhunt.

Today, as Nicholas faces two life sentences for the double killing, a report reveals criticisms of Camden Council's social services department and other agencies, including police, for a failure of communication.

The case echoes that of Victoria Climbie, the eight-year-old who was murdered by her carers in 2000 after Haringey social services missed signs of abuse.

Ukleigha had been under the watch of social workers amid concerns that she was being neglected because of her mother's drinking. An independent review of the case found: . All agencies involved should have adopted a more challenging approach to 34-year-old Miss Batten's alcohol problem.

. Social services should have responded more swiftly and decisively to a referral from Ukleigha's school.

. Social services should have identified domestic violence in the family as an issue at an earlier stage.

. Police failed to provide full and proper information about what they knew of Miss Batten's condition.

. Camden's housing department failed to share information about the family's lifestyle while Miss Batten's GP, with whom she had been registered for years, had no knowledge of her alcohol and drug abuse.

The report found that Ukleigha was placed on Camden's child protection register in November last year. Although she was in good health, concerns were raised about her mother abusing alcohol and associating with homeless street drinkers, and her relationship with Mark Nicholas who was known to be violent. …

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