Is that your name on here?
I had to find out! You see…. I grew up in care and although that’s not unusual within itself I tend to take a light-hearted view of the system and keep my opinions pretty much to myself, sometimes. Yet, then there’s times like these when I just have to say something. If the system hadn’t been so screwed up when I was a child I know and can mostly prove that at least eight children I knew wouldn’t have been physically abused and three sexually. One women and a child may also have had their lives saved. Had the system been working efficiently… it wasn’t then and judging by what I read in the papers…it isn’t now.
If you’re a regular follower you’ll know I blog poetry, short stories and what I often tag as “Therapy” which is usually just whatever’s randomly bugged me that day thrown down in rhyming form or other and I’m so self-assured, so confident that most things don’t bug me at all I just love to write… My father killed my mother hence my being in care and you know… I make light of that, a lot. Mostly because it was years ago and it’s just easier than explaining every stupid little detail that even I don’t care about anymore to anyone who asks….besides I’ve had a lot of help over the years from the Likes of Wendy Borrett ,
, Nigel Mottram (Two amazing therapists) and Samm (support after murder and manslaughter)with such supportive members as Richard Mccann (Inspiration speaker and son of one of the Yorkshire rippers victims.) and a thousand others I cannot name for privacy reasons although you read that right….a thousand others, and that’s a generous number.
So I’ve got a little insider information when it comes to “The system.” and not as a paid person, not as someone who claims back their travel expenses, stationary and uniform. But as a bricks and mortar been there, done that, came out the other side, got qualified, got a decent job and got myself a loving, caring, affectionate family which I hope never see’s the things I’ve seen. Then I see posts like this and it makes me wish my daughters become the type of people who put these away for a living…
Before you click away for feeling this is about money (it isn’t – I won’t bore you with the details or lack of government funding for SAMM though) this is simply about a name. Your name and if you’re willing to share it. To just sign one document online that may make a difference to a child somewhere.
You see I came across a Facebook post whilst I was feeding my three week old daughter. (congratulations!!!! I hear you cry… ) Well thankyou. She’s our second and was born at 3.3 k.g… my wife was in agony, lots and lots of pain but nothing like this poor child here…
Please, please, please read this article. It’s short and painful I promise but it will make a difference. Besides everything else I’m going to talk about is directly related to that article and you’ve come this far so, what’s to lose?
I didn’t initially believe it, who wants to? I’ve a pretty strong stomach and I’ve seen every episode I can find on YouTube of Internet Interceptors, Pedophile Hunters etc, etc and although I can’t compute why any man would do this to any child. I can compute that if we let it happen as a society then scumbags will continue to be scumbags. I don’t just mean the nonce in this instance. I also refer to any judge, social worker, police person or official who had any contact with this family who turned a blind eye, was negligent, or intentionally covered up evidence to prevent prosecution. You are also just as guilty in my mind.
I’m a big believer in prevention rather than cure however I’m a bigger believe in “All it takes for evil to exist is for good men to do nothing”. I know it will cost me nothing if I sign this petition. I know it “May” in the long run spank these guys hard enough that we keep tighter reigns on child safety. I questioned “Exactly who are we getting justice for here?” That poor child is dead. She’s lay in an unmarked grave somewhere. The parents obviously couldn’t care less and so why on earth are we petitioning?
We’re petitioning to prevent this happening to anyone else. Your children would thank you, my children would thank you.
Here’s a link to the petition site – Is your name on here?
Sometimes it’s not about followers, likes or connections. I don’t care if you dislike every other post I’ve put up. Please, sign the petition.
IS YOUR NAME HERE
Yet today Mr Worthington, a 48-year-old supermarket worker believed to have committed the most monstrous of crimes, remains a free man.
He is now said to have gone into hiding. On Thursday, however, there was hope for Poppi’s grieving family when the Crown Prosecution Service said it was ‘reviewing’ its decision not to press charges. There is to be a fresh inquest at a date to be determined.
Meanwhile, little Poppi sleeps on. This is her story — and it raises profound and disturbing questions about the role of police and social services, and the cloak of secrecy that has concealed their fatal mistakes until now.
A judge ruled that Poppi was subjected to a horrific sexual assault by her father, Paul Worthington, (pictured) that led to her death in December 2012
A CHAOTIC FAMILY
Poppi Worthington entered the world with her twin brother on October 20, 2011. Their mother, who was then aged 27, had already had five other children. She was just 16 when her first child was born. This little girl was later taken away and adopted when her mother was found to be drunk while in charge of her. It is not known who the father is.
There followed a daughter whose father has no contact with her now, two daughters whose father is believed to be dead, and three more children, a boy and the twins, whose father is Paul Worthington.
Mr Worthington met Poppi’s mother — who cannot be named for legal reasons — in 2008. He had two older children from previous relationships, but has no contact with either child.
He was already known to police: in 1995, Mr Worthington was informally interviewed by officers, following an ‘association with someone who may have committed offences against children’.
The relationship between Poppi’s parents was shaky and they were living apart at the time of the twins’ birth. But they were reunited and living together as a family by the summer of 2012 and were planning to move from Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria to Kent.
Poppi was a pretty, engaging toddler who might one day have risen above these unpromising beginnings. But she never got the chance.
NIGHT OF THE ASSAULT
On December 11, 2012, Poppi was a bit ‘snuffly’, but otherwise well. Her mother put her into her cot in a box room between 7pm and 7.30pm.
By about 8pm all the children were in bed. Poppi’s mother watched television downstairs. At about 9pm, Mr Worthington went upstairs with his laptop and went to bed.
He checked out some sports results he’d gambled on, then watched porn — which he told police involved adults — before falling asleep.
At 2am, Poppi’s mother, who had not yet been to sleep, went upstairs to fetch the laptop for her own use.
Mr Worthington gave his own version of events that night, which the judge found unconvincing.
He claims he was woken in the early hours by a scream or cry from Poppi.
When he went into her room he says he found her ‘rigid and stiff’.
He gave her a cuddle and took her into his room and laid her on the bed crossways. He fetched a clean nappy from downstairs but did not change her, and got back into bed. After a few minutes, he says, he put out his hand and touched Poppi and discovered that she had gone ‘limp’.
He ran downstairs with her and called out to Poppi’s mother to get an ambulance. She called 999 at 5.56am. An ambulance arrived at 6.05am.
The paramedic described Poppi as being ‘very pale, waxy and obviously not breathing’.
FIGHT TO SAVE POPPI
In the ambulance, the cardiac monitor showed that Poppi’s heart was not beating. On the way to the hospital, both the paramedic and Poppi’s father tried to revive her.
On arrival at 6.11am, Poppi was taken immediately to the resuscitation room. A locum consultant paediatrician led the prolonged attempt to restart Poppi’s heart, which continued for 57 minutes, during which time she received fluids and adrenaline. She was pronounced dead at 7.07am.
Her body was moved to the children’s ward before being taken to the mortuary at around midday.
This unmarked grave covered with rain-battered teddy bears, tributes and flowers, lies the body of Poppi Worthington — a 13-month-old baby girl who deserved so much more than the short, brutal life afforded her
WHERE WERE POLICE?
Two police officers arrived at the house before the ambulance left. One remained until 7.22am when she was relieved. The other went on to the hospital. At 9.40am a crime scene investigator attended and took photographs and a video.
At 10.15am, a female officer named in the report only as Detective Inspector S, but identified now as Amanda Sadler, attended hospital with a colleague and inspected Poppi’s body.
They noted some blood trickling down her leg when her tiny body was moved. Poppi’s mother and father were spoken to by police at the hospital.
During the course of the morning Mr Worthington was permitted to visit the toilet where he could have washed away any crucial DNA that would have helped bring a criminal case against him.
And swabs were not taken from him until later in the afternoon.
THE LOST EVIDENCE
Amid the drama, potentially crucial evidence was lost. The gloves the paramedic who carried Poppi into the ambulance was wearing were thrown away. The stretcher sheet, which had blood and other bodily fluids on it and which might have yielded critical clues, was not preserved.
One officer saw a used nappy on the floor near the fireplace in the home. It was believed to be the last nappy worn by Poppi. Her paternal aunt put it in the bin, but it was never retrieved.
Other items not preserved for forensic analysis included Poppi’s pillow, her clothing, her parents’ bedsheet or any items that might have been used as part of the assault. Mr Worthington’s laptop ‘went missing’. The scene at the house was not secured and no reconstruction with the parents took place.
A CRUCIAL MIX-UP
At a meeting held by Cumbria County Council on the day of Poppi’s death, a paediatrician with responsibility for safeguarding of children said Poppi suffered from chronic constipation and this may have accounted for the blood coming from the top of her legs.
It was totally wrong — she did not suffer from constipation — but it was accepted as fact at the time and probably had a bearing on many important decisions that followed.
POPPI’S BROKEN LEG
Her body was transferred to the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital on December 14 and an X-ray revealed two broken bones in one of her legs.
Mr Justice Jackson concluded that in the absence of any proper investigation into the injury, its cause could not be determined.
Common sense might dictate that this might have given cause for concern about the five children, then aged between 13 months and eight, remaining in the care of Mr Worthington and Poppi’s mother.
But it was four weeks after Poppi’s death before they were examined by doctors, although no sign of injury was found. No X-rays were taken. Experts said Poppi’s injuries would have caused significant pain that would have been apparent to the parents. Both denied knowing anything about them.
A SUSPECT AT THE START
Two pathologists, Dr Alison Armour and Dr Stephania Bitetti, were instructed by the coroner to examine Poppi’s body.
Because of ‘other commitments’ this didn’t take place until five days after her death, on December 17.
Dr Armour was deeply concerned to find bruising and tearing, and the next day rang DI Amanda Sadler to express concerns that Poppi had been subjected to a ‘penetrative act’.
Despite the extreme gravity of the charge, another officer, described as Detective Chief Inspector F in the report, but identified now as DCI Mike Forrester, would not permit even basic tests to be conducted, refusing to authorise forensic testing of any samples or items seized, apart from Poppi’s blood.
On 24 December, Dr Armour again phoned DI Sadler to say that she believed Poppi did not die from natural causes but as a result of an unlawful act.
Despite these concerns, Dr Armour did not complete her report into Poppi’s death until six months later — on June 25, 2013.
She explained that in a case of such seriousness, she wanted to have all the laboratory results before making an official finding. Normally, pathologists provide preliminary findings to the coroner.
Dr Bitetti, whose report was not filed until July but who had filed an interim one in February, found no evidence of death by natural causes — such as a seizure or metabolic disease — in her report, either.
Despite the post mortem report having yet to be published, Poppi’s body was released by the coroner and she was buried on February 19, 2013.
In August 2013, Michael Scarborough of LGC Forensics, a forensic science organisation with laboratories around the world, was instructed by the police to carry out forensic tests.
He found that Poppi’s DNA was present on an intimate part of Mr Worthington’s body, identified from the swab taken on the afternoon of the day Poppi died, although not to the degree that might have been expected had he committed an unlawful act, and it was noted that this could have been the result of secondary transfer (from his hands to his penis during urination).
As explained earlier, however, Mr Worthington could have washed away incriminating evidence in the hours after Poppi’s death.
Despite the clear suggestion of a sexual assault, Cumbria Constabulary failed to use a paediatrician with specialist knowledge of investigating sexual abuse.
At a meeting held by Cumbria County Council on the day of Poppi’s death, a paediatrician with responsibility for safeguarding of children said Poppi suffered from chronic constipation and this may have accounted for the blood coming from the top of her legs. It was totally wrong
AND HER SIBLINGS?
Virtually nothing was done to protect Poppi’s three sisters and two brothers after her death. The council simply asked Poppi’s grandparents and mother to supervise Mr Worthington’s contact with the children. This continued even after March 2013, when Poppi’s parents separated for a time and Mr Worthington moved out.
On August 2, social services became aware that Mr Worthington had moved back into the family home. A ‘polite’ letter was written to the family asking that unsupervised contact between father and children should not be permitted.
Having considered the various reports, police arrested Mr Worthington and Poppi’s mother on August 27, 2013 and placed them on bail.
The mother was to have no unsupervised contact with a child and the father was to have no contact with a child under 13. They were interviewed and papers relating to the case were sent to the Crown Prosecution Service in November 2013.
In September, the council became aware the mother was having unsupervised contact with her children. Two months later, the children were finally removed from the house and put into foster care.
On March 28 2014, a two-week fact-finding hearing was held at the High Court in London, at which all available evidence was heard.
Justice Peter Jackson found in his judgment that Poppi died as a result of a penetrative assault inflicted upon her by her father and criticised police, social workers and the coroner. The ruling was kept secret in order not to prejudice a future criminal prosecution.
Following Justice Jackson’s findings, police officers involved in the case were removed and replaced. The Independent Police Complaints Commission began an investigation.
On June 27, 2014, Cumbria County Council applied to the judge for a secrecy order to keep all facts about the death, including the actions of police, social workers and medical staff, suppressed for 15 years.
The council’s lawyers argued that ‘disclosure of alleged shortcomings by agencies might be unfair to the agencies’.
Video playing bottom right…
One officer, Detective Inspector Amanda Sadler (pictured)— an ex beauty queen who was Miss Great Britain 1989 — is to undergo a ‘satisfactory performance’ inquiry which could result in disciplinary action or dismissal
NO TO SECRECY
On July 11, 2014, Associated Newspapers, which publishes the Daily Mail, and other media groups, asked Mr Justice Peter Jackson to refuse Cumbria’s sweeping request and the judge rejected the council’s call for secrecy. Mr Worthington’s name, however, was withheld from the public till December 18, when the Mail and other papers pressed for openness at yet another hearing.
Full details of the circumstances surrounding a death are usually given at an inquest, but at Poppi’s inquest, held by coroner Ian Smith on October 21, 2014, no details were forthcoming. It took place nearly three years after her death, delayed possibly as a result of the police investigation, and lasted just seven minutes. Two days later, Mr Smith retired. On January 14, 2015, Cumbria’s new coroner, David Roberts, perhaps dissatisfied by the lack of information at the first one, requested a fresh inquest.
NEW THEORY REJECTED
Poppi’s father Paul Worthington (above) gave his own version of events on the night Poppi was found injured, which the judge found unconvincing
On the instructions of the National Crime Agency, pathologist Dr Nathaniel Cary examined Poppi’s case. In December 2014 he suggested she might have died from a haemorrhage caused by infection. Justice Jackson rejected this theory — there was compelling evidence to support the sexual assault allegation.
NO HOPE OF CHARGES
On January 16, 2015, the CPS said there was insufficient evidence to bring criminal charges. They’d given up on justice for Poppi, it seems.
HER FATHER’S WAY OUT
On March 31, 2015, Justice Jackson disclosed that Poppi’s father, Mr Worthington, who must have been pleased by Dr Cary’s infection theory, had requested another Family Court fact-finding hearing. Presumably, he must have hoped it could clear his name. Eight months later, on November 11, Justice Jackson ordered a new fact-finding hearing to be held in Liverpool that month. It took place over five days, at substantial cost to the taxpayer. Journalists were allowed to attend, but not the public.
FINDINGS COME OUT
On Tuesday, Justice Jackson’s finding that Poppi was subjected to a sexual assault by her father, which led to her death, was made public at last, more than three years after her death and 21 months after the report was first drawn up. It was not before time. A little girl who died in incomprehensible circumstances may now, at least, get justice. And the man said to have caused her death can no longer hide behind a cloak of secrecy.
Finally, some action against those who blundered in this case. One officer, Detective Inspector Amanda Sadler — an ex beauty queen who was Miss Great Britain 1989 — is to undergo a ‘satisfactory performance’ inquiry which could result in disciplinary action or dismissal. The Independent Police Complaints Commission investigated three officers over the case, but said just one serving officer faces disciplinary proceedings.
Poppi Worthington’s death, and the manner of it, was truly shocking. John Woodcock, Labour MP for Barrow-and-Furness, is now calling for a second police force to take on the case and ‘salvage some prospect of justice for her life’.
That should, surely, happen as a matter of urgency.
Additional reporting: Dominik Lemanski and Benjamin Salisbury