Portsmouth baby murder: Key information was not shared by professionals beforehand, review finds

Information on neglect was not shared between professionals  before mother killed baby

Nicola Brown was jailed in 2016 (Credit: Hampshire Constabulary)

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Several agencies failed to share information about "early signs of neglect" before a "ticking time bomb" mother in Portsmouth killed her baby, a case review has found.

When mother Nicola Brown was pregnant with Jake Long she had hidden her pregnancy and social services only found out about the child after the birth.

The baby was born in the family's home in 2014 but just 19 days after this the boy was killed by his mother. Later it was found that his ribcage had been broken 17 times, according to The News. His death was caused by severe head injuries.

The report found that, whilst Queen Alexandra Hospital had concerns prior to the murder, it did not pass these on "adequately", meaning the baby's family was not assessed in a timely manner.

Details which were not passed on included alleged domestic abuse, and hospital staff also claimed to have seen an "altercation" between the parents whilst they were at the hospital.

It is claimed the woman had "blood on her face," but security were not informed about this. However the report found the children’s services emergency duty team were told about the incident involving the mother and father Jason Brown but "severity was not conveyed in the details."

Midwives were also worried about the situation because the mother was unprepared for the arrival of the child, despite being aware she was pregnant.

The report discovered no evidence that information of the alleged domestic abuse had been handed from social services to the health visitor or the police.

The review did find that abuse allegations were looked at by the social services, but it said it "lacked analysis" and relied a heavily on the "parents' self-reports of the incidents" which did not consider how the child would fair.

The father has had problems with excessive drinking and the mother had previous issues with depression and anxiety, the BBC reported.

In 2016 the mother was convicted of murder and handed a minimum sentence of 14 and a half years. However the father was acquitted of allowing or causing the death of a child.