Hannah Windsor, 17, who was found dead in Bidston, Wirral
A REPORT following the brutal rape and murder of a Merseyside teenager has made more than 100 recommendations for changes to the way children are protected.
But the Serious Case Review into Hannah Windsor stops short of blaming any agency involved in keeping her safe by concluding no-one could have "reasonably foreseen" her death at the hands of her boyfriend.
The 17-year-old had been in almost constant contact with a range of health, special education and social care services for much of her life.
Tragically, the Wirral teenager went missing in May last year and her body was later found buried in a shallow grave on Bidston Hill.
Her boyfriend Adam Lewis, referred to in the report as BfG, confessed to murdering his on-off girlfriend, and the 18-year-old, who also admitted counts of sexual assault, burglary and arson, was jailed for a minimum of 22 years.
A Serious Case Review has now been carried out, involving the local organisations she was in contact with at different stages of her life.
The report, which is anonymised - referring to Hannah as Child G - and is also partly redacted, contains Individual Management Review reports from them, listing 111 separate recommendations for changes to procedures, training and issuing extra guidance to staff.
The recommendations cover Wirral council's children's social care, education services and the Integrated Youth Support Services, along with police, Wirral Metropolitan College, Forum Housing Association, Connexions, Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and other health services.
The report concludes "The extent of Child G’s vulnerabilities was not understood by professionals working with her".
It says: "Over the years, Child G had contact with a large number of agencies and organisations representative of health; education; social care; police; youth offending; and, housing services. However, there was no multi‐agency holistic assessment of her needs."
And it adds that "it is evident to this review, that the particular circumstances that led to BfG killing Child G, in the way that he did, could not have reasonably been foreseen by the professionals working with Child G during this period."
Lewis had been sleeping rough in a clearing on Bidston Hill, Wirral after a warrant was issued for his arrest on burglary and arson charges and the report outlines how Hannah, who was helping police find him, had been warned about approaching the killer by a policewoman, but ignored that advice and went to meet him as he slept rough in a tent.
The 83 page report charts Hannah's life through the eyes the of agencies involved with her and her family, including her difficult relationship with her parents and problems at school.
It says the "last confirmed sighting" of Hannah was around 5‐6pm on May 16 2012 "when she was seen on CCTV walking towards the place where she was murdered".
However, the report says it was not until May 18 when Barnardo's contacted the housing project where Hannah was living that it became apparent she had not returned there for two days.
According to the report: "A simple phone call, or a series of phone calls, between FHA (Forum Housing Association) and the police would have led to earlier recognition that Child G was missing and to more speedy efforts to find her. This was a significant omission which has only been partly explained.
"However, it is highly unlikely that earlier recognition that Child G was missing could have prevented her death."
Dennis Charlton, Independent Chair of Wirral Local Safeguarding Children's Board (LSCB), which commissioned the Serious Case Review, said: "I would like, on behalf of all members of the LSCB, to extend our deepest condolences to Child G’s family and anyone who knew her. I know that a number of people who work for agencies associated with Child G’s care knew her personally, and were greatly affected and saddened by her death.
"The Board have accepted the findings and recommendations of the Review which was commissioned by the LSCB following Child G’s death.
"We are already working on a number of areas which have been identified, where assessments, multi agency work and information sharing were not of a sufficient standard to provide a framework for co-ordinated actions and interventions.
"Progress on these recommendations will be monitored and updated regularly by the LSCB, and the results will contribute to child protection practice in Wirral and will be used to inform further action and training."