May 31 2015
Some of you will already have read about little Jonas Staddon on this site – the 4 year old down syndrome boy who was taken into care; where he quickly went from a happy, healthy, lively, well looked after, little lad to dead within the short space of just seven months.
It would have been the little boys 6th birthday a couple of days ago had he lived… But he didn’t.
Take an extra bit of time to study those photos.
You see, the
story facts leading up to and surrounding Jonas Staddon’s death murder are as repulsive & horrendous as any other infanticide case that you are ever likely to read about – albeit because of the UK’s draconian, abhorrent, unjust secret courts designed to protect nonces, child abusers, social workers, solicitors, barristers, judges, MP’s and the child-care protection services, you doubtlessly will not have read about that many.
It is in fact fair to say that the secret family courts are set up to protect just about everyone not related to the families who find themselves before one as they are designed to stop a child’s – more often than not, innocent – parents speaking out about the inhumane injustice taking place there, day in-day out in this country today.
They are certainly not there to ensure the best interest of the child.
In fact, these courts shamefully condemn a child to a very frightening, extremely uncertain future involving; mental & physical abuse, rape, torture and murder at the hands of those allocated to ‘protect’ them.
Indeed, a child is very, very rarely better off in care, which in many cases damages them beyond repair for life, in order to keep the £multi-million Pound generating, child stealing conveyor belt in business.
Of course, this wall of silence is critical to ensure that the never ending supply line keeps moving, and to further oil the wheels, gutless stooges such as the ‘child campaigning’ Liberal-Democrat MP for Birmingham Yardley, John Hemming are put in place and given a safe seat in parliament to act as gatekeepers – that is to say until the 2015 election where Hemming lost his seat to Labour’s Jess Phillips. Safe seats are a rare commodity in the cases of Lib?Dem politicians
Nevertheless, Hemming’s job was to give the appearance that the government takes child abuse seriously – they don’t, they are the perpetrators – and that someone in power is tackling the vastly understated injustices taking place within the UK.
In reality, Hemmings has done nothing other than allow the well oiled machine to keep moving, whilst the Cunt Cameron has just announced plans to speed up [forced] adoption… And that should trigger alarm bells ringing in every parents head in this country… NO ONES CHILD IS SAFE.
It is then, within this monstrous system that Jonas Staddon was condemned to death followed by the usual closing of ranks by the Establishment, which invariably sees the child’s death whitewashed and grieving parents left frustrated & thwarted at every turn in their quest for justice… That is not acceptable, this has to stop and ALL those involved – past & present – at ALL levels, in this abhorrent child trafficking must be made to pay for their inexcusable participation in the practice.
I sincerely hope that Jonas is the child to make that happen.
The following is an horrific account of his story.
Jonas was the youngest of Sara Russell’s 4 children – a boy followed by two girls & then Jonas. Despite having Down Syndrome, Jonas was very much wanted, loved and well looked after… As is right and proper for any child.
Nevertheless, the first that Sara knew about the allegation against her son, Lucas that was to tear her family apart came on Sunday the 24th of March 2013, when her younger daughter Victoria told her that Lucas had ‘”made her suck his willie”… She did not disclose anything more to her mother.
Course, that has to be one of the worst scenario’s a parent could find themselves in and not knowing how best to handle the situation, Sara tried ring the social services for advice, but obviously – being a Sunday – no one was in the office and as such, Sara decided to ring Leslie Pollard, the Parent and Family Support Advisor at Victoria’s school – a woman Sara knew well.
However, unable to reach her Sara was forced to leave Leslie an answer phone message.
The following is from Sara herself:
We kept the girls and Jonas away from Lucas for the rest of the day and the night so that we could get hold of the right people to deal with this. We were in total shock with what Victoria had told us and although we did try and ask her simple questions we did not feel comfortable pushing her too much. We did manage to establish from both her and her sister Elizabeth, who said she did not know anything and had never heard her say anything about it, that it was not recent as in we gave her some timeframes to try and get an idea of when this may have taken place but all we were getting from Victoria was “it was ages ago”. This of course in a young child could be anything as time to them does not always seem measurable.
Leslie Pollard did not then reply to Sara’s message until the first thing on Monday 25th of March.
Again, Sara takes up the story:
I received a message from Leslie first thing and she said to come to the school, so I dropped Victoria and Elizabeth off as normal to keep the girls as calm as possible and returned to see Leslie Pollard and the head mistress Sue Brewer and the area senco Teresa Hanratty.
After I had explained everything to them they then informed the relevant people.
I then returned home and waited. I collected Victoria at the end of the day and then went to get Elizabeth but they [the social services] had already got her and as they had not informed me that they were bringing her home I was at Heathfield waiting for her.
When I called her she explained that she was in a car with two strangers at our house so I returned home.
Lucas was arrested after returning from collage and Elizabeth and Victoria were taken to do their video cd’s at wellsprings police unit. They were not returned as expected and they were only given a drink yet they were supposed to be getting a McDonalds.
Jonas was still with us at this point. At some point around this time while Lucas was in custody, he was apparently taken to Musgrove Park Hospital with head injuries according to Jane Jones (locum social worker)
The next day, Tuesday 26th March, Jonas was scheduled to have an operation under general anaesthetic for a “retained testicle” and since this operation had already been postponed twice already, his parents were keen that he should get it over and done with – and as such, it was arranged for Victoria & Elizabeth to be collected from school by a friend, who returned them home later on that afternoon/early evening.
Sara then received a phone call from the locum social worker, Jane Jones to say that she wanted to come and collect some items for Lucas – despite Sara having been given specific, strict instructions that Lucas was not allowed to be there whilst the girls were home.
However, when Sara explained this to Jones, the social worker came anyway and brought Lucas along to boot.
By now Victoria had also accused her older brother’s dad – who was no longer in a relationship with Sara – of doing the same as Lucas had made her do.
However, on Wednesday the 27th of March, Victoria retracted her allegation against her brother and told Sara that Elizabeth had made her say it after which Sara phoned Detective Cuntstable, Darren Lipscome – the plod dealing with the case, to tell him about this development.
However, unable to get through to him, she was forced to leave him a voice message which to this day, he has not directly replied to.
Sara also informed Jane Jones who hostilely responded by coldly telling her that it was ‘common for girls who have been sexually abused to later deny that the abuse took place’, before going on to accuse Sara of not “supporting them” properly.
Nevertheless, Sara persevered and told her that Victoria had also changed her version of events in regard to Lucas’s dad to which Jones rather nonsensically replied “that it [the allegation] was not proved, so it didn’t matter”.
On Thursday the 28th of March Jane Jones turned up at the family home and angrily accused Sara of not believing the girls allegations and that if she [Sara] had not been so wrapped up in her own affairs she would have seen what was going on.
Course, faced with such hostile accusation, Sara asked Jones to leave but according to Sara “she just as carried on with inappropriate remarks about me and my children” prompting Sara to to walk out of her own home to avoid the confrontation escalating further.
Four full days then passed without Sara hearing anything more which is obviously nerve wracking in such a situation. Neither could Sara contact anyone as she had no phone number for either the social worker or Lucas’ foster carer – despite repeatedly asking Jane Jones for them.
And then as previously arranged, Detective Cuntstable Lipscome arrived on Tuesday the 2nd of April to take a statement from her and Jonas’s dad (Sara’s current partner) where he apologised for not having remembered to tell them that an appointment had been arranged for Victoria to see a doctor on the previous day – a common practice by both police & social workers to make the parents look tardy and unreliable when a case reaches court.
This lack of professionalism resulted in Victoria having her doctor’s appointment rearranged for the next day, of which Sara was only given 15 minutes notice in order to get Victoria ready.
Sara had the following to say on the matter:
“At around quarter to four Jane Jones and Darren Lipscome arrived to take Victoria and also insisted that Elizabeth should go too, but this meant that there was no room in his car for me but they said that they could manage and as they were running late they left. We still did not have any contact details and were worried sick as the girls were not returned until 9pm that night”.
On Thursday the 4th of April Jane Jones and Darren Lipscome returned to the family home to suggest that the girls & Jonas be placed in foster care for two weeks in order to give Sara some unwanted respite.
Despite Sarah’s opposition to the plan, she felt that she had no choice but to go along with the proposal for fear of losing the children permanently if she didn’t agree… Probably the worst decision Sarah has made in her life despite believing that she had little choice in the matter.
Indeed, any parent who finds themselves in that position must never agree to letting their children be taken without a court order.
But all the same, according to Sara:
They wanted to take the girls and Jonas for apparently two weeks voluntary restbite as they thought we needed time to come to terms with what Victoria had disclosed about the abuse. This seemed strange as we had already had the past 10 days to come to terms with what had happened.
Jane Jones was still trying to make me feel that this was all my fault and when I got up to go and see what the girls were doing and to check on Jonas, Darren put his arms out to stop me and as he pushed me against the front room wall he had his hand on my chest area. I told him to take his hands off me as it was assault with this he let me go and I went to see what the girls were doing and Elizabeth was asking what was going on so I told her they wanted them to go with them but they didn’t want to.
Darren and Jane then took the decision that it was what they were going to do and we seemed to have no option but we only agreed to this providing that they kept all three of them together which they agreed would be the case.
They took Jonas while he was sleeping in my arms due to him being tired from his anaesthetic the day before. I begged them not to take him and the girls but they insisted.
On Sunday the 7th of April Sara discovered that Elizabeth had been accessing Facebook while at the foster carers, even though they were aware that Elizabeth was only 12 years old – something Sara deeply disapproved of and certainly was not allowed to have at home.
She should also have had a contact phone call from the girls at 8pm that night but that never materialised.
Then on Monday Monday 8th of April Jane Jones turned up unannounced with court papers telling Sara that she needed to seek legal advice and that she would return in the morning to go through the papers with her and her partner Haydn… As it turns out, Jones never did and indeed never so much as rung to apologise, despite Sara & Haydn wasting the whole day waiting in for her.
Tuesday the 9th of April was also the day that Victoria & Elizabeth woke up to find that Jonas had been taken to another Foster Home.
By Wednesday the 10th of April Sara still hadn’t heard from Jones and as such, her & Haydn were unaware that Jonas had moved foster homes. Jones finally made contact at 10 PM that night telling them that they had contact with their children the next day.
That was their first contact with Jonas and the girls in the week that they had been gone yet even then they were not officially told that Jonas had been moved, meaning that the girls must have been instructed not to mention it.
Jane Jones was also supposed to collect the girl’s uniforms and another few bits at 4.30pm that day but yet again, she never turned up.
On Friday the 12th of April, the first interim court hearing took place followed by Sara’s First contact phone call to the girls the next day. It was during this phone call that Sara learned from the girls that Jonas was no longer with them.
According to Sara:
Elizabeth was told that Jonas was moved because she was supposedly parenting him to much when actually all she was doing was looking out for him and helping others to communicate with him as she knew his signs and actions. Both the girls were extremely distressed at finding out that there brother had been taken from them.
On Sunday the 14th of April, Sara telephoned the girls for the second time and during the course of the conversation Victoria told her mum that she was having “pain and bleeding from her private areas and that she had only had this since having her medical examination“.
Victoria also said that she was going to have to go back to the Doctors, but once again Sara was not informed as to the time and date of the appointment let alone the outcome. In fact the only information that they were now receiving was coming via the girls contact phone conversations..
On Monday the 15th of April Jane Jones was once again supposed to have made contact with Sara, but as was becoming the norm by now, she heard nothing from either Jones or the children’s social care.
Sara phoned the girls later that evening only to find that they were extremely upset and understandably wanting to come home.
On Tuesday the 16th of April Sara & Haydn had their first meeting with Diane Smith, the children’s guardian from CAFCASS. Sara also spoke to the girls again – a conversation in which Victoria told her that she was concerned “about the Doctor because of her bleeding”.
Sara & Haydn then had their second contact with Jonas on Wednesday the 17th of April at county hall which lasted for an hour.
Sara noted that he had “a very sore bottom due to foster carers still not using only pampers as Jonas gets a reaction to other types of nappy”. His operation site was also sore and tender; the waterproof dressing had been removed but not replaced as advised by the hospital to keep the area dry. This transpired to have been made worse still because Jonas’ foster carers had not been told of the aftercare needed, even though Sara had been at pains to ensure that Jane Jones and their contact supervisor had been made fully aware of what needed to be done.
It also materialised that Victoria had been to the Doctors that day although Sara was not informed of the fact
On Thursday 18th April Jones came to do Haydn’s family tree. The following is what Sara said about that meeting:
We were both present while she did this; during this visit we asked what has made Lucas do this, she told us that it’s like the fact that she likes tall dark men and other like blue eyed blondes, “he just likes children it’s just in him”.
We said to her “he must have known it was wrong” but she replied “it’s no different than me speeding over 70mph on the motorway when I’m late”.
She was going to do my family tree but decided to leave it for today. We had contact with all three children at Brewster’s from 3.45pm till 5.00pm.
Jonas was still sore and in the wrong nappies and no bum cream. At 4.50pm a complete stranger came in to take Jonas who was sitting with Elizabeth and he became upset at being taken. Then another stranger arrived for the girls, at the end of this contact all three children were extremely upset and Victoria was taken by this woman but she came running back to me saying “please don’t let them take me mummy” “I don’t want to leave you”. I took Victoria out to the taxi where I found that both the girls were going to be travelling back to the foster carers alone and very upset.
On Friday the 19th of April Sara & Haydn had contact with Jonas at county hall for an hr.
Sara states that whilst there “Jonas did not want to be changed and was protesting strongly about it”, not that it took the couple long to find out why. You see, according to Sara, Jonas was extremely sore and uncomfortable down there, still not in Pampers Nappies and devoid of any nappy cream.
In Sara’s last phone contact with the girls Elizabeth had told her mum that they were going to Weymouth on Saturday the 20th of April for the day and that they may not be back in time for the contact phone call due that night.
In the event the girls didn’t go yet neither was the contact phone call forthcoming.
She did however speak on the phone to Lucas who disclosed that Jane Jones was leaving him cigarettes and that she smokes in the car with him. It is now obvious that during these car drives Jones was trying to get Lucas to admit to what he had been accused of doing and more on top. Jones told him that if he did then he would get a shorter sentence and a better chance of returning home.
On Monday the 22nd of April the children were not brought for contact as arranged, leaving Sara & Haydn sitting in “Brewsters” like Lemons waiting for them to show up. No explanation was given but when Sara spoke to Victoria the following night she was very upset because Jane Jones had told her that “there would be no more contact with mum if she did not make contact with the Children’s Care Council (CSC) the next day”.
Sara was then due to see Jonas at 10AM on Wednesday 24th of April, but Jones rang to tell her that the arrangements had been changed and that she was to see him at 3.30 that afternoon instead.
A further visit was also arranged for the next day between Sara, Haydn, Lucas and Jonas
This was to be the first time that Lucas had seen Jonas since he had been taken into care but he arrived late due to Jane Jones giving the wrong time of the contact to his foster parents.
At 8.30 AM on Friday the 26th of April, Jones cancelled the days contact with Jonas; telling Sara that she would drop by later on in the day with new contact times for the children… Remember, Sara and Haydn knew nothing about what Lucas was alleged to have done and indeed had been the ones to try and contact the Social Services yet here they were being treated like criminals.
In the event, Jones never showed up leaving Sara no choice but to ring County Hall on Monday the 29th of April to find out when she was next having contact with her children to which they had no idea.
Indeed, Sara still didn’t know until Jones turned up later on in the day with the details.
The following day Sara was ill and as such Haydn had contact alone with Jonas between 1.30 & 2.30 PM, at the Acorns Children’s Centre where – about half way through the contact – Jonas just suddenly dropped his toys and put his arms around his dad for a cuddle. They were both very upset.
The following day Lucas had to answer bail at 12.00PM where unbeknown to Sara, he made a partial admission to the assault on Victoria. In fact Sara was not informed about this development until Jones told her on Thursday the 2nd of May.
On tuesday the 5th of May Sara noticed that Jonas was very sunburnt on his neck and ears and at the subsequent contact on Thursday the 9th of May, she again noted that his bum was still very sore.
Unbeknownst to Sara, Jonas was alleged to have been taken to the doctors on Friday the 10th of May where there was supposedly “no reported concerns raised”.
There was another court hearing on Monday the 13th but Sara didn’t cancel the days contact with her children as she rightly thought that she would be back in time to see them. However, in the meantime the SS decided that she wouldn’t be and cancelled the contact. Later on that evening Sara phoned the girls who were both distressed at having had contact cancelled as they had both understandably been looking forward to seeing their parents and brother yet now would not be seeing their parents until Friday and Jonas until the following week.
On Tuesday the 14th, Haydn noticed Jonas to have what – according to the contact centre’s supervisor – looked like flea bites and “small dot like bruises on his thighs”.
According to Sara, at the end of the contact Haydn was trying to say goodbye to Jonas after he had been put into the foster carers car, but as he leaned in to say bye and give him a kiss the foster carers dog began snarling at Haydn to the extent that he had to back off.
Jane Jones was also supposed to meet up with them after contact but predictably never arrived.
On Thursday the 16th of May the couple had contact with both Lucas & Jonas. By now Sara had begun taking fruit infused water to contact meetings for Jonas as well as little “snacks” because the little lad always appeared to be hungry & thirsty. She also noticed that although physically okay, her eldest son seemed pre-occupied with thoughts of barristers, carers and when he would be allowed home.
On Friday the 17th of May Sara had contact with the girls alone because Haydn couldn’t make it. This had happened on a couple of occasions but when Sara told them the reason that their step-father couldn’t come, the girls told her that Jane Jones had told them that the reason for Haydn not coming was because they were not his real daughters – and in the process completely ignored the fact that he had brought them up as his own for the past 6 years.
On Sunday the 19th Sara phoned the girls as arranged only to find them both very upset because their foster carers, Helen and Peter Lech had told them not to get their hopes up about going home. Elizabeth had also been made to have her long hair cut and was cross at the amount of hair that the hairdresser had cut off which Helen Lech had instructed her to do.
Tuesday the 28th of May was Jonas’ 4th birthday. Jones was supposed to have attended their contact meet that day but never showed up and obviously having a party at the contact centre was a million miles away from what the birthday celebrations should have been like.
On Thursday the 30th of May Sara noticed the following at contact with Lucas:
“Lucas acting bit silly making comments about Jane and that his Dad had said he should be moved to a foster placement nearer to the college. Just does not seem his usual self”.
And then at contact on Monday the 3rd of June:
Contact with the girls and Jonas at 3.30pm till 4.30pm. Jonas has sunburn again on both of his lower arms, nursery had pointed out that he had arrived like it this morning. Gill, the contact supervisor had to sign a letter to confirm this as it was that bad! Elizabeth was tearful as Victoria had got chalk on her school skirt and that Helen would tell her off about it. Victoria very clingy and full of cuddles today.
And Tuesday 4th of June
Haydn had contact with Jonas at 1.30pm till 2.30pm. Gill had said that the nursery asked her to sign something as they were not to blame for Jonas yesterday. Margaret Beardshaw, Jonas’s foster carer has blamed the pre-school for not applying the sun cream.
On Monday the 10th of June, Sara noticed that Jonas had bruises on his arms and legs.
And then on Friday the 14th Sara noted that:
Jonas was starving this morning and no drink again. He had sleep in his eyes as though he had not been awake long or not washed properly.
On Monday the 17th of June Jonas did not want to leave his mother and sisters when “Margaret” came to collect him. Indeed, such was the little man’s fear of going that he had to be wrenched apart from Elizabeth whom he was clinging on to for dear life.
According to Sara, that episode resulted in the following:
Contact with the girls and Jonas from 3.30pm till 4.30pm. We have been told that we have to finish contact inside and that I have to leave before them as they are getting too upset. Beth and Vicky still tried to leave with me. Teresa from Acorns went to talk to the girls to try and calm them down as they were upset no different than before. The taxi lady said they are usually upset anyway on the way back to the foster carers.
The following day it was noted that Jonas was “very grumpy” and throwing things around. Haydn also noticed that he had “a deep bruise on his right arm halfway from his wrist to his elbow”.
On Friday the 28th of June Sara noted in her diary that:
Haydn had contact with Jonas 9.00am till 10.00am, he saw that Jonas was holding his thumb out for Haydn to see and he noticed that Jonas had his nails cut too short and that they had been bleeding and had been plastered up. He also heard from the supervisor that he had been pulled out of his nursery placements as they felt that he was not coping with it all. Neither of us had been informed about any of this.
On Monday the 30th of June Sara noted that Jonas had a large bump on his head that she was told had happened at nursery. She also had to change him twice and noted that his bum was very sore again. This fact was noted again on the following thursday.
A week later it was noted by the contact centre supervisor, “Pat”, that not only did Jonas STILL have a very sore bum, but he also had very smelly yellow diarrhoea that ideally required him to be bathed yet Sara had to make do with wet-wipes and having to change him on the centre’s toilet floor.
The following day, whilst at contact with her daughters, Sara was handed a letter from Jane Jones which the contact supervisor told her that:
I had to read it through and then if I was happy with it to sign it so that she could take it back to her. There were things written in the first few lines that needed to be addressed so I asked if I could return it on Monday this was not agreed so asked if I could have a copy but it was not agreed either so I said I wasn’t prepared to do this during my hours contact with my girls. It was unprofessional to do it this way. It should have been posted out or at least given to me at the end of contact. Supervisors were asked at the end what they thought and they agreed it would have been better to have had it posted.
On thursday the 15th of August Jonas burst into tears when Haydn arrived and just wanted “cuddles”. He remained very emotional throughout and indeed wanted to leave with his dad when the visit was over. Sara visited Jonas later on in the day where she noted that: When I arrived Jonas was still extremely upset and it took the first 10 to 15 minutes of contact to calm him down..
On the 24th of September Jonas had a hospital appointment that neither Sara or Haydn knew about until that morning. However, Haydn was permitted to attend and noted that the carers and Jonas arrived half an hour late
Haydn also noted that his son seemed “chesty” and also had diarrhoea. Amongst the things that were mentioned at this appointment were Jonas’ teeth, his chest, and his speech and language therapy of which“Margaret” ventured that she was unaware that Jonas should be having it.
Margaret also told the specialist that Jonas was not interested in signing – despite the fact that he had been signing with his parents and doing well – and quite incorrectly, that he did not have sleep apnea. She also went on to say that he was eating well and yet at contact she had told Sara that he was NOT eating well at all.
The following day – Wednesday 25th September – Jonas arrived for contact with a dirty nappy of which the diarrhoea was so bad that it was coming through his clothes.
On Tuesday the 8th of September Sara – whose birthday happened to be that day – received a phone call informing her that Jonas was ill and that all contact was being cancelled for the week. Sara then phoned “Dr Newmarch” and asked him if he had seen Jonas. He confirmed that he had and that he had given him a steroid inhaler.
By the next day Jonas was in hospital with what Sara was told was Croup. She spent the rest of the day ringing around to find out what was going on all to no avail. In the end Haydn finally managed to get through to a woman called “Diane” whom he angrily told that Jonas “will be in a box before the final court hearing.”
On Tuesday the 15th of October Sara was told for the first time about how Jonas came to be in hospital.
Indeed it seems that he had been taken to Taunton hospital at 7.00AM in the morning via an emergency ambulance after he had woken up unable to breathe. She was also told by TOG and Holway Park that he had badly regressed in his speech, signing and overall demeanour since arriving in care early summer. He was reported to have been pushing the staff at nursery away when they tried to console him or play with him and was in fact spending a lot of time alone… Indeed, nothing that his parents hadn’t been telling the SS for months.
On Wednesday the 16th of October Haydn went to have contact with Jonas where his little lad immediately pulled up the sleeve on his right arm to reveal what appeared to be a burn or a scald. It was approx. 2 inches x 1 inch in size which the contact supervisor had seen him dabbing at with a wet wipe when she collected him from TOG.
Haydn and Katie then spent the rest of the session bathing it after which Katie rang the CSC to ask what she should do since she was not sure if he should go back to the foster carers and that Jonas needed to be seen by someone whom she called “Dr Both”.
Sara then saw Jonas on Thursday the 17th of October where she described him as looking “frightened & upset”, noting that he had been crying on and off throughout the contact session.
It should be noted that over the next 3 contact sessions with Jonas, Sara wrote in her diary that
Margaret and Andy had dropped Jonas in for this contact and said that Jonas hadn’t slept that night and he dozed off at 7.05am they then woke him up at 7.15am, gave him some calpol as he had a fever, yet they still brought him in to Taunton for contact and nursery. They were then called and had to return from Devon to collect him. Jade Hill was present for this but not for the whole hour. Jonas was chesty and Jackie the contact supervisor was asked if his chest was like that yesterday and she replied yes it was.
Jackie said Jonas was very tired today he also had red eyes, he was cuddly today and he was crying when it was time to go.
I had to change Jonas twice during contact; he had no nappy cream in his bag and was very sore again. Jackie allowed some extra time today but this is the first time they have. He ate a banana that I had with me from lunch.
On Friday the 1st of November Lucas was back in court, where – you are not going to believe this – Sara and Haydn were ordered to give DNA samples to see whether or not Lucas was the FATHER of Jonas… I believe that I am right in saying that if he was he would have been 8 or 9 at the time of conception.
The DNA samples were taken on Monday the 4th of November.
Throughout the course of November Jonas was noted to be “chesty” with a sore bum until wednesday the 20th when the poorly little boy had to be carried into the contact centre.
Sara was not present at that contact but wrote the following in her diary:
Haydn had contact with Jonas from 1.30pm till 2.30pm. Jonas arrived with Katy at 1.40pm. Katy asked Haydn to carry Jonas in to contact as he had been asleep for 45minutes at TOG and was still sleepy in the car.
It was at this point that Haydn looked at Katy and said “he should not be in TOG or contact like this”. Katy said “I know” she then went on to say that she had called the foster carers from TOG and told them that Jonas needed to go to the Dr therefore contact was cancelled.
They took him inside to wait for the foster carers. His faced was flushed and he was very hot to touch and he had wax leaking from his ear. Katy was trying to cool him down with her hands as they were cold. He could not see out of his right eye as it was stuck together with nasty green mattery and crusty discharge, Known as conjunctivitis, very infectious and not at all pleasant.
He also had a terrible green runny nose and some of it had been rubbed over his face and dried on him. Katy got Haydn some sterile water and Haydn proceeded to clean Jonas’s eyes and face for him and changed his dirty nappy. Poor little boy should never have been there in the first place. Katy could see Haydn was upset and assured him she would let us know what the outcome of the visit to the Dr was.
However, the couple did not hear anymore until the next day when Sara received a text message from the social services informing her that the days contact was cancelled because Jonas was too ill to attend – no other information was given.
On Friday the 21st Sara rang a fella called “Liam” who works for the SS to see what she could find out about her poorly son. Liam told her that he would find out the latest and then get back to her… He never did.
Sara then left leaving for contact with her daughters that afternoon as long as she could in the hope that Liam would call her back. Sara later wrote that:
Kay was supervising the contact and I asked her if she had heard anything and she phoned in for me again and reported back that Margaret Beardshaw had kept Jonas at home, no contact or nursery, she was bathing his eyes and giving him calpol for his temperature and that he was full of cold but he had NOT been to see the Dr.
The girls were very concerned about Jonas not being there due to being ill as they both know how quickly he gets poorly and it was so cold that this is when you have to keep a close eye on him as we have always done particularly at this time of the year.
I tried to assure them that Katy had said that he was going to the Dr and that he may not be well enough to come on Monday but that it was best if he was not 100%.
Sara next wrote in her diary about the events of Sunday 24th of November:
I was at my mother’s old house for the best part of today getting things sorted there. I telephoned my girls at 6.30pm as I usually do to speak to them but unusually Pete Lech answered the phone, I said hello and said can I talk to the girls or are they busy thinking that they may be still eating and that’s why he answered the phone.
He replied that the girls were there but they were a bit upset, he then added “well actually they are very upset”, on asking him why he said “have you not had anyone call you” I replied “no why what’s the matter why are they upset” he then said “oh my God I can’t believe no one has called you” I was then extremely worried and asked again “Pete what’s wrong I’m worried” he replied “ I can’t talk to you about it, I need to get someone who can, give me five minutes ok and I’ll phone you back” and that was it he hung up.
I knew something was wrong but I had no idea what. This was just after 6.30pm and I then let Haydn know that something was wrong and what Pete had said. We waited until ten to seven and we had still not heard anything from him. I then decided even though it was not Lucas’ turn for a call that I would try and speak to Kelvin Troake.
I apologised for calling him and explained what Pete had said, he was fine about it and all he could tell me was that he had received a call from the emergency social care team sometime in the afternoon and that they were going to call him back.
I asked if Lucas was about and he said that he had “contact with his Dad but I cannot remember what time this had happened but that Lucas was ok”.
Kelvin said that he had a number for foster carers to use and he gave that to me and suggested I rang them. On ending the call with Kelvin, Haydn said “it’s Jonas, Something has happened to Jonas, within a few minutes of saying this two police cars arrived outside and Haydn said “it is Jonas the police don’t turn up like this for no reason”.
With that they came in and told us the most devastating thing a parent could ever hear, that Jonas had died this afternoon. I cannot remember much about the rest of the evening other than we tried to find out if we could go to the hospital to see Jonas, but when my friend (who had been asked to come and stay with us tried, they said we had to go through CSC first.
We still had no answers even now. We were not even allowed to see our little boy in his last minutes/hours of his short life. All I knew was that my girls and Lucas knew before us and that all we wanted was to be with them and to comfort and grieve with them the same as any other normal family would want to do and even a week on there is still no hope of that.
We now have concerns surrounding his death and we will be doing everything within our power to get to the bottom of this. All we have had from csc is a txt to rearrange contact with the girls and a phone call to confirm, nothing else. No visits, phone calls or letters.
There is little doubt that Jonas was a victim of criminal neglect but as of now, no one has even been charged for his murder.
Worse still, despite the shameful mistakes made by the Social Services they wasted little time in getting the cover-up underway:
West Somerset Coroner Michael Rose has issued a statement today saying: “A post mortem…revealed that Jonas died of bronchopneumonia and under part II – (illness or disease not directly attributing to the death – Down’s Syndrome.
“This is of course a natural form of death, but investigations have subsequently been carried out to ascertain whether or not an earlier referral to a doctor would, in the circumstances of this case, have made any difference to the outcome – but I am advised that would not have done so.”
Those findings meant that Jonas was denied an inquest.
And of course, every cover-up needs a fall-guy and in this case it was Sara’s eldest child, Lucas. You see, despite assurances that if he held his hands up to the charges he would receive a much lighter sentence, the prosecution went back on their word despite the fact that Lucas had only made the admission out of sheer desperation to get home.
Lucas was in fact given a 5 year minimum term in prison for a crime that he did not commit.
Maggie Tuttle sent me the following message two days ago:
Four kids taken into care for 2 weeks on respite. The SS made mistakes then kept the kids. Jonas died within 7 months but chris i need to speak to you in regards to the eldest son in detention please Chris. Speak to me on skype re Lucas please.
He cannot leave his cell because he keeps getting beaten up and abused in every way. He did not rape his sister and they have accused him of being the father of Jonas – yea he fucked his mum aged 9 what bastards they are to do such a thing xx
Now, if you are a regular reader of mine you will also be aware that I wrote earlier on this week that the family had been denied legal aid to challenge the authorities. I am now happy to report that in a second message Maggie sent to me, she wrote the following – oh and the caps are her way of shouting at me for not getting back to her following her first message… She likes to bollock me does Maggie:
I HAVE MICHAEL BAILEY ON THE CASE FOR JONAS AND LUCAS PRO BONO AND HE IS THE BEST SO I HAVE SORTED ALL OUT FOR SARA BEFORE I LEAVE. SARA WILL BE AT MY HOUSE WHEN I COME BACK FROM SPAIN AND I WILL BE TAKING HER TO DOWNING ST TO HAND IN A LETTER TO CAMERON ASKING FOR A PUBLIC ENQUIRY INTO HIS DEATH. AT THE SAME TIME I WILL HAND IN A LETTER ASKING FOR PERMISSION FOR THE FAMILIES FOREVER STORYBOOKS. XX.
Dog bless Maggie. She really is indeed the true personification of a real hero and has my one hundred percent backing on this abhorrent case… I hope she has yours too.
Remember, Sara could have said nothing following her daughters allegation and kept it within the family. Had she done so, she would in all probability still have had all four children safe at home.
Instead – being a good parent – she naively asked for outside help leading to the death of her much loved, sweet and innocent little boy.
Indeed, the same could happen to anyone of us and as such, we owe it to Jonas to put a stop to the insidious secret courts.
I will leave you with some other information sent to me by Sara.
In the matter of JONAS STADDON (deceased)
1. I have been asked to advise by Christopher Patch, a representative of the parents of Jonas Staddon who sadly died on November 24th 2013, aged 4. Jonas was in foster care at the time of his death. His parents raise the following questions which have not yet been answered to their satisfaction:
a. What training/experience did the foster carers have in caring for children with Downs Syndrome?
b. Why is there no evidence provided to support an account that Jonas was taken to the GP in the days immediately proceeding his death?
c. Why were the parents not kept sufficiently informed by the LA about Jonas’s death and the surrounding circumstances?
d. Jonas died from a bacterial infection; it is asserted that earlier intervention and administration of anti-biotics could not have saved him. Is this opinion correct?
In my view even the small amount of documents I have seen raise serious concerns about the way in which this matter has been handled by all state agencies. I set out these concerns at paragraph 46 below. If satisfactory answers have not been provided to these issues I would advise further action.
The context of this advice and documents received.
2. I have received a small bundle of papers, which I will set out in Appendix 1 to this advice. I appreciate that I have seen only a small selection of relevant documents; this advice cannot be relied upon as anything other than a comment on that selection.
3. I was contacted by Mr. Patch in my capacity as site administrator of the Child Protection Resource website. I am part of a group campaigning for better information and debate about the child protection system. My professional experience in practice as a barrister is primarily in public
law care proceedings. I have been in practice since 1999, the majority of that time spent specializing in children work.
4. My advice is thus limited both by the nature of my expertise and experience and the nature and type of the documents I have seen.
5. I offer my advice in an attempt to assist the family with my opinion regarding:
a. The state of the evidence before me;
b. What further evidence is needed to further investigate this matter?
Brief History of this matter.
6. I will refer to the parents in this document as ‘mother’ (M) and ‘father’ (F).
7. My bundle of papers begins with a short chronology of dates, which I assume are taken from other source documents. I note that the LA accommodated Jonas on 13th April 2013. The parents assert he was physically well at this time.
8. On 7th October 2013 Jonas had contact with his mother. On 8th October, Jonas’s contact with his family was cancelled. On 9th October Jonas attended Musgrove Hospital as he was having difficulty breathing. On 16th October Jonas presents at contact with a mark on his forearm which the parents thought was a burn/scald but which the LA categorized as a bruise. The parents remain concerned that this issue was never properly investigated and have photographs showing the mark ‘flaking’, which would make it, seem unlikely it is a simple bruise. But I have not seen any medical evidence about this.
9. On October 21st Jonas is described as ‘chesty’. On October 22nd the foster carers say Jonas hadn’t slept well and had a fever. He was given Calpol and taken to nursery. On the 23rd October Jonas’ mother reports he was very tired, red eyed and crying.
10.The parents had made frequent complaints about the quality of care they thought Jonas was receiving from the foster carers. A list of the M’s concerns was set out in the letter of 14th November 2013 from the Downs Syndrome Association to Ms. Jade Hill, the social worker. I do not know what reply, if any, was sent to this letter. There had been no response by January 2014.
11.On Wednesday 20th November (see F’s email of 20/01/14) Jonas came to contact with his parents very poorly, with a high temperature and having trouble breathing. His parents wanted him seen by a doctor immediately. The F understood Katy Turner would keep him informed.
He received no information that day.
12.On Thursday 21st November Jonas did not have contact with his mother, as he was still ill. The contact supervisor Katy Thompson said she would chase up information and get back to M. This did not happen.
13.On Friday 22nd November the mother phoned Children’s Social Care and was told he was ‘poorly, full of cold, the foster parents were bathing eyes, giving him paracetomol and he wasn’t going to TOG’ (letter from Dr Baverstock 29/01/14).
14.On Sunday 24th Jonas was taken to Musgrove Hospital where he died. The cause of his death was given as ‘natural’ – from bronchopneumonia to which having Down’s Syndrome made him more susceptible.
15.The information from the hospital is set out in a letter of 04/06/14. I have seen no other hospital notes. It is said that Dr Gyorffy was called to A and E at 3pm for a child in arrest. Attempts were made to contact the parents as it was realized Jonas was in foster care. At 4pm the police were told Jonas had died and they were to inform the parents. At 7.15 pm the police tell the hospital that the parents were coming and A and E would be ready to receive them. At 7.40 pm the Acorn Ward is told that the parents would come in the next day. I do not know if the parents accept this version of events but it does seem that communication was confused and difficult around the time of Jonas’s death.
16.It is asserted that Jonas had ‘an illness from the Wednesday that was getting better by the Saturday and was brighter the Sunday morning before he collapsed with likely Bronchopneumonia’. (letter Dr Baverstock 29/01/14)
17.On 9th December 2013 the Coroner Mr. Russ wrote to M to say that a post mortem did not reveal the cause of Jonas’s death and further investigation was needed. Jonas’s body was released.
18.On 20th January 2014 Dr Stalker asked to see Jonas’s post mortem report after Michael Rose the coroner raised the issue of whether or not Jonas’s death could have been prevented if a doctor had seen him in the days immediately preceding his death. There are hand written notes dated 21/01/14 on the printed copy of this email which I cannot fully discern but which may read as:
‘still not seen PM but unlikely to have made a difference if he was taken to GP 4/7 days previously as most likely a viral infection. …[remainder illegible]
I assume the author of these notes is Dr Stalker, but I do not know.
19.Dr Stalker is sent the post mortem report on 21/01/14 and I assume shortly thereafter sends the following email to the Coroner (although my copy of the email has no date)
… I would be grateful if you could authorize Dr Platt, Consultant
Paediatric Pathologist in Bristol to undertake the following tests…IgG subsets specifically looking at lgG2….Children with Down’s syndrome often have low levels of lgG2, which is recognized to cause vaccine failure. This would explain a rapidly fulminant bronchopneumonia following a viral infection which often causes damage to the physical defence barriers of the lungs allowing invasion by bacteria normally present in the respiratory tract’.
20.My understanding of what is meant by IgG levels is taken from the Immune Deficiency Foundation website
(http://primaryimmune.org/about-primary-immunodeficiencies/specific-disease-types/igg-subclass-deficiency/) I have no medical qualifications or training so rely on information about medical matters being accurate and current; my ability to assess the same is limited due to my lack of relevant expertise. I include an extract from this website at Appendix 2 of this advice.
21.‘Lg’ refers to the main immunoglobulin in human blood. This is the second most abundant circulating protein in the human body, containing long-term protective agents against a variety of infections. Most of the antibodies in the blood and the fluid that surround the tissues and cells of the body are of the IgG class. ‘Lg’ is thus an important part of the body’s defence against infection. There are 4 different subgroups of this main group from lgG1-4.
22.In the context of this case, it is my opinion that the following passage from this website is significant:
‘Patients with any form of IgG subclass deficiency occasionally suffer from recurrent respiratory infections similar to the ones seen in other antibody deficiency syndromes, chiefly infections with encapsulated bacteria like Streptococcus influenza and Haemophilus influenza. An increased frequency of viral upper respiratory infections may not be an indication of antibody deficiency. Therefore, it is critical to distinguish between infections caused by respiratory viruses from those due to bacterial pathogens’
23.On 21/01/14 I see a copy of an email from Christopher Booker to a C Blitton (?) which he has also sent to Ian Josephs and Sue Reid of the Daily Mail, opining that ‘this really smells of a nasty system cover-up’.
24.My opinion of Mr. Booker, Ms. Reid and Mr. Josephs is that they are entirely unhelpful as protagonists in the necessary debate about the child protection system as they operate from a partial and blinkered agenda that the system is ‘evil’ and ‘corrupt’. They frequently make assertions based on no evidence or on mistaken understanding of clear facts. I note Mr. Booker feels able to make such strong views known about ‘cover ups’ without taking into account the further tests that have been requested on that same day by Dr Stalker. I would be delighted to provide further information if requested to support my serious concerns about the trustworthiness of this group of people. I will simply say at this stage that I think they do much more harm than good and are responsible for spreading fear and distrust amongst a very vulnerable group of people. I therefore disregard Mr. Booker’s intervention.
25.On 21st January a Sheree Pavey emailed a number of media outlets to say that Jonas died of natural causes (bronchopneumonia) and that taking him to the doctor in the days preceding his death could not have saved him.
26.On 21st January 2014 Ruth Brady from the BBC emails Wendy from Ups and Downs, enclosing a full statement from the Director of Somerset Children’s Services. I note in that statement (although I have not seen the original) it asserts that:
a. The foster carers were specialists in looking after children with disabilities and had fostered 8 other children.
b. The foster carers had specialist training to enable them to care for a child with Downs syndrome
c. The foster carers acted appropriately on the day he died
d. The foster carers took him to the GP ‘a number of times’
e. Jonas was taken to the GP 3 days before he died and the foster carers were advised to keep him off nursery
f. SCC has been in regular contact with the family, until the family said they wanted no contact.
g. The police made inquiries into Jonas’s death but took no further action.
27.It appears that the parents do not see this full statement until some time later when they make a Subject Access request for information. The parents write on April 8th to the County Solicitor to outline concerns about the information in the full statement, particularly the assertion that Jonas was seen by a GP 3 days before he died. The father says that there are no written records anywhere than confirm this. Nor is there any evidence of the training received by the foster carers. Nor were the family kept informed. They assert it is not true to say they requested no contact.
28.On 21st January 2014 there was a letter from Coroner Michael Rose to F saying that Jonas’s death would now be formally registered, acknowledging F’s concerns but saying that having spoken ‘to a number of doctors’ they were all of the opinion that his death could not have been prevented.
29.Again, I ask the question – how was this conclusion possible on this day, when the further tests requested by Dr Stalker had yet to be carried out? In my opinion it was premature to reach such a firm conclusion with evidence as yet outstanding which may shed light onto the cause of Jonas’s death. It may well be the right conclusion but I can understand and sympathize with the parents for feeling let down by this kind of process. It smacks of panic.
30.My concern about this haste to provide clear conclusions is magnified by the letter the coroner sends to the father on 23rd January 2014: ‘I am waiting a full written report as to why the doctors do not feel an earlier intervention would have saved Jonas’s life’.
31.On 23rd January 2014 Dr Stalker sent an email to the doctors Christopher Knight, Anna Baverstock and Sarah Bridges to say that initial indications from the pathologist are that IgG2 levels are low.
32.The report from Dr Lock, consultant clinical scientist, to pathologist Dr Platt is dated 23rd January 2014. I note the following:
The sample was very heavily haemolysed. This makes interpretation of the numeric values quite difficult. The serum is diluted by an unknown quantity of cell lysate…the apparent very low IgM is a result of some considerable doubt as there were significant technical problem with the IgM essay on this sample owing to the increased background caused by the haemolysis’
33.My understanding of haemolysis is that it refers to the alteration, dissolution, or destruction of red blood cells in such a manner that hemoglobin is liberated into the medium in which the cells are suspended. Thus, Dr Lock is commenting on the difficulty he has had analyzing this sample due to the impact of haemolysis.
34.On 27th January 2014 the F again emails Michael Rose requesting an inquest in June. On 28th January Ups and Downs Southwest wrote to Somerset Local Safeguarding Children Board, requesting a review of this case and confirming no reply was ever received to the letter of 14th
November 2013 which set out serious concerns about the quality of Jonas’ care with his foster carers.
35.I am then concerned to note that in Dr Baverstock’s letter of 29th January, when she summarizes the meeting she had with Ups and Downs to clarify the questions for the Child Death Review Meeting, she says this:
You asked me whether it was possible that anti-biotics given earlier would have made any difference… The honest answer is I don’t know but I do agree that there is a very small possibility that Jonas having antibiotics earlier may have had an effect on the infection’.
36.Was this explored further? What is the ‘small possibility’ that antibiotics could have impacted on the infection? Given his presentation since Wednesday would it be reasonable for a competent doctor not to prescribe anti-biotics for a young child with Down’s Syndrome who may be more vulnerable to infection?
37.It is suggested by Dr Baverstock that Jonas presented with a ‘viral illness’ which would mean anti-biotics would not be routinely prescribed – but it is later accepted by Somerset CC that the was NOT seen in the days preceding his death so we do not know whether or not the GP or other doctor would have accepted that this was a viral illness or that there was no risk that he would succumb so quickly to a bacterial infection.
38.It seems however there was no appetite for further consideration. On 6th February 2014 Michael Rose writes to Dr Stalker to say ‘I believe you would like me to send confirmation that there was nothing the foster parents could have done that might have saved this child’s life though’ [sic].
39.Dr Stalker replies on 13th February to say that ‘notwithstanding the limitations of post mortem sampling and testing of blood which has already been frozen, there does seem to be a reduction in the level of lgG2 immunoglobulin’. This would explain Jonas’s sudden death due to a haemophilius bronchopneumonia. This sequence would begin as a viral infection that damaged the natural barrier defences of his respiratory tract and allowed infection to take over. Dr Stalker is clear that ‘ the development of a rapidly invasive secondary infection could not have been predicted’.
40.On March 6th 2014 the father emails the coroner to say he hasn’t yet received any confirmation by way of written report that Jonas would still have died if he saw a doctor on 20th November. The father refers to having consulted with other medical experts but I have not seen any information from them. On 7th March 2014 the father emails to say he has appointed a solicitor called George Hawks but I have no further information about that.
41.On 8th April, as discussed above, the parents write to the County Solicitor to query the accuracy of the statement released to the media. They get no response and write again on 19th April 2014, requesting a reply by 23rd April.
42.A reply to their letter of 8th April, dated 16th April is then in my bundle. I don’t know when the parents received it but assume it was after the 19th April or there would have been no reason for them to write that second letter. The response is terse and entirely unsatisfactory. It simply confirms that the statement was wrong to say Jonas had been taken to the GP. It does not attempt to explain how such serious misinformation came to be disseminated to the media. It does not explain who was responsible for volunteering this incorrect information.
No apology is offered.
43.The response to issues regarding foster carers’ training and support available is similarly terse and unhelpful.
44.Not surprisingly, the parents respond on 29th April to say they are very unhappy with this response.
45.There is one further letter from the hospital dated 4th June 2014 and there my documents end. I do not have any information about what has happened since, other than that the parents remain highly dissatisfied with the investigation and the way it was communicated to them.
Having read the documents, what am I concerned about
46.This is not in order of importance. All are concerning issues.
Why did no one ever reply to the letter of 14th November, setting out serious concerns about the quality of care Jonas was receiving?
Why didn’t the foster carers or the social workers communicate with
Ups and Downs (see their letter of 28/01/14)
Why was the cause of death announced on 21st of January 2014 as
‘natural’ when that same day Dr Stalker had requested further tests?
Why was it stated so clearly on 21st of January 2014 that taking Jonas to the doctor immediately prior to his death would not have made any difference, when Dr Stalker had that very same day requested further tests?
Why did Somerset CS say in their January 2014 statement that Jonas was taken to the doctor 3 days before he died if there is not evidence on medical records to support that? Who informed them of this? The foster carers? Why is there nothing on the medical records?
Is what is set out in Dr Baverstock’s letter of 29/01/14 really credible as an account of Jonas’ presentation in the days leading up to his death? (It is asserted that he had ‘an illness from the Wednesday that was getting better by the Saturday and was brighter the Sunday morning before he collapsed with likely Bronchopneumonia’).
Why is it so confidently asserted on 21st January that Jonas could not have been saved when Dr Baverstock says on 29th January ‘you asked me whether it was possible that anti-biotics given earlier would have made any difference… The honest answer is I don’t know but I do agree that there is a very small possibility that Jonas having antibiotics earlier may have had an effect on the infection’. Was this explored further?
47.Have the parents obtained an independent medical opinion, particularly with regard to the conclusion of Dr Stalker on 13/012/14 that ‘ the development of a rapidly invasive secondary infection could not have been predicted’?
What training did the foster carers get? Where is the evidence of this?
How many children with Down’s syndrome had they cared for previously? Is caring for 8 children with disabilities sufficient to mean they can be legitimately described as ‘specialists’? What disabilities did these children have? ‘Disability’ covers an enormous spectrum of difficulties and challenges.
What disclosure has there been of the police investigation?
It may well be correct to say that nothing could have saved Jonas. I do not have sufficient or any medical expertise so cannot comment. I would be interested to know the conclusions of any other medical experts contacted by the parents.
But I can comment on the evidence I see and the response of the state agencies to it. And I am afraid I am profoundly disappointed by their response.
Whether or not Jonas could have been saved if he had gone to the GP on the 20th it is quite clear that he should have been taken to the doctor. He was clearly unwell and his parents requested it. They retained their parental responsibility throughout. The parents should then have been kept informed as to the progression of his illness. They were not. The LA then released a statement to the media, which was untrue. They have not explained nor apologized for this.
There appears to be an unseemly haste to make a very definitive statement by January 21st that ‘nothing could have been done’. As this statement was made on the very day further tests were sought, this seems premature and unwise to say the least.
Of course, nothing that I say can bring Jonas back or salve the parents’ grief. But grief over the loss of a child is further exacerbated by this kind of sloppy and unfair process from the state agencies. It isn’t acceptable.
My advice, from what I have read is that the parents should bring an action for damages pursuant to the Human Rights Act 1998 against the LA for what I see as unnecessary and hence unlawful breaches to their right for respect for their family life.
I offer my condolences to the family. I am sorry they had to go through this.
St John’s Chambers 9th December 2014.
APPENDIX 1 – Documents provided by Christopher Patch These documents appear in the order presented and thus are not in chronological order.
05/09/13 Letter from Wendy O’Carrell CEO of ‘Ups and Downs Southwest’ stating they were impressed with the commitment shown by M to get the best outcome for Jonas.
14/11/13 Letter from the Down’s Syndrome Association to Ms. Jade Hill, social worker, outlining M’s concerns about the foster carers and her frustration that she felt she was not being kept informed.
09/12/14 Coroner writes to M saying no cause of death as yet found and further investigations needed
20/01/14 Email from F to Michael Rose (?) attaching photographs of Jonas’s poor presentation at contact on 20th November 2013
27/12//2012 Letter from Dr Mark Walsh, Consultant Paediatric Cardiologist to Dr Newmarch, Jonas’s GP describing Jonas’s review in the cardiology clinic on 05/12/12. No follow up appointment required.
05/12/12 Outpatient Outcome Form – discharge from consultant’s care
20/01/14 Email from Deborah Stalker (doctor) to Sally Kay her secretary, referring to Sally Kay’s message from the coroner on the same date. SK stated that Michael Rose (?) rang re Jonas’ death raising issue of whether or not Jonas could have survived if taken to the doctor on the days prior to his death.
Dr Stalker asks to see the post mortem report.
20/01/14 F emails Dr Michael Rose the senior coroner requesting that Jonas’s tissue samples are kept for independent investigation and there be no inquest until the family’s experts have reported.
? Undated email from Dr Stalker to the coroner requesting Dr Platt, consultant paediatric pathologist undertakes further tests looking at lgG2 antibodies.
21/01/14 Email from Christopher Booker copied to Ian Josephs and Sue Reid opining that this ‘smells of a nasty system cover-up’
21/101/14 An email from Sheree Pavey (?) to wide number of media outlets informing them of Jonas’s post mortem
21/01/14 Email from Ruth Bradley at the BBC to Wendy at Ups and Downs, sharing the full statement of the Director of Somerset CS
21/01/14 Letter from Coroner Michael Rose to F saying that Jonas’s death would now be formally registered, acknowledging F’s concerns but saying that having spoken ‘to a number of doctors’ they were all of the opinion that his death could not have been prevented.
23/01/14 F emails MR. again seeking clarification about whether or not Jonas could have lived if he had received anti-biotics in the days preceding his death. Father seeks an inquest in June.
MR. replies to say he is awaiting a full written report.
03/08/14 Document downloaded from internet site explaining haemophilus influenza infections’
23/01/14 Email from Wendy at Ups and Downs to Anna Baverstock (?) requesting clarification at the next meeting about issue as to why Jonas wasn’t given anti-biotics immediately preceding his death.
23/01/14 Email from Dr Stalker to say that initial indications from the pathologist are that IgG2 levels are low.
23/01/14 Report from Dr Lock, consultant clinical scientist to Dr Platt pathologist. Sample compromised by haemolysis.
27/01/14 F again emails MR. requesting an inquest in June.
28/01/14 Letter from Ups and Downs Southwest to Somerset Local Safeguarding Children Board requesting a review of this case.
29/01/14 Letter from Dr Anna Baverstock consultant paediatrician to the parents about meeting on 28th with Ups and Downs to determine questions to be taken to the Child Death Review meeting.
06/02/14 MR. writes to Deborah Stalker. ‘I believe you would like me to send confirmation that there was nothing the foster parents could have done that might have saved this child’s life though’.
14/02/14 Dr Christopher Knight consultant paediatrician writes to parents to say the Child Death review meeting will be held on 14th March but parents and representatives cannot attend.
06/03/14 Email from father to MR. to say still not received the report confirming that Jonas would not have survived in any event if he had gone to the GP on 20th November. Concerned that everyone is dragging their heels.
07/03/13 Email from the F to MR. confirming he has appointed a solicitor.
08/04/14 Letter from parents to the County Solicitor Somerset CC setting out concerns about the full statement of Somerset CC to the media.
16/04/14 Date of letter in reply to parents letter of 8th April from the County Solicitor.
19/04/14 Further letter from the parents setting out their dismay that the letter of 6th March has gone unanswered and requesting reply by 23rd April.
29/04/14 Further complaint from the parents that they have not received the information they seek 04/06/14 Further letter from hospital.
APPENDIX 2 From the Immune Deficiency Foundation Website.
IgG Subclass Deficiency
The main immunoglobulin (Ig) in human blood is IgG. This is the second most abundant circulating protein and contains long-term protective antibodies against many infectious agents. IgG is a combination of four slightly different types of IgG called IgG subclasses: IgG1, IgG2, IgG3 and IgG4. When one or more of these subclasses is persistently low and total IgG is normal, a subclass deficiency is present. Although this deficiency may occasionally explain a patient’s problems with infections, IgG subclass deficiency is a controversial diagnosis and experts disagree about the importance of this finding as a cause of repeated infections.
The misdiagnosis of IgG subclass deficiency as a cause of presumed immunodeficiency is common, often leading to the unnecessary long-term use of Ig replacement therapy. A subclass deficiency needs to be considered and looked for only under special circumstances discussed in this chapter.
Definition of IgG Subclass Deficiency
Antibodies are also called immunoglobulins. There are five types or classes of immunoglobulin: IgG, IgA, IgM, IgD and IgE. (See chapter titled “The Immune System and Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases.”) Most of the antibodies in the blood and the fluid that surround the tissues and cells of the body are of the IgG class. The IgG class of antibodies is composed of four different subtypes of IgG molecules called the IgG subclasses. These are designated IgG1, IgG2, IgG3 and IgG4.
Patients with persistently low levels of one or two IgG subclasses and a normal total IgG level have a selective IgG subclass deficiency.
While all the IgG subclasses contain antibodies to components of many disease-causing bacteria and viruses, each subclass serves a slightly different function in protecting the body against infection. For example, IgG1 and IgG3 subclasses are rich in antibodies against proteins such as the toxins produced by the diphtheria and tetanus bacteria, as well as antibodies against viral proteins. In contrast, IgG2 antibodies are predominantly against the polysaccharide (complex sugar) coating (capsule) of certain disease-producing bacteria (such as, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae).
The IgG in the bloodstream is 60-70% IgG1, 20-30% IgG2, 5-8% IgG3 and 1-3% IgG4. The amount of the different IgG subclasses present in the bloodstream varies with age. For example, IgG1 and IgG3 reach normal adult levels by 5-7 years of age while IgG2 and IgG4 levels rise more slowly, reaching adult levels at about 10 years of age. In young children, the ability to make IgG2 antibodies to the polysaccharide coatings of bacteria develops more slowly than the ability to make antibodies to proteins.
IgG subclass deficiencies affect only IgG subclasses (usually IgG2 or IgG3), with normal total IgG and IgM immunoglobulins and other components of the immune system being at normal levels. These deficiencies can affect only one subclass or involve an association of two subclasses, such as IgG2 and IgG4.
IgG2 or IgG3 deficiencies are the most common IgG subclass deficiencies. Since IgG1 comprises 60% of the total IgG level, deficiency of IgG1 usually drops the total IgG level below the normal range, resulting in hypogammaglobulinemia.
IgG4 is present in very low levels in children younger than 10 years of age, so IgG4 deficiencies are not usually diagnosed before age 10. IgG4 may be undetectable in the serum of many “normal” adult individuals, and therefore low IgG4 alone is insufficient evidence of an antibody deficiency disorder requiring Ig replacement.
All patients with IgG subclass deficiency require more extensive diagnostic
evaluation including the demonstration of a poor antibody response to vaccine challenge before the patient is diagnosed with a clinically significant IgG subclass deficiency necessitating specific treatment that may include Ig replacement therapy.
IgG subclass deficiencies may be associated with other immunoglobulin abnormalities. One common pattern is IgG2 and IgG4 subclass deficiency associated with IgA deficiency. IgG subclass deficiencies are also an integral component of other well-known primary immunodeficiency diseases, such as Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome and Ataxia-Telangiectasia.
IgG subclass deficiencies are sometimes associated with poor or partial responses to pneumococcal polysaccharides, specifically IgG2 deficiency with or without IgG4 deficiency. Recently, a number of inflammatory diseases, including some forms of pancreatitis, were found to be associated with an elevated IgG4 level. The causes for this elevation are not clear at this point.
Clinical Presentations of IgG Subclass Deficiency
Patients with any form of IgG subclass deficiency occasionally suffer from recurrent respiratory infections similar to the ones seen in other antibody deficiency syndromes, chiefly infections with encapsulated bacteria like Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae. An increased frequency of viral upper respiratory infections may not be an indication of antibody deficiency. Therefore, it is critical to distinguish between infections caused by respiratory viruses from those due to bacterial pathogens. Often a child with IgG subclass deficiency will first come to a healthcare provider’s attention because of recurrent ear and/or sinus infections, but bronchitis and pneumonia may also have occurred. The infections in patients with selective IgG subclass deficiency may not be as severe as infections in patients with more significant antibody and immunoglobulin deficiencies, such as Agammaglobulinemia or Common Variable Immune Deficiency (CVID). However, a few patients with IgG subclass deficiency may appear very similar to patients with severe immunoglobulin deficiencies. Rarely, IgG subclass
deficient patients may have recurrent episodes of bacterial meningitis or infections of the bloodstream (sepsis).
Injury’s and concerns of the children while in foster care.
3rd April 2013 Girls taken for their initial medical examinations on their own until 9pm at night.
9th April 2013 Jonas removed from his siblings within five days of being taken and we had no knowledge of this until Elizabeth told us on 1st phone contact Saturday 13th April. No one consulted us even though we specifically said they were to stay together.
14th April 2013 2nd phone contact to girls Victoria upset as she was complaining of pain and bleeding from her private area due to her medical and she said she needed to see the Dr again.
15th April 2013 telephoned girls both upset and wanting to know when they were coming home.
17th April 2013 Victoria’s Dr Appointment but we had no consultation or invitation to accompany her. We had 2nd contact with Jonas at county hall where we found him to have a sore and dirty bottom. He was still in the wrong nappies despite Jane Jones and the supervisors being made aware that he was only to have pampers and his operation site was sore where the dressing had been removed and not replaced. Foster carers were apparently unaware of the aftercare from the operation. (One of the main things to do once Jonas was comfortable was to massage the area surrounding the testicles to stretch the artery and so prevent it going back)
18th April 2013 Jonas is very sore and still in wrong nappies. The girls were put in to the taxi to take them back to wellington on their own there was no adult to accompany them.
19th April 2013 Jonas so sore today he was protesting about being changed.
20th April 2013 Jane Jones was encouraging Lucas to smoke and leaving him cigarettes after visiting him at the foster carers.
7th May 2013 Haydn noted that Jonas has bad sunburn on his ears and neck, no sun cream in his bag either. On leaving contact the Alsatian x husky was not secured in the back of the foster carers car so was able to trample all over Jonas.
9th May 2013 Jonas has a sore bum again and still no nappy cream and using huggies nappies which he had had a reaction to them while with us.
10th May 2013 Jonas had a medical examination today but we were not informed about it and therefore could not attend. We were not informed of the outcome of this either.
14th May 2013 Jonas had what appeared to be flea bites on him, which was noted by both Haydn and Gill the contact supervisor. Upon saying goodbye to Jonas Haydn was forced to back away from the car as the dog was snarling while stood on Jonas’s legs in the car seat.
16th May 2013 Jonas seems hungry and appreciates the food and drinks that we take in for him.
17th May 2013 had to fit the car seat in the supervisor’s car before Jonas could be transported to preschool as it was loose. Both the girls were upset today and asking why Haydn was not at contact.
18th May 2013 Elizabeth was upset again today but this was because she had been told by the foster carer Helen that she had to have her beautiful long hair cut.
19th May 2013 both of the girls were upset today as they said that Peter the foster carer had told them not to get their hopes up about ever going home. (It was later written in csc report that Elizabeth had been found to have a STANLEY BLADE AND A BOTTLE OF PARACETOMOL TABLETS in her bag) we were not informed at the time.
20th May 2013 this was a very tearful contact as it was the first time that the girls had seen Jonas in three weeks, on top of this it was cut short by 15 minutes as they were late arriving.
31st May 2013 girls were upset at not seeing Haydn. Victoria also complaining of blisters on her heels from being made to walk in new shoes for too long. She was unhappy about Peter the foster carer saying she was stupid and a spoilt brat. This was noted by the contact supervisor because she heard Victoria and asked her again what was said.
3rd June 2013 Jonas sunburnt again so bad that the nursery wanted the supervisor to sign the book to say that he had arrived there like that. When the foster carer Margaret Beardshaw was confronted about this she put the blame back on to the nursery. (We then gave her a factor fifty sun cream for him that was put it his bag) Elizabeth worried about going back to Helen’s as Victoria had got chalk on her skirt and Elizabeth said she would have a go at her.
6th June 2013 Lucas noted that Jonas had a splinter in the palm of his hand, both Gill and Pat the supervisors said they would pass it on to csc staff.
10th June 2013 while changing Jonas we could see that he had several bruises on his arms and legs they were like fingertip size possibly due to the dog jumping all over him in the car.
14th June 2013 Haydn found Jonas to be very hungry today, he had no drink either, he appeared to be tired and still had sleep in his eyes.
25th June 2013 Haydn noted that Jonas was tired and throwing things today and also that he had a deep bruise on his right arm halfway from his wrist to his elbow.
27th June 2013 Jonas hungry today ate everything I brought in still had no drink or his hat.
28th June 2013 Haydn saw that Jonas had a plaster on his thumb, this was because he had his thumb cut whilst having his nails done, this was upsetting for both Jonas and Haydn as Jonas kept trying to show him his thumb it was obviously painful.
1st July 2013 Jonas had a bump on his head from nursery but no one knew about it at contact.
4th July 2013 Jonas changed in csc he was very very sore, did not like being changed, still no nappy cream, we been taking our own in. Pat was there and made a note of it.
11th July 2013 Jonas needed changing and was found to have a very smelly, yellow diarrhoea nappy; he really needed to be bathed but not possible in csc. Had to manage with wipes.
15th July 2013 Elizabeth upset when she arrived at contact due to having come face to face with Lucas at Heathfield School, she could not tell me straight away as she didn’t want Victoria to hear. They both just want to come home they are fed up and missing their home and pets.
5th August 2013 I had a phone call from Chris Shearman at csc to say that Victoria has to go to the doctors as a she has an ear infection due to the wrong earring being put in even though we had told them not to use anything but gold ones.
8th August 2013 Haydn noticed that Jonas had reddened eyes and thought it was due to being upset. When I had contact afterwards I could see that they looked mattery and on closer inspection I could see that he had sand in them and that was why he was upset they were clearly very sore. Lucas and I did our best to clean them for him. He also had to be changed and afterwards he ate the food we had taken in for him.
16th August 2013 Elizabeth upset as it is her birthday on Sunday and she wanted to be with me and have a party like normal, she did not want to take her birthday cake back with her either. The taxi was late collecting them and I was not allowed to stay with them until it arrived as I had done several times before.
20th August 2013 I had a call from Diana Smith (Children’s Guardian) to warn me to be careful how I spoke to the girls on my contact phone call. This was because Jane jones (locum social worker who had already left at the end of July) had made a point of going to see the girls and tell them that csc had decided that they were to be fostered. This made the girls extremely withdrawn.
30th August 2013 Victoria had spots all around her waist, Gill the contact supervisor said they looked like flea bites. Elizabeth said Helen foster carer had told Victoria they were heat spots. Elizabeth also said that they want her to change schools to wellington.
3rd September 2013 Jonas arrived at contact with a bad smell about him, at first it was thought to be his nappy but on inspection it proved to be dog faeces.
5th September 2013 Jonas has a back tooth that needed looking at back in July but no one has taken him to the dental access centre where he is registered. It now looks like it is going brown. I have mentioned this but now I am going to make the appointment myself.
24th September 2013 Jonas hospital appointment, Haydn went as I was not informed of it. He had been off his food a bit lately and now has diarrhoea. There were three concerns that Haydn heard mentioned and they were teeth, chesty, and speech. He also raised the fact that Jonas has suffered from sleep apnoea, but this was dismissed by the foster carer who said he does not do this anymore.
25th September 2013 Haydn had contact with Jonas after TOG he arrived in a dirty nappy which was discovered to be severe diarrhoea again. It was so bad that Haydn had to wash his vest through and leave it there to dry. He should not have been in contact let alone go to nursery or pre-school like that.
30th September 2013 Elizabeth was upset at loosing half an hour of her contact as they were late picking her up from school.
2nd October 2013 discovered that the foster carers have facebook accounts with disturbing images and links to sex sites and sex toys. These are all accessible to anyone as they have no privacy settings and you don’t have to be their friend to see this on their page. Concerned that Elizabeth could access their facebook from any of her friend’s media devices. We have also noted that Victoria is pictured in a photo that is posted on a relative’s page in her photos.
3rd October 2013 Lucas was accused of accessing facebook, this was because someone in csc got the message wrong about the concerns raised about the foster carers page with “rack of the day”
7th October 2013 Victoria arrived at contact today scratching and complaining about the head lice, she wants me to bring the comb in at next contact and do her hair for her. Both girls gave me lovely gifts and cards for my birthday tomorrow but they are sad that they can’t be with me.
9th October 2013 csc rang me and told me that Jonas was in Hospital apparently he has croup. They said there will be no contact now for approx. a week. They said that we could ring the hospital and find out what was happening with him but we did they said they couldn’t tell us even though we told them that Sue Hogshaw said we could. We contacted csc again to speak to Jade Hill but were told she was out, no one returned our calls.
11th October 2013 contact with the girls, Victoria still complaining of head lice. Found out from a friend who had seen about the bomb scare at Holway Park School that Victoria attends. No one informed me of this either. When Victoria arrived at contact she had just her pe kit on and was freezing cold so I wrapped her in my jacket, she just said it was a fire alarm.
14th October 2013 Had a call from csc to say that there was a lac review tomorrow for Lucas and then Jonas.
15th October 2013 Placement funding review for Lucas to be this afternoon but seems like they are turning it down. In Jonas’s review we found out in graphic detail form the foster carer that Jonas had woke up gasping for air and had not been able to breathe and was rushed by blue lit ambulance from Bridgewater to Taunton where he spent the day being treated. Not being able to breathe for periods while asleep in downs children is known as sleep apnoea. This is common in approx 60 % of Down syndrome children. We have informed csc and foster carers constantly of this but it has been totally ignored. Hopefully Jonas has not sustained any permanent damage due to lack of oxygen.
16th October 2013 Haydn had contact with Jonas and as soon as he got there Haydn helped Jonas with taking his coat off. Then Jonas pulled his sleeve up and revealed what appeared to be a two inch by one inch burn/scald to his forearm. Haydn looked at it and then at Katie (contact supervisor) who said I know he was bathing it with a wet wipe at TOG when she collected him. Katie then organised him to go and see a doctor after contact and also if csc were happy for Jonas to be returned to the foster carers, which they were. Both the foster carers and the nursery are refusing responsibility.
18th October2013 Lucas’s sentencing court day. While attending this Jade Hill came over to talk about Jonas and said that according to her Paediatricians the mark on Jonas’s arm was a bruise. I said we will see what it looks like on Monday at my contact. She would not discuss this anymore as was adamant that the Paediatrician was right.
21st October 2013 contact with the girls and Jonas. He was upset today his arm is definitely sore it is not a bruise as it is inflamed and starting to peel it is also dry in places and needs attention.
22nd October 2013 Haydn at contact with Jonas, foster carers turned up at 9.00am handed Jonas over and stated that he had been up all night, he also had a temperature so she gave him some calpol and apparently he dozed off for 10 minutes, they then woke him to get him ready for contact and nursery. They were contacted later on in the morning to return from Devon to collect him as he was obviously tired and unwell.
23rd October 2013 Jonas arrived at contact very tired and with red eyes appears unwell and just wanted to cuddle in and go to sleep. He was crying when it was time to go. The dog still jumping all over the car and him.
24th October 2013 I arrived at contact to find no one there, after 15 minutes I got a message to say that they were late collecting Jonas from TOG. They arrived at two o’clock instead of one thirty. Therefore Jonas was on his own waiting to be collected for an extra half an hour.
25th October 2013 Victoria started asking me questions about her Dad!! This came as a shock as no one had told me that they were going to tell her this information; this should have been for me to explain when she was ready not now on top of all what she has had to deal with already.
29th October 2013 Girls review meeting today at 4.00pm. Both my girls attended the meeting, they had done little book reviews but they did not go through them at the meeting and have said they will let me know what was in them. They never have!!
1st November 2013 DNA question raised re Lucas being Jonas’ Dad!!! We did not understand why our DNA could not get done first and to keep Lucas out of it for the time being yet all parties refused to do this and this again showing no empathy towards the children.
6th November 2013 Jonas was happy, playing and laughing. He had a very sore bum again with bumpy raised blister looking areas, again not in pampers. He did not want to go to the carers today. Mags said he had been signing a lot but Haydn couldn’t get him doing many at all during contact. Dog was still loose in the car.
7th November 2013 I had to change Jonas as he had a smell about him, on changing him there was signs of a dirty bum that had not been cleaned properly from a previous nappy and he was quite sore. Contact for me with Lucas and Jonas, had to change Jonas as he had a smell about him, on changing him there was signs of a dirty bum that had not been cleaned properly from a previous nappy and he was quite sore.
8th November 2013 My girls on about they were going to a carnival tonight but due to an incident between Helen Lech and Victoria they are not going now. We do not know what this incident was.
11th November 2013 Vicky and Jonas arrived with Claire at the same time as me. Jonas seemed to be very chesty still. We went in and got started with getting tea organised. 15 -20 minutes later and still no sign of Beth. Claire tried several times to get through to csc to find out where they were but could not get a reply. Finally at five minutes to four we were told they were on their way. Beth walked in a few minutes later looking miserable at being late. She sat down and ate with us but it was then very rushed. They told us to start packing away at 20 past so it was a very short contact for us with Beth.
12th November 2013 Jonas was still very croaky and had a rattily chest on breathing in.
13th November 2013 One of Beth’s school friends said that Beth has heard the foster carers saying that she and Vicky are to be split up because they cannot cope with Vicky being so naughty. Katy brought Jonas again today he is still very croaky and chesty. On leaving the dog was jumping everywhere and not doing as Mags asked and then started barking at Haydn while Jonas was in the car.
18th November 2013 No car seat in the taxi for Victoria again, I have mentioned this several times but she very rarely has one. The taxi also smelt of cigarettes, I did not think that this was supposed to be allowed if the taxi was used for transporting children.
Further information on the following events is compiled in the printed Diary entries.
20th November 2013 Haydn had to carry Jonas in to contact as he had been asleep for 45minutes at TOG and was still sleepy while being taken out of the car. His faced was flushed and he was very hot to touch. He could not see out of his right eye as it was stuck together with nasty green mattery and crusty discharge, the left one was also bad but not as much. Known as conjunctivitis, very infectious and not at all pleasant. He also had a terrible green runny nose which he had rubbed over his face and it had dried on him. Katy got Haydn some pre boiled water and he proceeded to clean Jonas’s eyes and face for him. Poor little boy should never have been sent in to Nursery or Contact like this and the signs were obviously there yesterday. I phoned my girls and Pete Lech said that “Victoria has got reading and writing targets that she is struggling with and now needs one to one for 30 minutes with a TA in class to help with her writing now as it needs to be more readable and her reading as she needs to get it to flow better.
21st November 2013 CSC text to say Jonas would not be at contact today as he was too ill. This was already in our minds due to the events of yesterday. Contact with Lucas at 1.30pm, told Lucas that JJ was not coming in and why. Katy supervised the contact and was talking to me about what happened with Jonas yesterday and how she assisted in getting things for Haydn to help Jonas and that she had informed the appropriate persons that Jonas needed to be seen by the Doctor. Katy said that she was going to ask about Jonas and get any information on how he is and what action had been taken to get him seen by his Doctor and let was going to let us know. We have heard nothing from anyone yet again!!
22nd November 2013 I made a call to Liam in CSC a couple of times before I finally got through to ask what if any there was news regarding Jonas but he had not had anything to report, he was going to try and find out and get back to me but I heard nothing. Kay was supervising the contact and I asked her if she had heard anything and she phoned in for me again and reported back that Margaret Beardshaw had kept Jonas at home, no contact or nursery, she was bathing his eyes and giving him calpol for his temperature and that he was full of cold but he had not been to see the Dr. The girls were very concerned about Jonas not being their due to being ill.
24rd November 2013
Jonas Died today at 15.38pm.