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'Someone must be held accountable for tragedy'
The anguished step-grandfather of tragic Hamzah Khan last night demanded answers to how the four-year-old died of starvation amid barely imaginable scenes of squalor at his Bradford home.
Anthony Jackson, 75, said the boy had been failed by the authorities and he called for “heads to roll.”
The head of the body which aims to protect children in Bradford said there may be lessons to learn and the possibility of changing working practices.
And he admitted statutory agencies had little involvement with Amanda Hutton.
Hutton, 43, faces a significant jail term when she is sentenced for manslaughter at Bradford Crown Court today.
But speaking exclusively to the Telegraph & Argus following the guilty verdict, Mr Jackson, Hutton’s stepfather, said she should have had more help.
“She has been failed by the authorities,” Mr Jackson, of Driffield, East Yorkshire, said.
“I always understood that in this day and age someone in authority should see that a child is healthy, well cared for and happy.
“I find it shocking that a child can lie dead like that for nearly two years.
“Once again, social services have failed, and heads should roll here in Bradford.”
Mr Jackson said his stepdaughter should have sought more help. “She had the opportunity to go to the authorities, but she never said anything to anybody. But at the same time, the authorities have failed her.”
He said that while waiting for the jury to consider its verdict, Hutton approached him outside court and burst into tears.
“I had not met her for four years and I think the emotion of seeing me again brought back memories of her mother.
“She was talking to me about having to spend time in prison if the verdict went against her, but I don’t think she realised the enormity of what she was facing.
“She has committed the crime and you have to face the consequences. If you have done something wrong, you are guilty.”
The roles that a range of professionals played in the lives of Hutton and her eight children will be closely scrutinised.
The Bradford Safeguarding Children Board has conducted a serious case review into the involvement of different agencies with the family but the results will not be published until later this year.
From information already made public, it is clear the family was known to all the main agencies – police, health, schools and social services.
Hutton had a history of failing to co-operate with services that could have helped her.
The trial jury heard about a range of visits to her home by different professionals, including police officers, health visitors and a social worker.
But nobody picked up on the danger Hamzah and his five school-age siblings were in.
Hutton's family was also mentioned at three multi-agency meetings, specifically aimed at pulling together all available information to help high-risk victims of domestic violence.
Professor Nick Frost, independent chairman of Bradford Safeguarding Children Board, said: "This is a tragic case for everyone involved. BSCB initiated a Serious Case Review following the discovery of Hamzah's body and the report will be published after the court, coronial and other necessary procedures are completed.”