Abigail Palmer: Baby death 'could not have been predicted'
Written by The Newsroom on December 19, 2019
The death of a baby girl at the hands of her mother could not have been predicted, a serious case review found.
Abigail Palmer, from Solihull in the West Midlands, crushed the ribcage of two-month-old Teri-Rae, causing her to slowly suffocate on 2 January 2017.
Palmer, 33, was convicted of manslaughter and jailed for 13 and a half years at Birmingham Crown Court.
Birmingham Safeguarding Children Partnership (BSCP) said she “must take full responsibility” for the death.
The independent review, commissioned by BSCP, found Teri-Rae was subject of a multi-agency child protection plan from birth.
This was due to concerns based on her mother’s past parenting difficulties, problems with alcohol and substance misuse and previous abusive relationships, the review said.
It found that during her brief life, Teri-Rae was seen frequently by health and social work professionals and was consistently viewed as making good progress and being well cared for.
She was last seen by a social worker at an unannounced visit four days before her death.
“There was no information or evidence available to agencies and professionals involved at the time which would have led them to be able to predict the tragic outcome in this case,” the review said.
“The mother must take full responsibility for the tragic death of her baby.”
West Midlands Police said Teri-Rae’s death was not initially believed to be suspicious as no signs of injury were detected, but a skeletal survey and 3D scans revealed three healing rib fractures and other hairline fractures.
“Nothing can change the dreadfully sad outcome for Teri-Rae,” said Penny Thompson, from the BSCP.
“This tragedy underlines the challenge that professionals face in establishing relationships with vulnerable people, especially those who have addictions, with the purpose of helping them to become good parents.”
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