Hampshire boy died after failures by authorities

A seven-year-old Hampshire boy died after the authorities failed for four years to take action despite 18 opportunities to step in, a Serious Case Review has found. Blake Fowler suffered a severe head injury at his home inD ecember 2011 from which he later died. An inquest in November 2013 recorded an open determination and heard that a post mortem examination showed that Blake died as a result of a brain haemorrhage. Following the inquest, Hampshire police reopened its investigation after a review was carried out of the original inquiry. His mother, stepfather and step-uncle were arrested last year but the Crown Prosecution Service ruled that no further action would be taken against them due to lack of evidence. Concerns for ill-treatment were first made in November 2007 and despite numerous contacts between Blake and the health and social care services, he remained with his family at their home in in Cromarty Road, Southampton, until his death more than four years later. Keith Makin, independent chairman of the Southampton Local Safeguarding Children Board, said that the errors made were “simply unacceptable” and there had been “significant failures” in the child protection system in the city. He said: “Blake was only seven years old when he died in 2011. His family were well known to local services in Southampton as a result of domestic abuse and there had been long-term concerns about Blake’s safety. “The Serious ase Review highlighted several missed opportunities to help Blake and a number of significant failures in our child protection system. The errors made in this case were simply unacceptable. “On behalf of the Southampton Local Safeguarding Children Board, along with colleagues from the council, police and health services in the city, I would like to say how sorry we are that Blake did not get the help that he needed. In one example, just before starting school in September 2008, Blake was referred to Children’s Social Care Services (CSCS) by Southampton General Hospital after presenting with a bruised penis and facial injuries. Despite the consultant paediatrician giving his opinion that the injuries were deliberately inflicted, no further action was taken after an assessor visited the family home but without actually seeing Blake. The review said this hospital admittance was a particularly “significant missed opportunity”. When the case was re-investigated last year, Hampshire police’s ssistant Chief Constable Laura Nicholson apologised “that the initial investigation by the constabulary was unsatisfactory”. Social services claims sometimes arise due to poor funding and significant understaffing resulting in systematic errors. Nevertheless, social services have a duty to protect vulnerable children and their negligence can result in devastating consequences. If you or a loved one have been subject to abuse please do not hesitate to contact Charles Derham our specialist child abuse solicitor. We will treat any communications with the strictest of confidence


Lisa has more than 20 years’ experience of dealing with Personal Injury matters ranging from road traffic accidents to workplace injury and liability. She offers a sympathetic and professional approach to her clients’ problems and advises on funding options (including insurance and Conditional Fee Agreements.)

Her extensive knowledge of the Civil Procedure Rules, skills in evidence gathering and analysis of liability and causation, and experience in risk assessment and settlement negotiation make her a valuable asset to clients and colleagues alike.

She is also a member of Verisona Law’s Historic Abuse Team and undertakes documentary analysis, work relating to case evidence and the development of legal arguments to secure successful settlements. She is fluent in German and Persian.

Lisa also has experience in Civil Litigation regarding Debt Recovery, Breach of Contract, and Insolvency Law.

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Within this time, never once did I feel it was about the money for her. She was very considerate and dealt with many personal matters in a caring and professional way. It was a very sensitive case but she put in a lot of hard work and went the extra mile each time. Her wide range of expertise was indispensable during this difficult time. Because of this I trusted all her advice and as a result, this took a lot of pressure off of me.

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Lisa studied ‘Contract Law, European Law and Employment Law’ as part of her degree in BA (Hons) Business Administration. She has also studied other business subjects, including accounting.

Having completed her degree, Lisa started work for Verisona Law in November 1999 in the Personal Injury department as a Trainee Litigation Clerk and since then has developed extensive skills in relation to personal injury litigation and case preparation.

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