13-Month-Old Baby Dead For Three Days Found In Pushchair In Front Of Gas Fire

24/03/2011 14:02 | Updated 22 May 2015

A 13-month-old baby was found dead in his pushchair in front of a roaring gas fire.

Alex Sutherland was strapped into his buggy, his body charred and burned. He had been dead for at least three days when he was found at his home in Wythenshaw, Manchester.

A report into the tragic baby's death has revealed that social workers had SEVENTEEN opportunities to remove him from his neglectful mother, Tracey Sutherland.

Sutherland has now been imprisoned for 27 months after admitting neglect.

On the day baby Alex was discovered dead, his mother was found by police wandering the streets in the rain, wearing her pajamas and smelling of alcohol.

Family and friends had reportedly made numerous calls to social services over concern for little Alex's welfare. Police, nurses and a childminder had also raised concerns for his safety, yet he was not put on the 'at risk' register, despite his mother - a former pharmacist - admitting she drank up to six bottles of wine a day.

The chairman of Manchester Safeguard Children's Board, Ian Rush, hit back at claims social services did nothing to prevent Alex's death claiming Sutherland had hidden the extent of her drinking from them.

He said: 'The report is clear in saying that the level of neglect this little boy was experiencing was preventable, had things been different at certain points and had people assessed the situation in a different kind of way. It is important to stress that it's not as if agencies and organizations weren't trying to do something to support this mother, they were. She was denying to them that she was drinking as much as she was and was playing down the impact that alcohol was having in her life.'

What do you think?

Should social services have more powers to remove children from their parents?

Or be quicker to use the powers they do have?

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