Children Taken From Addict Parents 'Suffered Decade Of Abuse By Doctors'
PRESS ASSOCIATION -- Three adopted children "rescued" from their drug addicted parents went on to suffer a decade of systematic abuse and neglect at the hands of two doctors which was "predictable" and "preventable", a serious case review has found.
Some professionals in the case were also swayed by "perceptions and assumptions" about the couple's social class, professional status and high academic qualifications, the review concluded.
Research scientist Dr Jill Newcombe-Buley, 45, punched, slapped and smothered the children in a reign of terror which started soon after they were placed with her and her husband, Dr Nicholas Newcombe, 43, at their former home in Prestbury, Cheshire. She also stamped on one child with a stiletto heel and hit one over the head with a dustbin lid.
Newcombe-Buley was jailed for four years in October after she admitted child cruelty while her husband, who pleaded guilty to neglect after he did not report his wife, was given a 12-month suspended sentence.
A report ordered by Cheshire East Local Safeguarding Children Board has concluded there had been "many missed opportunities" to detect the abuse and that the couple should never have been allowed to adopt the children - referred to as Child B, C and D.
Report author Chris Brabbs said: "The children went from being 'rescued' from the exposure to significant harm within their birth family only to end up being placed in another abusive situation where they were subjected to repeated and systematic physical abuse, emotional harm and neglect.
"The specific nature of the abuse, and the manner in which it was carried out, by adults who chose to adopt vulnerable children, is hard to comprehend. The conclusion of this Serious Case Review was that at various stages over the 10 years, the abuse was both predictable and preventable. Had the appropriate actions been taken, the abuse may have been detected, and the children helped to disclose, much earlier.
"The Review has identified the many missed opportunities to pick up on the indicators of abuse, or to investigate disclosures made by Child B in particular, but also by Child C."
He said the adoption process conducted by Stoke-on-Trent Social Services was "flawed" due to a number of factors such as the couple having never lived together, questions about their commitment due to work pressures and their complete lack of experience around children.
"The adoption panel allowed itself to be sucked into the attractiveness of the fact that these applicants were offering a rare and highly sought after commodity - a willingness to take a sibling group of three," he said.