Breaking: Agencies apologise over failing teenage mum stabbed to death in Rotherham

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A VULNERABLE young mum stabbed to death by her former lover was known by 15 agencies before she died, a serious case review has revealed.

Rotherham’s social services and South Yorkshire Police were among the list of agencies who ‘lost sight’ of 17-year-old Laura Wilson and today they apologised for their failings and said lessons had been learned.

The author of the report found that there had been ‘missed opportunities’ to carry out a full assessment of all Laura’s needs and a lack of consistent joint up work between the agencies involved with her.

Laura, aged 17, of Birch Park Court, Holmes, Rotherham, was repeatedly stabbed and dumped in a canal near her home by 18-year-old Ashtiaq Asghar in October 2010.

The young mum, who had a four month old daughter from another relationship with another Asian man, was knifed to death after she told the families of both her lovers about her relationships with the pair.

Asghar pleaded guilty to the killing, and when he was jailed for 17 years Lord Justice Davis described Laura’s death as ‘simply an exercise in punishment’.

The serious case review found that despite Laura being placed on the Child Protection Register when she was 11, assessed as having special educational needs and being regularly absent from school she still slipped through the net.

She had been identified as being at risk of sexual exploitation during a police operation into the alleged grooming and abuse of young girls aged between 13 and 16, but none of the teenagers co-operated with detectives to enable them to mount a prosecution.

Referring to Laura as Child S, Alan Hazell, chairman of the Rotherham Local Safeguarding Children Board, said: “This is a wide ranging study which shows a very complex situation surrounding Child S and her child which made it difficult for agencies to engage with her.

“There is no suggestion that anyone could have saved Child S from what ultimately happened to her but clearly her care could have been improved.

“There were chances for those agencies to be more proactive in how they dealt with the case and all agencies involved accept that and apologise that the standards of service were not as high as they should have been.

“It is vital that agencies learn from what happened here and there is clearly a commitment in Rotherham to make that happen.”

See tomorrow’s Star for more.