Ruth's Story - Domestic Homicide Review - Part 2 (2023)


Social Worker Ruth talks about her professional relationship with Leanne and her family from the time of Harry’s suspicious bruising to shortly before Leanne’s death. Ruth also reveals her professional frustrations in relation to her work.

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Foreign it's, just the social worker again, Leanne calls to her mother as I enter the flat.

She wearily lets me in she seems more wary and tired of me.

And my colleagues every time we meet it's late October.

And we've known each other for about five months.

I've got some paperwork here Leanne.

But before we go through that, can we talk about something else two days ago, we got a written referral from the nspcc it alleged that Leanne had been pulling her son, Along by holding his wrist.

And that she'd slapped him across the head as he fell.

And that lots of people were frequenting, the flat day and night, partying and drinking.

She looks shocked that's just not true.

She says, it's him, Tony he's doing everything.

He can to get at me and he's using the kids now that he can't get at me directly.

She bursts into tears, I try to reassure her.

We don't believe a word of it, Leanne, I, promise I, just thought, I'd mention it Let's, ignore it.

She doesn't seem convinced her mother has to calm her down, Leanne goes upstairs to fetch something.

And her mother says, Leanne's paranoid that you are going to take a kid's offer all this that's happened has got her feeling like she's to blame everyone's, looking at her and no one's looking at Brag it's him.

You need to keep your eye on her mother's, a pretty bullish character, my colleague, reckons that she's prone to exaggeration.

So I, take what she says with a pinch of salt.

When Leanne comes back downstairs, I show her the paperwork and say, let's go through this shall we I first came into contact with Leanne.

Shortly after her little boy, Harry was admitted to hospital with bruising to his upper body that was early May, appropriate arrangements were made for Harry.

And his younger sister Macy to be subject to the local Authority placement plans, a joint investigation into Harry's physical abuse was to be conducted by children's social care.

And the local police, initially Leanne was to have supervised contact with the children, and they would go and live with her older sister, bethan, four days after Harry was discharged from hospital.

I received a phone call from bethan at work Ruth.

She says, obviously in an emotionally, heightened state Harry's just told me that it was Tony that hit him.


Never liked him.

Leanne was a totally different person.

When she was with him, we never saw her Tony is or was at the time Leanne's boyfriend.

He was there the night before Leanne found the bruising.

We strongly suspect that he's the perpetrator.

But apparently he was not in the room with Harry at any point that night.

And of course, denied it.

This admission from Harry will hopefully be a game changer.

It later turns out that he said something similar to his grandma Leanne's, mother Martin, my chief liaison in the police goes around to the house with another officer and speaks to bethan and with Harry.

But the little boy won't disclose anything to the police it's, frustrating, says, Martin.

But we don't want to push the lad.

He's only six Leanne totally believes her son and immediately Cuts ties with brag, plus it's, a condition of the child protection plan that she has no contact with Bragg.

She refuses to speak to him, but says that over the course of that particular weekend.

He tries to call her on the house phone on numerous occasions, she refuses to speak to him, but says that she's worried about the repercussions and that she's going to go and stay with her mum that weekend good for you I tell her according to my records, it was the 23rd of May a couple of days after Harry's disclosure to his aunt that I conducted a play session with Harry I asked him if he'd like to draw a picture of his mum, which he did now would you like to draw a picture of your mum's boyfriend, Tony, Harry, States, quite clearly, no I don't want to draw Tony.

He hurts me and he points to the area of his body where the bruising was five or six days later, I go to Martin at the police station and I tell him about Harry's disclosure.

He doesn't seem particularly focused bloody sinus trouble.

He says, I feel like shite when I press him on the disclosure.

He says, but Harry wouldn't disclose anything to the police.

And we tried on at least four occasions.

He adds and lyanna said that Bragg was never left alone with the kids.

He can see I looked despondent.

And he says, we'll, try and speak to Harry One, Last Time, honestly, I thought we were working together on this.

Two weeks later, the police declare that they're no longer chasing a prosecution because of lack of evidence I'm livid about this I've had no contact from Martin.

So I call him on his direct line.

Martin I say, this is Ruth Walker as our last meeting, you said, you were going to speak to Leanne West's, son, Harry, again, I just wondered what the outcome of that conversation was five months ago, I've not heard back from Martin and I never did find out if the police spoke to them again.

So today, I'm going through some documents with Leanne about six weeks ago.

She met another man with whom she's entered a relationship with Alan, an old school friend.

He lives in Nottingham about 20 miles away.

The plan is for them to move in together.

Because of the conditions of the child protection plan suitability checks have to be carried out on the new partner.

Leanne's mother mentioned that they were burgled recently.

We know it's him brag.

She says, who's carrying out suitability checks on him, that's a police matter, I tell her, but she's on one now Leanne saw him in town at the weekend in a bar so Leanne's trying to stop him with her from talking.

But the old girl keeps going brag was sat at the bar watching her Leanne.

And the girls left as soon as they clocked, it she's, terrified.

She didn't speak to him, I say that that's probably a good thing and that a condition of having the children return to her is that she has no contact with Tony.

We know that snaps the mother no wonder she's petrified of social workers.

Your colleague was just as bad.

My colleague, went round, a few weeks ago after the burglary, your colleague was saying that Leanne has to demonstrate after the burglary that she's strong enough and independent enough to cope on her own otherwise.

The kids will remain on the plan Leanne's still trying to get her mother to stop talking it's like I say, the mother says, no wonder, she feels like she's to blame for everything she's leaving her home.

Now just to get away from him.

I turned my attention to Leanne how's.

Alan I say, are you looking forward to moving to Nottingham? She shrugs I need to move start afresh.

Maybe she's having second thoughts.

She doesn't seem that enthusiastic about the move anymore.

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