Source '˜not surprised' Liam Fee slipped through the net

'The murder of Liam was carried out by two adults who knew the difference between right and wrong. They chose to harm and then kill him.'

Thursday, 7th July 2016, 12:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 6:36 pm
Rachael Fee and her civil partner Nyomi Fee were sentenced to life for the murder of Liam.

That’s the view of one source who stressed that, while questions will be asked of professionals involved in protecting Liam, Rachel and Nyomi Fee were ultimately responsible for the toddler’s death.

A significant case review being led by independent expert Jacqui Mok has already begun to look at records.

While public scrutiny has so far focused on social work, the Fee family had ongoing support from a raft of multi-agency professionals, including teachers, specialist nurses, paediatricians and GPs.

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A ‘whistleblower’ claimed recently that a social worker was ‘intimidated by Nyomi’ and rarely visited the home.Also that between January and March 2014, six or seven professionals expressed concerns about Liam but social work failed to call a case conference.

The Press understands, however, any professional could have called a case conference and social work cannot refuse a request.

Furthermore, any professional could have forced the issue by escalating concerns to the Children’s Reporter.

An experienced former panel member said: “The murder of Liam Fee was ​of course ​an appalling tragedy but sadly, knowing the difficulties faced by social workers, I’m not altogether surprised he slipped through the net.​

“They have huge caseloads and insufficient resources and are often met with hostility from parents.

“​I can see how it would be all too easy to overlook the situation, especially if on the surface Liam’s parenting appeared ‘good enough.’

“Because of the confidential nature of the children’s hearing system, its workings are not widely known​ but ​It’s unfortunate that those who expressed concern ​in this case ​didn’t approach the Children’s Reporter directly​.

“It would then have been prioritised and the social work service obliged to fully investigate. “

“An application could then have been made to the Sheriff for a warrant to have the child taken into a place of safety.”

A source said: “Rachel and Nyomi Fee interacted with the local community and friends came and went to the house regularly. The question is: with all this direct contact going on, why did everyone miss what was going on?

“What caused the escalation from “concerns” to inflicting the catastrophic physical harm which led to Liam’s shocking injuries just days before he was murdered?“