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Home like 'Victorian workhouse'.

THE Mail published the harrowing treatment the children suffered, which was detailed in a 43-page Family Court Judgement dating back to 2009.

It was issued as part of care proceedings made by the city council.

The High Court judge ruled that a catalogue of errors and missed opportunities contributed to Khyra's death.

During the month-long hearing, expert witnesses along with teachers and the councils staff were called to give evidence.

Evidence given during the hearing revealed that social workers and education officials repeatedly failed to take adequate action over Khyra or her siblings. So hungry were the youngsters that they were reduced to stealing food and scavenging in bins at school for apple cores, the hearing heard.

One teacher broke down in tears during evidence and described how he "manipulated" dinner staff to make sure Khyra's brother got bigger portions towards the end of 2007. He had caught the child, who cannot be named, taking an apple core from a bin.

The teacher, identified as Mr Q, said: "The expression on his face made staff sure that it was hunger. None of the other children were ever as hungry." He saw the child holding up his trousers with his hand.

The judge said: "Mr Q did everything he could, even manipulating school meals so that he could have more food, without breaking the letter of the mother's edict about second helpings.

"The school went the extra mile to ensure the children were safe. The fact that they, in their opinion 'failed' is not their fault and should not feel in any way responsible for what happened." The interviews of the children led the honourable Mrs Justice Eleanor King DBE to describe the house as being more like a Victorian workhouse than a terraced house in Birmingham in the 21st Century.

Details of their harrowing fivemonth detention revealed that only the strongest children managed to eat as the six youngsters were forced to "eat like dogs" out of a shared bowl in an upstairs bedroom.

The starvation of the surviving children was so extreme that two other siblings were close to death.

Experts had to refer to cases involving concentration camp prisoners, famine children in Africa and IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands, from the early 1980s.

The cases were worse than in western children during the last depression. In Khyra's case there was no body fat or muscle mass left when she died.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Jan 7, 2013
Words:402
Previous Article:Tragic Khyra's siblings to sue council for her horrific neglect; CITY FACING MASSIVE LAWSUIT 300 WORD OVER STARVATION EXCLUSIVE.
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