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TRAGIC ALIA'S DEATH 'COULD HAVE BEEN PREVENTED'.

Byline: Jasbir Authi STAFF REPORTER

THE death of a three-year-old girl who was stabbed by her paranoid schizophrenic mother and then doused in acid could have been prevented, a serious case review has found.

Birmingham's Safeguarding Children Board concluded agencies involved in their care could have worked together more effectively, preventing the tragedy.

Police discovered little Alia Ahmed Jama in the bedroom of a house in Milverton Road, Erdington, Birmingham, in February, 2010.

She had been covered in bin liners, repeatedly stabbed and her body had been covered with acid.

Somalian asylum seeker Iman Omar Yousef, then aged 25, was found to have unlawfully killed her daughter and was made the subject of an indefinite Hospital Order following a trial the following October.

The serious case review concluded there were no previous indications that the mother would physically harm the child and Birmingham Safeguarding Children Board (BSCB) said Alia's death could not have been predicted.

However, the board said had assessment and urgent intervention been made at critical points it is probable her death could have been prevented.

Police and other agencies, including immigration officials, had contact with Yousef and Alia after they entered the UK in March 2009.

The review into Alia's death con-firmed that police attended a domestic incident involving other relatives at Yousef's home a day after the asylum claim was lodged.

Other professionals who came into contact with the family in the months before Alia's death in February 2010 included a housing officer, a social worker and other police officers.

Jane Held, independent chair of the BSCB, said: "Our sympathies are with Alia's wider family. This was a tragedy which couldn't have been anticipated, but if we had worked together better may have been prevented.

"As with other recent reviews, covering the period 2008-2010, it is very clear that every agency supporting the family did not work together effectively enough.

"We are committed to improving this to ensure children are properly safeguarded in Birmingham.

"The SCR identified a number of important areas where partner agencies can work more effectively together to safeguard children. The key recommendations have already been acted upon."

Meanwhile, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has found that while police could not have anticipated the death, the potential risks to Alia as a result of her mother's behaviour may have been better recognised.

An investigation found that several calls to police and attendance at a police station on February 12, 2010, "could with hindsight have flagged up an increased risk to her daughter".

One of the most notorious cases where a child known to Birmingham Social Services died was seven-yearold Khyra Ishaq, who starved to death at her Handsworth home in 2008.

pub July 14. knows the Her mother Angela Gordon, 35, was sentenced to 15 years in jail and her ex-partner Junaid Abuhamza, 31, was jailed indefi-nitely for public safety.

CAPTION(S):

Hospital order: Iman Omar Yousef was found to have unlawfully killed her daughter.

Scene: Police outside the Erdington home where Alia Ahmed Jama was found stabbed and doused in acid.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Oct 12, 2012
Words:510
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