Society

Baby Killed Day After Social Services Reduces Involvement

| by Sheena Vasani

A recent inquest has revealed that a man killed his 16-day-old baby shortly after social services had deemed an abusive father a "decreased level of concern."

Matthew Higham, of Stockport, England, beat his newborn baby, Florence, to death on July 29, 2015, reports the Daily Mail.

While The Metro reports he was later sentenced to life in prison, a recent inquest reveals social services reduced their involvement with the family only a day before the baby's death.

The news has sparked outrage and controversy, with some as mad at social services as they are with Higham.

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"Why do social services keep failing children?" wrote one person on the Daily Mail's Facebook post about the murder. "How could anyone in their right mind say that he was responsible enough to have babies."

Others, however, defended social services.

"Please don't blame social services for the actions of these monsters," commented another on the actual Daily Mail article. "This blame transfer is hurting more kids as bad parents say they can't help their behaviour and it's down to social services not individual responsibility."

Higham killed his child while her mother, Sharon Collins, was out visiting a sick friend with her mother.

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At first, he denied harming the baby.

"I'm not responsible for the death of my lovely little girl Florence," he said in a statement to the police. "She was the light of my eyes. I have not shook her or dropped her."

However, when paramedics arrived and noted extensive injuries and bruises indicating she had been "gripped and pinched with considerable force," Higham's story began to unravel.

The baby was pronounced dead a half hour after arriving at Stepping Hill hospital. Only months later in court would Higham finally admit to killing his child, adding that he does not remember doing so though.

"You say you do not remember doing it," the judge commented, while handing Higham his sentence. "Whether or not that is true, by your plea of guilty to the murder of your baby daughter you have accepted, very late, that you inflicted those injuries on her with the intention of killing her or doing her really serious harm."

Higham, who claims to be bipolar, had already demonstrated an unstable and violent temperament before the attack, which led to Collins filing a restraining order against him after he assaulted her.

A child from a previous relationship was also removed from his care due to drug abuse.

Sources: The Metro, Daily Mail,  Daily Mail/Facebook / Photo credit: Cavendish Press via Daily Mail

 

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