A father who threw his child son right into a river had begged to be sectioned within the days earlier than the tragedy unfolded, a critical case evaluate has discovered.
Zak Bennett-Eko, 23, believed son Zakari was ‘turning into the satan’ when he dumped him off a bridge into the River Irwell in Radcliffe in Bury, Higher Manchester, on the afternoon of September 11 2019.
He was sentenced to a hospital order final 12 months after being discovered responsible of the 11-month-old child’s manslaughter by diminished duty.
On the time of his sentencing, decide Mr Justice Fraser mentioned the Bennett-Eko had ‘slipped by means of the web’ of psychological well being providers within the interval main as much as the incident.
A evaluate printed by Bury Built-in Safeguarding Partnership discovered Bennett-Eko had been recognized to the care system however had been ‘misplaced’ and his wants had been ‘uncared for’ when he was moved together with the toddler’s mom, Emma Flood, from Manchester to Bury.
The relocation in 2018 meant the couple have been socially remoted and more and more weak.
Issues have been highlighted that the first-time mother and father have been ‘dwelling inside a context of low earnings, lack of acceptable housing and away from their social and household help networks.’
As a consequence of his worsening situation, Bennett-Eko went to the A&E division at North Manchester Common Hospital on September 8 – simply days earlier than the tragedy.
He instructed workers he had not been taking prescribed schizophrenia remedy and requested to be sectioned.
It’s recognized that he had attended the identical hospital no less than twice earlier than within the earlier month however delays meant he was not given remedy in time.
Three days after his final journey to A&E, Bennett-Eko took child Zakari out for a stroll in his pushchair in Radcliffe, whereas Ms Flood remained at their flat.
Eyewitnesses noticed him choose his son out of the pram then swing the boy backwards and forwards earlier than throwing him over a fence and into the river.
Bennett-Eko went to the close by Lock Keeper pub and sat at a desk whereas emergency providers scrambled to the scene in an try to save lots of his child’s life.
He was later arrested on the pub and charged with homicide however this was then downgraded because of his paranoid schizophrenia and extreme state of psychosis.
The evaluate discovered Bennett-Eko had been discharged from a studying incapacity service in Manchester because of a scarcity of attendance.
It mentioned: ‘The consequence was that (he) grew to become “misplaced” and his wants uncared for by the care system in Manchester, together with the important thing aspect of a accountable clinician to supervise his remedy.’
A ‘flawed’ evaluation was carried out by Bury Youngsters’s Social Care in Could 2019 which didn’t keep in mind the dangers of Bennett-Eko not taking his remedy and reverting to hashish use.
The intense case evaluate, led by Paul Sharkey, listed 13 failings which mixed to supply a ‘pathway to hurt’ for Zakari.
Tony Decrop, assistant director of social care and safeguarding at Bury Council, mentioned there had been a failure to ‘respect absolutely’ the danger Bennett-Eko posed to his younger son.
He added: ‘All of the businesses concerned are really sorry for what occurred and are decided to do all they’ll to forestall, as far as humanly potential, one thing like this occurring once more.
‘We have now already discovered from the evaluate of this case and motion has been taken because of this’
Bernadette Enright, govt director of grownup social providers for Manchester Metropolis Council, mentioned: ‘This was a fancy case with a number of elements and a distressing and excessive conclusion. It’s essential for all businesses concerned on this case to mirror on the run-up to those tragic occasions and use learnings to strengthen apply.’
Julian Hendy, of the Hundred Households charity, mentioned: ‘Zakari’s father had a regarding historical past of great psychological sickness and violence which was recognized to providers, however he was not adopted up and monitored as he ought to have been.
‘He too was weak, but regardless of asking for assistance on quite a few events he didn’t obtain the care and remedy he so desperately wanted. Had he completed so younger Zak may nonetheless be with us right now.’
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