Daniel Pelka....and other children

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Daniel Pelka....and other children

Post by tocyvi on Fri Aug 02, 2013 1:09 pm

No-one with a shred of humanity can fail to have been moved to both tears and unadulterated anger by the details of the story behind the death of Daniel Pelka. The four year old was subject to planned and sustained torture, starvation, bullying and unimaginable torture over a lengthy period and weighed just 11kgs (24lbs) when he died. His mother and step-father have rightly been convicted of murder.

The question that remains unanswered, however, is how, in the current climate of checks & counter-checks, an (over) abundance of Health & Safety rules & regulations, form-filling, reviews, peer reviews, meetings, case studies and a never ending paper trail, such an appalling event can continue for so long without someone taking the child to a place of safety. The list of people and organisations involved in this and other similar cases is lengthy: neighbours, social services, police, teachers, paediatricians, agencies (both statutory & non-statutory), doctors, hospitals and yet no-one, apparently, had the sense/opportunity/willingness/conviction (call it what you will) to say enough is enough.

I accept that it is easy to take an isolated case and use it as a blunt tool to bludgeon the services with whom Daniel came into contact. The problem here is that it is not an isolated case and we will be subjected to the usual round of buck-passing and hand-wringing promises of “lessons have been learnt”, “it can never happen again” and so on. The fact remains that it does happen again…..and again and again and again.

The key, in my opinion, is found in paragraph 2 above. We live in a tick-box society, in which the paperwork is more important than the client it is meant to protect. Managers, when questioning their subordinates in their weekly staff review sessions, will quiz them closely on the fact that form WRP57/e/Pens, writing for the use of (‘withdrawal of stock’ form, as I’m sure you remember) was incorrectly completed, insofar as the said subordinate withdrew 26 pens (writing for the use of) from the stock room, when the official Stock Request Form (form WRP53/REQ/SRF/ if you really want to know) clearly stated 25 pens. Terrible though this may be in the eyes of the managerial elite, it really doesn’t help Daniel Pelka, Victoria Climbie, Baby P and the many other vulnerable children that have let down by precisely the people who are there to help and protect them and these are the issues on which managers need to concentrate.

Yes, it is important to have structures and systems; yes, it is important to have a piece of paper that confirms you have studied “Child Development from 0 – 5 Years” at the University of Kingston-cum-Netherwold” but the prime and pre-requisite attribute required for working with children is a demonstrable genuine care and concern for their welfare. I am convinced that if potential employers expended more energy finding out about candidates attitudes and values than their ability to regurgitate some convoluted and specious home-spun philosophy, the following incidents would be virtually non-existent because honest-to-goodness humanitarian feelings would prevent it :

Daniel, who weighed less than 11kgs and was in a state of “skeletal emaciation” when he died, had been seen by a paediatrician three weeks before he was found dead who reported that he was underweight but not “wasted”.

Fourteen months before he died in March last year, Daniel became the focus of a police inquiry after his arm was broken. But the file was closed when his killers convinced officers that he hurt himself when he jumped from a sofa at their home in Coventry

Just weeks before his death, the boy was sent to school with black eyes and was described as a “bag of bones”.
(sources: Independent 02/08/13)


Last edited by tocyvi on Fri Aug 02, 2013 2:45 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : omission)
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Re: Daniel Pelka....and other children

Post by Inkflo on Fri Aug 02, 2013 1:53 pm

To my mind, social workers dealing with children need common sense more than paper qualifications.
I'm sure most women who have been a mother, midwife, nurse, etc. would have an extra sense about these things that
others just don't have.
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Re: Daniel Pelka....and other children

Post by Tradzoner on Fri Aug 02, 2013 4:23 pm

I agree Inkflo. The problem with social workers is they very rarely have enough life experience. They are not really in touch with the real world and I dont think it should be a qualification but a life skill.

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Re: Daniel Pelka....and other children

Post by tocyvi on Fri Aug 02, 2013 5:07 pm

I think you've both put into a few succinct words the same concept that I was trying to express, except it took me only a couple of chapters short of War & Peace
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Re: Daniel Pelka....and other children

Post by jarvis on Fri Aug 02, 2013 8:28 pm

bring back the death penalty for these scum
30 years min is not enough
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Re: Daniel Pelka....and other children

Post by tocyvi on Sat Aug 03, 2013 7:25 am

jarvis wrote:bring back the death penalty for these scum
30 years min is not enough

Of the 50 or so countries in Europe, only Belarus retains the death penalty. If the UK re-introduced it, (something which will never happen, incidentally), we would stand out as an exemplar of barbarism rather than a beacon of humanitarianism.
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Re: Daniel Pelka....and other children

Post by Tradzoner on Sat Aug 03, 2013 7:51 am

With a bit of luck someone will finish them off in prison.

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Daniel

Post by Amber on Sat Aug 03, 2013 12:14 pm

What struck me about all this was that not one adult was prepared to stand up and insist that something was radically wrong. More than anyone his teacher(s) I would have thought should have seen that the poor little mite was wasting away as they saw him the most often, presumably. I hadn't heard about the paediatrician having seen Daniel so recently before he died - that is also appalling and I hope their judgement will be called into question and acted upon.

Social Workers being fobbed off by the child's carer seems to be a recurring theme in these cases - when are they going to start waking up to the fact that, of course, the mother/father/partner is going to lie to them when a child is being abused; they are hardly going to hold their hands up and say "yes we have been beating/starving/abusing him but thought you wouldn't notice if we made some excuses".

Why bother with all the costs of a Serious Case Review when nothing will be done afterwards and no-one will be held to account (yet again!)?

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Re: Daniel Pelka....and other children

Post by edmoraz on Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:11 am

They never seem to get the sack these people, sometimes the resign but usually they just move on, some of them even get promotion for god sake. Unbelievable.

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Re: Daniel Pelka....and other children

Post by tocyvi on Sun Aug 04, 2013 1:18 pm

edmoraz wrote:They never seem to get the sack these people, sometimes the resign but usually they just move on, some of them even get promotion for god sake. Unbelievable.

Quite right. Very few police, social workers or police ever seem to be sacked, no matter how serious the allegations. The police force is particularly adept at allowing officers to resign (with full benefits) before an enquiry takes place.
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Re: Daniel Pelka....and other children

Post by jarvis on Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:29 pm

eye for a eye
why waste over 30plus years of tax payers money on these evil people
I would be the first person to flick the switch job done
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Re: Daniel Pelka....and other children

Post by tocyvi on Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:21 pm

jarvis wrote:eye for a eye

An oft quoted excuse for retribution. On this basis, you would also chop the hands off thieves, hang people who commit manslaughter and thus continue and enlarge the circle of vengeance and violence. A more appropriate quote comes from Mahatma Gandhi: "An-eye-for-an-eye-for-an-eye-for-an-eye ... ends in making everybody blind.

Luckily, for humanity, the vast majority of enlightened countries have banned the death penalty as inhumane, contrary to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and irrevocable. There are too many instances of innocent people jailed and consequently pardoned, to ever condone the use of state sponsored murder.

jarvis wrote:why waste over 30plus years of tax payers money on these evil people
I would be the first person to flick the switch job done

There are many evil people around. To round them up and put them to death, puts you in the same category (especially in view of your offer to do the deed yourself) as those dictators who think that killing people is a justifiable way of ridding themselves of a problem. Perhaps you’d care to tell us how you would explain to the loved ones of those you’d killed, that you had hanged the wrong person.

To be frank, however, I am extremely sceptical of those people who say “I could flick the switch myself”. It may sound macho down the pub after a few pints with the lads but when push comes to shove, there are very few people who can kill in cold blood……and the majority of those should be locked up before they get the opportunity.
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Re: Daniel Pelka....and other children

Post by Tradzoner on Tue Aug 06, 2013 5:14 am

tocyvi - if you were related to these monsters are you seriously saying that you would still want to have anything to do with them. I would not.

I don't agree with it for all crimes but when there is a crime as wicked as this and there is absolutely no doubt who done it, then yes, I could pull a switch or fire the gun. It is not violence breeding violence; if you have a mad dog you put it out of its misery. Its surely the same. These people are not human as they showed no grief. These types are very good at pulling the wool over the gullible social workers eyes.

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Re: Daniel Pelka....and other children

Post by tocyvi on Tue Aug 06, 2013 7:17 am

Tradzoner wrote:tocyvi - if you were related to these monsters are you seriously saying that you would still want to have anything to do with them. I would not.

Hi Tradzoner. I think you’ve misunderstood my standpoint. I despise these people and I couldn’t bear to have anything to do with them, whether I were related or not. I have no sympathy with them and I make no excuses whatsoever for their actions.

Tradzoner wrote:I don't agree with it for all crimes but when there is a crime as wicked as this and there is absolutely no doubt who done it, then yes, I could pull a switch or fire the gun.

I doubt very much that you could pull the trigger. Your anger at this time tends you to think that you would be happy and willing to vent your frustration at a) their cruelty and b) society’s impotence at preventing such cruelty, but good law can never be based entirely on emotion.

Tradzoner wrote:if you have a mad dog you put it out of its misery. Its surely the same. These people are not human as they showed no grief. These types are very good at pulling the wool over the gullible social workers eyes.

We are not animals and our society aims for higher ethics than that. I detest these people and their sickening catalogue of cruelty upon a defenceless and innocent child, but I recognise that society is a poorer and less humane place when it resorts to state-legitimised killing to rid itself of a problem, no matter how bad that problem may be.
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Re: Daniel Pelka....and other children

Post by Tradzoner on Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:12 am

We will have to beg to differ. I have lost faith in humans and society as a whole. When I see the awful way people treat dogs and wild animals, they obviously have not once ounce of sensitivity in them. Humanity is on its way to self destruction as I see it.

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Re: Daniel Pelka....and other children

Post by tocyvi on Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:32 am

Tradzoner wrote:We will have to beg to differ. I have lost faith in humans and society as a whole. When I see the awful way people treat dogs and wild animals, they obviously have not once ounce of sensitivity in them. Humanity is on its way to self destruction as I see it.

Hi Tradzoner. In a lot of ways, I am also pessimistic about the way I see the world going but I have to (and indeed want to) retain those principles which were instilled in me at a very young age and have guided and inspired me through (most of!) my life.
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Re: Daniel Pelka....and other children

Post by Amber on Tue Aug 06, 2013 5:39 pm

Tradzoner wrote:We will have to beg to differ. I have lost faith in humans and society as a whole. When I see the awful way people treat dogs and wild animals, they obviously have not once ounce of sensitivity in them. Humanity is on its way to self destruction as I see it.

That's rather a sweeping generalisation isn't it? As we all know death, destruction and sensationalism sell newspapers and are 'meat and drink' to the visual media, which is why they rarely report on all the good and humane acts that are going on all the time around the world.

I doubt (although I have nothing to back it up) that humanity is any worse than it has been over the last several thousand years; the Greeks and Romans were not exactly compassionate towards their fellow man and it has been ever thus through the ages, it's just that now with the media reporting every minutiae of life we hear so much more than we did even 30 years ago. Nature itself is cruel, wild and domestic animals treat their prey and enemies in a very matter of fact way - kill it and eat it, or in some cases just kill it as it's a threat to their territory.

Are you honestly saying you could look someone in the eye, point a gun at them and pull the trigger? I'm sorry but if your answer is 'yes' then you are no better than those you despise and despair of.

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Re: Daniel Pelka....and other children

Post by tocyvi on Tue Aug 06, 2013 6:07 pm

Amber wrote:Are you honestly saying you could look someone in the eye, point a gun at them and pull the trigger? I'm sorry but if your answer is 'yes' then you are no better than those you despise and despair of.

Hi Amber. I'm absolutely convinced you're right. People who say that they would gladly pull the trigger, release the trap, administer the lethal dose, behead or whatever other method is adopted, have given this very little consideration. It is one thing to be sat in front of the TV and feeling moved to violence at the horrific examples of man's inhumanity to man; it is a totally different matter to come face-to-face with someone and kill them in cold blood. It is your final sentence, however, which sums the whole thing up: those people who resort to violence and killing are no better than the killers themselves. It is human compassion that sets us apart from animals and long may it remain so.

The fact remains that every year more and more countries give up using capital punishment for two fundamental reasons: firstly because it is inhumane and has no place in a modern world and secondly because it has never been shown to act as a deterrent. Even Albert Pierrepoint came to this conclusion.
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Re: Daniel Pelka....and other children

Post by Tradzoner on Tue Aug 06, 2013 6:24 pm

I think tocyvi and Amber that you would change your mind if it happened to a member of your family.

Can you tell me why these people have a right to survive! They tortured and starved to death a child and showed not one ounce of remorse. They go off to prison and if they don't get murdered there then they get released at huge cost with new identities etc, with a strong chance of doing it all over again. I only know of one person amongst the hundreds I know who would disagree with me.

I don't limit it to humans, but what humans do to animals. If you have seen what the hunters do who have podencos and gaduelpos, ie; hanging them alive for fun to see how long they take to die.

There is no way I would change my mind in the same way as you would never change yours. So there would never be an agreement point unfortunately, its white or its black. Neutral Neutral 

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Re: Daniel Pelka....and other children

Post by tocyvi on Tue Aug 06, 2013 7:22 pm

Tradzoner wrote:I think tocyvi and Amber that you would change your mind if it happened to a member of your family

I accept the fact that I probably would feel violent to those who had wronged a member of my family but I know also that I would be wrong to put those feelings into practice. You simply can’t base good law on what people feel; you would have anarchy on the streets before the day’s out.

On a more practical point, however, would you, for example, hang all the members of a gang if one member commits murder in the presence of the others? Would you hang someone who is provoked beyond endurance? Would you hang someone for mercy killing? Would you hang someone who is mentally ill, as has just happened in Florida?

Tradzoner wrote:Can you tell me why these people have a right to survive! They tortured and starved to death a child and showed not one ounce of remorse. They go off to prison and if they don't get murdered there then they get released at huge cost with new identities etc, with a strong chance of doing it all over again.

I’m sure you’re wrong about the new identities. The only reason that James Bulger’s killers got a new identity was because they were “young offenders” and also because they were at risk from vigilantes. I’m fairly certain that it is not usual for murderers to get new ID’s, and certainly not at the taxpayer’s expense.

Regarding your point about recividism of murderers, I wasn’t able to find any figures, so I can’t comment on that directly but, even if we assume you’re right, that is a fault with the Prison Service and Criminal Justice System and not a reason for the state to kill them.

Tradzoner wrote:I don't limit it to humans, but what humans do to animals. If you have seen what the hunters do who have podencos and gaduelpos, ie; hanging them alive for fun to see how long they take to die.

You surely aren’t suggesting that you would institute the death penalty for cruelty to animals, are you?

Tradzoner wrote:There is no way I would change my mind in the same way as you would never change yours. So there would never be an agreement point unfortunately, its white or its black. Neutral Neutral

You obviously feel as strongly for the death penalty as I do against it, so you’re right: it’s unlikely that there will be a meeting of minds. I would leave you with one thought, however. There have been many miscarriages of justice over the years; some of these innocents would have been hanged. Could you live with the thought that not just one, but a considerable number of people, had gone to their deaths, knowing that they were innocent, simply because you and your friends had voted for a return of the death penalty.
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Re: Daniel Pelka....and other children

Post by pogo on Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:49 pm

Maybe the middle ground here is to make prison life very uncomfortable, with hard labour day in day out for their sentence.
Or is that against their human rights? Rolling Eyes

It would appear to me that some of the public (me Laughing ) would be happier if they knew that they were not having an easy (but boring...boo hoo) life in jail.

There are open prisons etc, so why not have the opposite for certain criminals?

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Re: Daniel Pelka....and other children

Post by tocyvi on Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:06 pm

pogo wrote:Maybe the middle ground here is to make prison life very uncomfortable, with hard labour day in day out for their sentence.
Or is that against their human rights? Rolling Eyes
It would appear to me that some of the public (me Laughing ) would be happier if they knew that they were not having an easy (but boring...boo hoo) life in jail.
There are open prisons etc, so why not have the opposite for certain criminals? Pogo

Hi Pogo. I agree. I am no advocate of prison being an easy life. There must be countless things that all criminals could undertake that would contribute something to society. I have never understood why this isn't an integral part of prison life: a) they pay something back for the crime(s) they've committed; b) 'society' sees something of substance in return for their time in prison and c) the criminal's time is used more valuably than it is at present.
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Re: Daniel Pelka....and other children

Post by edmoraz on Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:59 pm

There is no way prisone officers ( of which I was one until last week) can enforce any of this, offenders are put in prison to keep them off the streets and that is it.  No punishment other than being denied their liberty. They have up to 6 hourly visits a week from their friends or family. The have play station too and tv in their cell (with prison radio), they are fed and clothed, all their washing is done for them and occasionally , and I mean once in every Preston Guild, they have a proceeds of crime order enforced on them which is 10% if that of the money they have earned.
Victims have one advocate to every ten lineing up to help the poor criminal.
After 34 years I would flick the switch on a guilty murderer or child killer without loosing a moments sleep and of this there is no doubt.

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Re: Daniel Pelka....and other children

Post by Tradzoner on Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:53 pm

"I would leave you with one thought, however. There have been many miscarriages of justice over the years; some of these innocents would have been hanged. Could you live with the thought that not just one, but a considerable number of people, had gone to their deaths, knowing that they were innocent, simply because you and your friends had voted for a return of the death penalty."

I did say that I would not agree the death penalty for all, but there are some, as in this case, where you know 100% that these people committed the crime.

With DNA proof and improved camera surveillance there is much less chance of error in horrific crimes.

As edmoraz says, there is much more support for criminals than there are for the victims. Psychologists and social workers are probably the worse curse of our times and who try to validate why these people do it. As for human rights organisations, they make my blood boil. I reckon only 2% of their work is of any valid use.

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Re: Daniel Pelka....and other children

Post by tocyvi on Wed Aug 07, 2013 10:18 pm

edmoraz wrote:There is no way prisone officers ( of which I was one until last week) can enforce any of this

You have misunderstood the tenor of the discussion, I think. I am suggesting that this could be the case ie if the law were changed to permit it.

edmoraz wrote: offenders are put in prison to keep them off the streets and that is it.  No punishment other than being denied their liberty.

Are you sure? From what I have been able to find, The Service's statement of purpose states "Her Majesty's Prison Service serves the public by keeping in custody those committed by the courts. Our duty is to look after them with humanity and help them lead law-abiding and useful lives in custody and after release”

This means that the role of the Prison Service is considerably more than you suggest. Rehabilitation is also a part of their job.

edmoraz wrote:After 34 years I would flick the switch on a guilty murderer or child killer without loosing a moments sleep and of this there is no doubt.

Just as well you’re not in charge then, as far as I am concerned. With all this talk of people happily volunteering to do away with another person’s life, there is very little chance of creating a peaceful society.
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