Radio Sandwell Local News

Baby Harli Reid's death 'not preventable'

2015-03-30 17:34:22

Harli Reid
Harli was killed by her father the first time he took sole care of her

The death of a 10-week old girl who was killed by her father could not "have been predicted nor prevented", a serious case review has found.

Harli Reid suffered significant brain damage in December 2010 when she was shaken by her father Kurt Delves, who later admitted manslaughter.

Birmingham Safeguarding Children Board said: "The person responsible for Harli's death is her father."

This contradicts initial findings that the death could have been prevented.

Delves, from Birmingham, was jailed for three years and nine months, in November 2013.

'Some challenges'

Jane Held, independent chair of the multi-agency board, said: "This was a tragedy and my thoughts are with Harli's family.

"The person responsible for Harli's death is her father, who shook her so severely the first time he had sole responsibility for his daughter that it caused fatal injuries."

Kurt Delves
Kurt Delves had learning difficulties

An initial report by the board found it was difficult to assess whether the death was predictable but it was "possible that the death of Harli could have been prevented" had "sufficient support by professionals been given".

However, the board's executive reviewed the facts and evidence in the court case and found Harli's death "could neither have been predicted nor prevented".

"This was a family who had some challenges to cope with but who were well supported as new parents, and were loving and attentive to Harli," Ms Held said.

"While this is an extremely sad case, it must be remembered that Harli's father admitted responsibility for killing his daughter."

The report did find that some areas of practice could have been improved.

For example, it suggested the extent of Delves's learning difficulties could have been explored at antenatal appointments to see how this might affect his parenting ability.

Midwifes have since been trained to include fathers in routine assessments, it said.


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