THE MOTHER and step father of a seven year old boy who died three years ago have been arrested in connection with his suspected murder, the Daily Echo can exclusively reveal.
In a dramatic new development surrounding the death of Blake Fowler, Hampshire police have confirmed that three arrests have been made after they re-opened the investigation into how he died.
In an unprecedented move the force has also issued an apology for the initial investigation into the Southampton schoolboy’s death in 2011 which they have called “unsatisfactory.”
The three suspects who last night remained in custody are Blake's mother Sarah Spacagna, pictured below, her partner Peter Meek and his brother Philip Meek.
Both men were arrested on suspicion of murder and on suspicion or causing or allowing the death of a child. Ms Spacagna was arrested on suspicion of causing or allowing the death of a child.
The trio spent yesterday being questioned by detectives from Hampshire's Major Investigation Team after officers swooped on addresses in Southampton in a series of morning raids.
Hampshire police have confirmed to the Daily Echo that the extraordinary development was part of a fresh inquiry by the force, named Operation Katla, after the case was reviewed by specialist officers.
A spokesman said: “Two men, aged 24 and 25, have been arrested on suspicion of murder, and causing or allowing the death of a child, and a 28-year-old woman was arrested for causing or allowing the death of a child. They were arrested at addresses in Southampton, and have been taken into custody where they will be interviewed.”
As previously reported by the Daily Echo, Blake died after suffering head injuries at a house in Cromarty Road in Lordshill on December 3, 2011.
He was taken to Southampton General Hospital where he died the following day.
At the time he suffered his injuries, Blake was in the care of Peter and Philip Meek while his mother Sarah was out shopping.
Both men were arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm.
A subsequent police investigation resulted in both of them being released with no further action being taken against them.
This newspaper subsequently revealed that the decision not to proceed with any charges was taken by Hampshire police officers.
The case file from the original investigation was never passed to the Crown Prosecution Service - the body in charge of deciding whether there is enough evidence to pursue a prosecution.
Arrested: Blake's ste father Peter Meek
An inquest into the death of the seven year old was then held in November last year to examine the circumstances of Blake's death.
Coroner Keith Wiseman concluded that there was no way of knowing how he suffered a brain haemorrhage that caused his death.
Mr Wiseman, below, ruled that due to the inconsistencies in the accounts given to the police about what happened, there was no way of knowing for certain how Blake came to suffer the head injury that killed him, and returned an open determination.
The case is currently subject to a Serious Case Review, overseen by the Local Safeguarding Children's Board. Such reviews are commissioned where there is a question mark over whether more could have been done to prevent the death or serious injury of a child who was known to the authorities.
The Daily Echo understands that the LSCB has been notified of yesterday's arrests and that the publication of their findings will be delayed until after the conclusion of any criminal proceedings.
How the Daily Echo has reported the case:
- Seven-year-old Blake died of head injuries post mortem finds
- Pair will not face charges over Blake's death
- Inquests launched into the death's of young children
- Social services under the spotlight after deaths of young children
- MP calls for police review into deaths of children
- Big shake up for social services in wake of child deaths
- New child safeguarding boss appointed in Southampton
- Social services 'have learnt lessons' after Blake's death