Crown Prosecution Service to revisit case of Shelly Adams following a damning review of her care of Bradley and Jayden Adams

Bradley and Jayden Adams, who died within three months of each other

Bradley and Jayden Adams, who died within three months of each other

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Health Reporter

A HAMPSHIRE mother could face new charges over the neglect of her two young children before their deaths, the Daily Echo can reveal.

Last night the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) confirmed it would revisit the case of Shelly Adams following a damning review which condemned her care of Bradley and Jayden, who died within three months of each other.

After being prompted by a Daily Echo investigation, they will now consult with Hampshire police – who once arrested the 28-year-old on suspicion of killing her sons but a lack of evidence meant no charges could be made.

It comes after three serious case reviews slammed Southampton’s social services for failing to protect ten children under their care – including the Adams brothers.

As reported yesterday, council bosses apologised for the catalogue of errors that saw a six-year-old girl suffer 92 injuries and a family of seven children abused by their own father.

But despite the shocking failures, no disciplinary action has been taken against any staff involved in the cases.

When the Daily Echo asked CPS Wessex whether it would revisit the case of Shelly Adams after the review confirmed her neglect, a spokesman said the service would consult with police.

But they stressed it did not mean there would definitely be any new arrests or charges.

Hampshire Police had previously said it would take no further action against Ms Adams following her initial arrest after Bradley’s death in April 2011.

A file passed to the CPS at the time contained “insufficient evidence” to prosecute, a decision supported by an external Queen’s Counsel review.

But following the CPS announcement, a police spokesman said: “Hampshire Constabulary understands that CPS Wessex intends to discuss the case with us in light of the Serious Case Review. This discussion has not yet taken place.”

The Daily Echo also contacted Ms Adams’ solicitors, Hannides & Co, to request a comment from her but their response was to hang up.

The other two serious case reviews related to incidents in 2012 and 2013 and parents of those children have been jailed.

Meanwhile, the decision not to discipline any staff at Southampton City Council has been criticised by Southampton Test MP Alan Whitehead.

He said: “These are cases where you would think that certainly there should be some form of discipline undertaken for those people involved, but in some instances it’s a case of multiple failures.

“It is difficult to pinpoint who is responsible but you would expect some form of discipline if it were possible.

“It is a very sorry catalogue of events. The agencies, which did not cause the neglect, had a big say whether the perpetrators of neglect could have been either stopped or apprehended at any stage.”

Around 50 per cent of staff in 2011 were agency workers although that figure has now dropped to around ten per cent.

And many staff involved in these cases have moved to other parts of the country but it is understood no record of their errors went with them.

Cllr Jeremy Moulton, who was in charge of children’s services in 2011, said this was something that should change.

He said: “If this is the case that is not right. Councils should not be employing people who have not performed; people who have not just failed, but failed drastically.

“If an individual has acted with misconduct in a case that has led to dreadful circumstances like those we have seen in Southampton then I think that should carry through to another employer. We only want to employ good workers as a council and I’m sure that is the same for other authorities.”

The Health and Care Professionals Council is the national body responsible for social workers but last night it was unable to confirm whether any Southampton employees had been reported to them for any failures.

Cllr Mark Chaloner, Cabinet member for children’s safeguarding since last December, said some members of the social services leadership team had left their jobs after performance reviews.

He said: “The people who were in charge at the time of these cases are no longer in charge but that was part of a natural change looking at events that occurred across two or more years.”

As previously reported, the council has made several changes to social services including creating a Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) where police, health and social workers meet daily to discuss cases.

Two more serious case reviews are ongoing, with one referring to seven-year-old Blake Fowler, who died after sustaining a head injury while at home with his mother’s partner.

The review is expected to be published in the autumn.

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