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Officials Criticised over Killing of Cornish Schoolboy

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8:26am 6th July 2012
(Updated 8:26am 6th July 2012)

Pirate FM has learnt social workers and police have been criticised over the killing of a Newquay schoolboy in a house fire.

Detectives think Ben Philpotts' dad bludgeoned him over the head before setting their home ablaze.

The ten year old, mum Patricia and father Harold all died in January 2010.

Now a report by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Safeguarding Children Board reveals the forty-seven year old father had a history of mental health problems, leaving the mum so worried she phoned police and health workers a number of times.

Social workers ran an assessment on the family but decided the risks were not high enough.

The report reveals the dad had tried to find his own place to live but both his applications were caught up in a backlog.

The report calls for officials to share more information and makes eight recommendations for changes. But it says that "whilst practice within Mental Health Services and communication within and between agencies had many weaknesses, the violent death of the subject and his mother at the hands of his father could not have been foreseen."

In a statement Cornwall Council said, "The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Safeguarding Children Board have expressed their deepest sympathy to family members regarding the tragic death of the young person and his parents."

8:26am 6th July 2012

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