Baby was murdered by his father after social workers closed a previous case of abuse involving his family
PUBLISHED: 14:00 28 February 2019
A baby was subjected to “an appalling cycle of violence” before being murdered by his father, after social workers from Tower Hamlets Council closed a previous abuse case involving his family.
Tower Hamlets Council today apologised for a “pattern of poor social work practice” which led to the death of 13-week-old Rifat Miah.
Rifat, who was born with a hand deformity, had 38 rib fractures, eight leg fractures and a broken spine when he was found by paramedics on the floor of his home in Poplar on July 5 2016.
He died of a brain injury after two days in hospital and his parents, Mohammed Miah and Rebeka Nazmin, stood trial for his murder.
Today’s serious case review, in which Rifat is referred to as Elias, shows that the family was known to universal health professionals at the time of his death and there had been several previous interactions with the department.
The report found that, while social workers could not have predicted Rifat’s killing, there were missed opportunities where abuse could have potentially been identified.
Little was known about Rifat’s father Miah before the murder and his role in the family was never fully investigated.
Before Rifat was even born, his mother had been an alleged victim of domestic violence by another partner and had been accused of physically abusing another child.
However, that child’s injuries were never photographed or properly reported and a medical report was either “misinterpreted or at worst never read” by social workers.
“Clear evidence of abuse with injuries consistent with the children’s explanations was lost”, the report states. “The case was never stepped up and child protection meeting were not attended.”
Nazmin was spoken to by the police and social workers while seven months pregnant.
But the case was closed in June 2015 and never reopened.
“There was no predictor of the appalling cycle of violence the father would later inflict on his child after the family were no longer under our care,” Debbie Jones, corporate director children at Tower Hamlets Council, said.
“Why the father chose to do this was unclear to the court which jailed him for murder and his wife for failing to protect her baby.”
Miah, who was described as “grossly overweight” in court, tried to blame an autistic child living in the house for the killing.
But he was convicted of murdering his son after an Old Bailey trial in March 2017 and sentenced to at least 18 years in prison.
Nazmin was found guilty of causing or allowing the death of her baby and jailed for six years.