Springingtiger's Blog

Little Deaths, Great Cruelty

I remember  vividly, nearly twenty years ago, reading the press coverage of the last days of Heidi Louise Koseda with tears pouring down my face. Twenty years on the memory brings back those tears and makes me physically nauseous. I don’t know why Heidi’s murder has haunted me for so long, perhaps because it made more aware of a human cruelty that had been beyond my power to imagine; would that it had remained so. This week the horror returned as the press covered the trial of Daniel Pelka’s mother  and her partner.

I find it utterly incomprehensible that a mother can not only allow her child to be tortured and starved, but actively participate. I have grown up with stories of mothers going hungry so their children might eat, and of the sacrifices parents have made for their children. The sad short lives of Daniel and Heidi violate everything I believe about parenthood. I had thought them aberrations until I made the mistake of looking up reports for this blog and found this article in the Guardian. Catalogue of Cruelty  

As always after these cases there will be recriminations and much wringing of hands and recommendations will be made to prevent it happening again, it always happens again as this Telegraph piece suggests. “What Have We Learned?”

It is easy  to blame the social services for these tragedies, but let’s not forget the real blame must lie with the parents who kill their children. Social workers are always trapped in the middle, condemned when they interfere for propagating a “nanny state” and when they don’t, for neglect. Perhaps it’s time we supported social workers to do their jobs, surely it’s better to be over protective than allow allow another child to be tortured to death!


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