Casey Leigh Mullen was just two years-old back in 2007 when she was raped and murdered by her own uncle. Now, social services are under fire for ignoring clear warning signs that Casey was in danger.
Michael Mullen, 21, came home drunk one night in 2007 to find baby Casey asleep in her bed. He then raped the toddler and strangled her to death. He had been out drinking beer and vodka with his brother David, Casey’s father.
Casey was found the next morning in a pool of blood. Even seasoned detectives were disturbed by the case, saying it was “wickedness beyond belief.”
Unfortunately, this was not the first time a relative had been violent with Casey. Two years before, 10 month-old Casey was rushed to the hospital by her family with burns on her legs caused by a hair straightener.
While police and medics believed the burns were accidental at the time, doctors at the hospital said that the burns “were more than likely non-accidental.”
Social services routinely investigates families after injuries such as this, but no core assessment of the family was ever completed after this incident. Authors of a recent case review wrote the following, referring to Casey as Child J:
“Opportunities to collate and assess information through the completion of a core assessment on the children were not taken.
Children’s Social Services identified the need to prioritize other high risk cases, with capacity constraints as an underlying factor in the failure to allocate a social worker to complete the core assessment.
The decision to close the case and the reason for such a course of action was not considered by a senior manager.
It is not possible to say that the tragedy of child J’s death would have been foreseen or prevented had the core assessment been completed but it should have highlighted the range of risk factors to which the children were exposed and triggered a multi agency response.”
Directors of Child Services in the area have said that they will take measures to make changes based on the review’s findings.
Mullen was sentenced to a minimum of 35 years in jail and was also branded a “violent and dangerous” pedophile by the judge.
Is this a fitting punishment for Mullen’s crime? Did social services drop the ball on this? Sound off in the comments below!