LEADING children’s charity the NSPCC has praised a Warwickshire teacher’s action which brought to light the abuse of a six year-old boy.
The child’s 24-year-old father – who cannot be named for legal reasons – admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm on his son when he appeared at court in Leamington. He also pleaded guilty to three charges of neglect and was jailed for 17 months.
The Rugby teacher’s suspicions were alerted when the young boy arrived at school with a broken arm – claimed to be a result of “messing about with his father”.
Unhappy with the explanation, the teacher spoke with the boy who eventually revealed it was the result of being thrown across the room by his dad.
The NSPCC work to prevent child abuse.
Chris Cuthbert, NSPCC lead for neglect, said: “Thanks to the decisive action taken by a concerned and vigilant teacher – who refused to take an explanation for a significant injury for the little boy at face value – the vulnerable young children in this case have been protected from enduring further harm at the hands of their father.
“We know that too many children and young people are suffering in silence, reliant upon the adults around them to notice their distress and take action to put a stop to it.”
The teacher had noted warning signs prior to the event. The boy struggled with reading and writing, often looked disheveled and would arrive at school complaining he was hungry. His younger sister was described as “having a stale and damp smell about her” and a very limited vocabulary.
Mr Cuthbert added: “This is a distressing case of neglect and it is right that the perpetrator has been held to account for the appalling abuse of his helpless children.”
It echoed the tragic case of Daniel Pelka from Coventry who died last year following appalling abuse at the hands of his parents. The four-year-old death made national headlined and highlighted the need for vigilance, particularly on the part of teachers and social workers.
Mr Cuthbert said: “Every adult that comes into a child’s life can play a huge role in situations like this – not just those with child protection in their job titles, whether that’s teachers, sports coaches or indeed the neighbour next door.”
Warwickshire County Council said it was unable to comment on individual cases.
Anyone who has concerns about a child can call the 24hr NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000.