Police have charged a man and a woman after a pre-school child was found close to death in Perth and Kinross, we can reveal.
A spokeswoman for the force said a man and a woman in their 30s had been charged in connection with alleged child protection offences.
We previously reported that a concerned member of the public contacted police in 2018 after spotting the “deathly” appearance of a youngster, who has become known as “Child B” to protect their identity.
After being admitted to hospital, a report said the child was found to have severe anaemia, an extensive headlice infection and teeth which were decayed and described as “stumps”.
Urgent treatment followed, including a blood transfusion, with healthcare support continuing over several weeks.
Without intervention, a review concluded the health complications could have been “fatal”.
Significant “missed opportunities” for early and effective action by child protection agencies were identified in a report which made 16 recommendations to tighten-up procedures last year.
Police initially ruled out a probe into the case but launched an investigation last year after reviewing their previous decision.
A force spokeswoman said a report had now been submitted to the procurator fiscal.
A significant case review (SCR) was carried out following Child B’s hospitalisation, led by Perth and Kinross Council improvement officer Julie Baker.
The study was hit by significant delays as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, but was eventually completed in June last year.
After we revealed the findings of the SCR in September, Barbara Renton, chairwoman of the Perth and Kinross chief officers’ group, said: “Whilst recognising that this was, at times, a very challenging and complex case for the agencies involved, it is never acceptable when a vulnerable child is exposed to significant harm.
“The chief officers’ group has acknowledged the findings and accepts all of the recommendations included within the SCR report.
“Whilst noting the amount of improvement work already undertaken across the partnership, we will continue to receive regular updates on the recommendations, through the work of the child protection committee.”
‘Learn the lessons’
Bill Atkinson, independent chairman of the Perth and Kinross child protection committee, said at the time: “It is important that we continue to learn the lessons from reviewing our work to keep children and young people safe from harm, abuse and neglect.
“National and local guidance sets out the circumstances in which a SCR should be undertaken and I would like to thank the lead reviewer for the thoroughness of this SCR report.
“This report, not only allows us to learn lessons and make improvements, but allows us to consider further the needs of our dedicated and committed workforce, which works together to provide better outcomes for children and young people across Perth and Kinross.”