A week after a social worker ignored 'tittle tattle' warnings, this two year-old girl was dead

A YORKSHIRE social worker did not act on concerns about a toddler a week before she was murdered because she believed it was "tittle-tattle", a conduct hearing heard today.

Sanam Navsarka, of Huddersfield, died on May 8 2008 following weeks of appalling abuse in which she suffered more than 100 injuries.

Subhan Anwar was jailed for a minimum of 23 years for her murder, while her mother, Zahbeena Navsarka, was jailed for nine years after being found guilty of her manslaughter.

Judyth Kenworthy, a former family placement officer at Kirklees Council, admitted she failed to pass on warnings on May 1 2008 from Jacqueline Peel, who ran a home for vulnerable people, that Sanam had a bruise on her head.

Mrs Peel was alerted to the toddler's injury when the girl's aunt brought her to stay at the home.

Mrs Peel told the General Social Care Council conduct hearing in central London that the aunt said Sanam was often injured after being left with her sister's partner, Anwar.

"I know she did say, that every day the sister left the little girl with this man, there were marks," she said.

Mrs Peel told investigators that the injury was discussed with Mrs Kenworthy at the end of a meeting about a separate resident.

Presenting officer Marios Lambis said: "With that rather startling and worrying information brought to her, the registrant (Mrs Kenworthy] simply told Mrs Peel that Ms C (the aunt] should talk to someone if she had concerns about the child.

"It could be said that Mrs Kenworthy was passing the buck."

He added: "The way in which this information was reported, coupled with Jacqueline Peel's tendency to tittle-tattle, didn't make Mrs Kenworthy feel that there was an immediate risk."

As Mrs Peel was giving evidence, Mr Lambis said: "Mrs Kenworthy suggested that you often passed information about others to her and the possible effect was she couldn't take it seriously because you tittle-tattled about other people constantly to her."

When asked if this was a fair criticism, Mrs Peel replied: "I don't really know. I only told her about people in the home if something was happening that shouldn't have been happening."

Although her statement to police mentioned she had told Mrs Kenworthy that Sanam had been locked in a cupboard, she was now "not sure" if this was true.

Mrs Kenworthy agrees that as a result of her actions no measures were taken to safeguard Sanam, and she also admits withholding information when she gave a statement to police.

But she denies Mrs Peel warned her that Sanam had been locked in a cupboard.

Mr Lambis said: "It is impossible to speculate what may have happened if Mrs Kenworthy had reported these matters and whether Child A (Sanam] could have been saved.

"What is certain here, and can be seen, is by not doing her duties correctly, that child was denied of a tier of protection that she was entitled to and so Kirklees Council and the police were denied information which may have protected the child."

He added: "The facts in this case also show that in truth, you must not permit the experience of training to usurp common sense or overturn established practice."

The trial of Navsarka and Anwar at Bradford Crown Court in 2009 heard two-year-old Sanam, who had fractures to all four limbs, died after fatty deposits from her broken thigh bones entered her bloodstream.

Sanam's tiny hand prints and bloodstains were found inside cupboards, where she had been put as a punishment.

A metal pole was used to shatter Sanam's leg and she was bruised and battered repeatedly in the four weeks before her death.

The judge told the pair: "Your deliberate cruelty is beyond belief."