Yet, while the lengthy custodial sentences passed down are also indicative of the unforgivable crimes committed against a defenceless 16-month-old little girl in lockdown last year, Bradford Council’s culpability must be thoroughly examined.
Just six weeks ago, the Labour-run council faced the wrath of the House of Commons over its mishandling of child sexual exploitation cases involving grooming gangs. Now Keighley MP Robbie Moore’s charge at Prime Minister’s Questions was even more damning, namely “political correctness appears to have been put before the welfare of children”.
It will be for the inquiries now under way to determine if this was the case. What cannot be overlooked, however, is that at least five different family members and friends raised Star’s plight with social services and police over an eight-month period.
They all deserve a far fuller explanation than the brief words of regret and sorrow offered by the council thus far as well as reassurances that every council is reviewing their monitoring arrangements for at-risk children, and others, as the threat of another lockdown grows.
But the question for Bradford Council leader Susan Hinchcliffe and chief executive Kersten England today is this. They complain that they cannot trust Ministers over investment in their city’s future. Yet, after Star was murdered in such horrific and avoidable circumstances on their watch, how can they and their teams, as public servants, be trusted to act correctly on behalf of society’s most vulnerable? Their answers are awaited – not least by Star’s family.
Support The Yorkshire Post and become a subscriber today. Your subscription will help us to continue to bring quality news to the people of Yorkshire. In return, you’ll see fewer ads on site, get free access to our app, receive exclusive members-only offers and access to all premium content and columns. Click here to subscribe.