Murdered Salford Girl "Failed" By Social Services

A 12-year-old girl who was drugged, raped and murdered by her uncle was failed by social workers, a report has said.

Tia Rigg was killed by John Maden, who had become obsessed with violent child porn and "snuff' videos, on April 3, 2010.

A serious case review found that although the girl had come into contact with a number of social service agencies in Salford during her life, her death could not have been "predicted or prevented".

Maden, 38, lured his niece to his home in Cheetham Hill on the pretext of her babysitting for his child.

He then drugged and bound Tia before carrying out a horrifying sexual attack on her and then stabbing and strangling her with a guitar wire.

The serious case review found there was no reason to believe Tia's uncle posed a threat to her but concluded there were "missed opportunities".

It said social services should have recognised that Tia, referred to as Child H in the report, was at risk because of her unstable home environment.

She had been on the child protection register since before she was born due to her mother's drug addiction and violent behaviour.

In 1998, child protection agencies said she was "likely to suffer neglect". This was later changed to "likely to suffer physical abuse".

As Tia and her siblings were handled by different local authorities, there was an inconsistency on how severe their situation was regarded by social services departments.

In May 2009 it was decided that child protection plans that had been in place since 2004 would be discontinued.

The report concluded that this decision was flawed and based on inaccurate information about Lynne Rigg and the family's situation.

Between October 2009 and March last year there were seven incidents within Tia's family which should have prompted Salford children's services to consider taking legal action to protect her and her siblings.

The report said while these missed opportunities did not directly lead to her death, they did increase the risk of neglect she faced during her life.

Child protection services in Salford are already currently under review and subject to an improvement plan because of past failures.

The department has been radically transformed since 2009 when another serious case review revealed systemic failings surrounding the murder of Demi Leigh Mahon, aged two, another child known to social services, who was battered to death by her 15-year-old babysitter Karl McCluney.

Two subsequent Ofsted inspections have also criticised the department, which is judged to now be improving.

Gill Rigg, Chair of Salford's Safeguarding Board, said: "This report does highlight a number of missed opportunities to help this child and it is important all of the agencies involved learn from this so they can better protect children living in Salford.

"In Salford, we have already implemented a multi-agency action plan that is being monitored by the Safeguarding Board to ensure these changes happen.

"A lot has already been achieved but we are continuing to work to ensure all children living in the city are fully protected from harm."

Tia's uncle pleaded guilty to her murder and was jailed for life at Manchester Crown Court last October.

Mr Justice Keith called the case "truly exceptional" and gave Maden a mandatory life sentence with the recommendation he should never be released from jail.