Police say they 'should have been stronger' in warning social services of danger to Northampton toddler
Northamptonshire Police has apologised for not making "a strong enough case" when trying to warn social services of the danger a drug-dealing father posed to his Northampton toddler in the months before he was murdered.
Two-year-old Dylan Tiffin-Brown was beaten to death by his father, Raphael Kennedy, at the 32-year-old drug dealer's flat in December 2017.
But a serious case review into the failings surrounding the toddler's death (published today, June 5) called out children's services, social services and the police for not paying enough attention to the risk Dylan faced in the care of his abusive father.
At the launch of the damning report today, Northamptonshire Police assistant chief constable Simon Blatchly spoke to the Chronicle and Echo.
He said: "When we raised concerns about drug dealing and domestic violence [in Kennedy's history] there is the concern we should have been stronger in saying a child was at risk instead of accepting that a partner agency would be able to handle it.
"The police fully accepts [this] report and will be working to implement its recommendations."
It is still not known what triggered the brutal assault Kennedy inflicted on his son - but a post-mortem revealed the two-year-old sustained at least 39 bruises, 13 rib fractures and a lacerated liver when he died.
The boy's death came only two months after Kennedy found out he was the father and began looking after the little boy in an on-and-off arrangement.
Later, during the murder trial, evidence suggested Dylan could have sustained injuries as early as the first two weeks in his father's care.
In fact, social services only found out that Dylan was occasionally staying at his father's when police raided the drug-dealer's flat and found the two-year-old there.
Drugs were found in the flat and "there was reason to understand [Dylan] was left on his own in the flat for periods of time."
Meanwhile, Kennedy was known to police for drug dealing and domestic violence. His criminal record began as early as 1999 when he was 12.
But despite all this, Dylan was not seen by any social worker in the two months leading up to his murder.
The report heavily criticised Northamptonshire County Council, the police and other agencies for not showing "professional curiosity" into Dylan's wellbeing and not working together to realise a child could have been at risk.
Keith Makin, chairman of Northamptonshire Safeguarding Children Board and author of the report said: "We as a board could not find a direct link between the actions taken - or not taken - by the involved agencies in this child's murder.
"But there were serious errors of judgement made."