Social workers took my baby and gave him to a “monster”

She told the BBC: “I always expected him to come home. Contact meant the world to me. I even asked them to extend it to about two hours. They wouldn’t. I didn’t trust them. [the social workers]but I was willing to cooperate to get Leiland back.”

But when Covid hit the closed contact centre, she could only see her baby via video link.

Ms Corkill believes her lack of face-to-face contact with her son due to Covid and the closure of the center was one of the factors used against her by the council.

In July 2020, the family court issued an adoption order for Leiland-James.

Ms Corkill says she was devastated because she had not been told Cumbria County Council had already identified her son for adoption and found a family to place him with months earlier.

But in January 2021, the baby was taken to hospital by ambulance. Laura Castle told emergency services he fell off a sofa, injuring his head, and was unresponsive.

“It was wrong not to tell me”

A social worker phoned Ms Corkill, but did not tell her which hospital he was in.

“I had ups and downs all night. I just wanted to try to find out if I could go to every possible hospital to find him. It was wrong not to tell me.”

Cumbria County Council said only limited details had been released to him as his prospective adoptive parents were with him and the extent of the injuries were not known at the time. But the next day, when it became clear he was not to live, they called Laura within the hour.

Ms Corkill says that by the time she arrived at Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool, Leiland-James had died. The staff wouldn’t let her touch his body as it was evidence and part of a crime scene.

She says she knew instinctively that her child’s death was no accident.

“I said whoever got him killed him. The surgeon told me ‘we had suspicions about this and the investigation was opened as soon as Leiland-James entered the hospital’.”

Pathologists will later say in court that Leiland-James’ injuries had been a classic indicator of ‘overuse head trauma’ – a replacement term for ‘shaken baby syndrome’ – and were of the severity seen in car crashes. high speed.

A spokesman for Cumbria County Council said there were concerns Leiland-James’ needs could not be met and he had a duty to act.

He said Ms Corkill had been deemed unable to meet Leiland-James’ needs and that during her lifetime her situation had not changed.

An independent review of the case is expected to be released on Thursday.

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