The Victoria Climbié case
2nd November 1991
Victoria Adjo Climbié is born near Abidjan, the Ivory Coast.
Seven-year-old Victoria leaves Abobo in the Ivory Coast to lives with her aunt, Marie-Therese Kouao initially in Paris. Kouao takes the girl to London after she is pursued by French authorities over benefit payments.
On arrival in England, Victoria’s name is given as Anna because of the assumed identity on the false passport used to get her into Europe. Kouao takes a job as a hospital cleaner and the pair initially live in a hostel in north London. Some weeks later Victoria is on a bus with her aunt when they meet Carl Manning, the driver, for the first time.
Kouao and Victoria, who speaks no English, move into Carl Manning’s home in Tottenham, north London. Within days, Victoria would be suffering abuse at the hands of Carl Manning. That abuse would lead to her torture and death.
Victoria makes her first visit to the Central Middlesex Hospital after the daughter of her child-minder suspects the girl has non-accidental injuries. The doctor accepts Kouao’s story that Victoria has inflicted the wounds on herself by scratching at scabies sores. During this period, doctors alert child protection authorities as a precaution. Haringey social worker Lisa Arthurworrey and PC Karen Jones are assigned to the case. They later cancel a home visit scheduled for 4 August after hearing about the scabies.
Imran Khan and Partners represented the parents of Victoria Climbié – Francis and Berthe – during the Inquiry into her death.
The Inquiry investigated the circumstances surrounding Victoria’s death in February 2000 at the hands of her aunt, Marie-Therese Kouao and her boyfriend, Carl Manning, who were both found guilty of her murder.The Inquiry was chaired by Lord Laming who took evidence from all those involved in the case, including social services, health, housing and the police. The findings of the Inquiry were damning. It produced 108 recommendations to overhaul child protection.
House of Commons Health Committee The Victoria Climbié Inquiry Report Sixth Report of Session 2002-3