Murder of Victoria Climbié

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Adjo Victoria Climbié (November 2, 1991 - February 25, 2000), better known as Anna Climbié or Victoria Climbié was born in Abobo near Abidjan in the Ivory Coast, and when she was aged seven she was sent by her parents to Europe with her great-aunt Marie Thérèse Kouao for a chance for an education. They travelled first to France, and then to England. In London, Kouao met bus-driver Carl Manning, and she and Victoria moved into his flat in Tottenham in July 1999. Here, Victoria was abused by both Kouao and Manning. She was admitted to casualty on February 24, 2000, unconscious and suffering from hypothermia; she died the next day. The Home Office pathologist noted 128 separate injuries and scars on her body.

Marie Thérèse Kouao and Carl Manning were charged with child cruelty and murder. During police interviews, both claimed that Victoria was possessed. Their trial ran from November 2000 to January 12, 2001. Both were found guilty, and were sentenced to life imprisonment.

Victoria's murder led to a public inquiry, chaired by Lord Herbert Laming, who investigated the role of social services, the NHS and police in her death. The Laming report found that on at least 12 occasions care workers could have saved her life. The highly critical report has lead to further reforms of the way child protection measures are implemented in the U.K., including the creation of a database to keep track of every child in Britain in order to better co-ordinate the notes of doctors and social workers.

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