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Council refuses to publish full Serious Case Review report into failings Mistakes made in baby murder case, documents reveal

police as ‘low to medium’ risk of commit- ting domestic abuse and that other agen- cies were reluctant to challenge this. It added that the grading “did not always reflect the historic or ongoing concerns” and that there were “lessons to be learned” to safeguard children. The summary said McLaren was well- known to the police, probation services and the council’s children’s services, but that “practice in this case did not entirely follow the children in need procedures with the associated require- ments around visiting and multi-agency meetings”. In addition, the summary revealed, McLaren had been able to delay attend- ing a court-ordered ‘building better rela- tionships’ course. The summary added that not all prac- titioners were aware of “domestic abuse repeat incident meetings” and some professionals saw them as “police meet- ings and did not know that any profes- sional was able to refer cases”. Its author called on the council to write to the Ministry of Justice to raise a “system issue” in relation to the timescale for a ‘building better relation- ships’ programme to be completed if imposed as part of a community order. The Department for Education has stated that the key purpose of SCRs is to “enable lessons to be learned” and that “only by publishing SCRs will this greater level of transparency and accountability be improved”. n Continued on page 5

Report by JOHN GARVEY email john.garvey@newburynews.co.uk twitter @johng_nwn

HIGHCLERE was awash with hope and glory on Saturday as the Battle Proms returned to the picturesque backdrop of Highclere Castle. And there was good reason to be, as picnickers and promenaders broke the Battle Proms record for the highest amount of money raised for charity from the event. For more pictures, see pages 6 and 7 Battle Proms raises a bomb Hazard scare after body found Singingandflag-wavingattheBattlePromsatHighclereCastleonSaturday Ref: 32-1519N

MISTAKES were made by authorities in the build-up to an horrific baby murder, new documents reveal. But West Berkshire Council has taken the unusual step of refusing to publish the Serious Case Review (SCR) report into the death of four-and-a-half-month- old Jack McLaren in June 2017. Instead, a brief ‘learning summary’ has been published. Council spokeswoman Peta Stoddart- Crompton said withholding publication of the report had been done “in the inter- ests of the family”. During a two-week trial last October, jurors heard how Daniel McLaren, who had been entrusted with the sole care of Jack for the evening, shook his son so violently that he suffered catastrophic brain damage and died two days later. Jack’s mother Krystin Bartholomew had left the 30-year-old bricklayer at home with the boy in Fleetwood Close, Newbury, to celebrate her sister’s birth- day with a family meal. It emerged, too, that McLaren had also violently shaken Jack just weeks earlier, causing him serious injuries. He was convicted of murder and caus- ing grievous bodily harm with intent to another child and sentenced to life with a minimum of 22 years imprisonment. During the trial it emerged that

POLICE are investigating the unex- plained death of a man in Brimpton. Officers, ambulance crews, a bomb disposal and chemical hazard teams were called to a property in Enborne Way at 6.40pm on Sunday. A 45-year-old man was found dead at the scene. Officers are investigating the death, but have said that it is not believed to be suspicious. Some potentially hazardous material was identified at the property and some residents told the Newbury Weekly News that neighbours had been evacuated from their homes. A spokesman for Thames Valley Police said that the force could not confirm the identity of the substance at

Murderer Daniel McLaren

Emergencyrewsatthescene Ref: 32-1719I

McLaren had notched up convictions for 33 offences, including 10 for battery, one for inflicting grievous bodily harm and another for wounding. He also was convicted of an offence of affray and causing criminal damage. The SCR summary nevertheless reveals he had been categorised by

this stage. The man has not yet been formally identified by police. Residents reported that police dogs and bomb disposal crews returned to the property as the NWN was going to press yesterday (Wednesday).

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