Witney school walk death girl Liberty Baker funeral held

Liberty Baker Liberty attended Henry Box School in Witney

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The funeral of a 14-year-old girl who was killed when a car mounted the pavement and hit four pedestrians has taken place in Oxfordshire.

Liberty Baker died after being hit in Curbridge Road, Witney, as she walked to school on 30 June.

Her funeral was held at Our Lady and St Hugh Catholic Church earlier.

The church bulletin described her "well-loved and popular" and that her death had come as "an incredible shock to the whole community".

Liberty was a Year 9 student at Henry Box School in Witney when she died. She was also a former pupil of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Primary School school.

In a previous statement, her family said they were "heartbroken" and added: "Her glowing smile lit up our lives."

Tributes have also been paid to Liberty by friends on social networking sites and by Prime Minister David Cameron, the MP for Witney.

Two other 14-year-old girls and a man - who were all pedestrians - were also hit by the blue Citroen C2.

An 18-year-old man arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving has been released on bail until 10 August.

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BBC Local Live

    11:48: 'Deeply disturbing'

    The College of Social Work says the serious case review will have "far-reaching consequences".

    Jo Cleary, chairwoman, said: "The findings of the serious case review are deeply disturbing, and should have far-reaching consequences for the way we deal with child sexual exploitation in this country - from the frontline to leadership level.

    "That these girls were dismissed, disbelieved and derided by so many and for so long is simply unacceptable.

    She said social workers must be able to exercise the professional leadership when responding to difficult and complex practice issues.

    11:44: Police made 'snide comments'

    During the press conference, Maggie Blyth said that complaints from parents were not given the weight they deserved.

    She said there was a "professional tolerance" of police who were aware of young adults sleeping with men. One girl told the inquiry police made "snide comments" about what was going on.

    Ms Blyth said: "I am personally deeply saddened."

    Maggie Blyth
    11:41: 'Soaked with blood'

    Another victim told the serious case review: "I turned up at the police station at 02:00 GMT, blood all over me, soaked through my trousers to the crotch.

    "They dismissed it as being naughty, a nuisance. I was bruised and bloody.

    "A WPC found me drunk with men. I said I was ok and she went away and left me with them. I was abused that night."

    11:38: 'Junior staff saw the problem' Dave Gilyeat BBC News

    Eventually the the scale of the child abuse was discovered by more junior staff working nearer the coal face, including a drugs worker for the city council, a social worker, and a detective inspector, who were working on their own initiative.

    11:36: 'Tip of the iceberg'

    Maggie Blyth, presenting the report, said the abuse discovered could be the "tip of the iceberg".

    She said: "I think we are seeing the tip of the iceberg in Oxfordshire.

    "It is impossible to name the number of perpetrators at this stage, but I think what is working well is the increasing number of convictions."

    11:34: 'No disciplinary action'

    Maggie Blyth said she was unaware of any disciplinary action being taken, but said the local authorities in question could clarify this.

    She also said the identities of all professionals involved in the cases had been hidden in the report to protect the victims.

    All victims of sexual abuse are given life-long anonymity.

    11:32: 'Appalling abuse'

    Ms Blyth added: "It is shocking that these children were subjected to such appalling sexual exploitation for so long."

    11:30: Sixty 'learning points'

    Maggie Blyth told reporters at a news conference there had been 60 "learning points" identified within the review.

    She said there are also 13 recommendations to Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children's Board on what can be improved in the future.

    Ms Blyth said: "I would like to apologise for how long it took agencies in Oxfordshire to see what was happening and see the perpetrators were brought to justice."

    11:27: 'Dismissed as a nuisance'

    Another victim, who submitted information for the report, said: "They did not look on me as a child. In my head I was older, but really truly I wasn't.

    "The police never asked me why [I went missing]- they just took me home. I was put in a secure unit because I kept going missing - I thought I was being punished.

    "I made a complaint about a man who trafficked me from a children's home. He was arrested, released, and trafficked me again."

    11:25: Exploitation could have been identified

    Maggie Blyth continued: "The report concludes that child sexual exploitation between 2005 and 2010 could have been identified sooner.

    "Rather than a top-down approach, agencies worked in isolation. It is only down to the diligence of staff on the ground that the true picture of what was happening began to emerge."

    Maggie Blyth
    11:23: Girls not seen as victims Dave Gilyeat BBC News

    The report found that there was almost no knowledge of gang-related child sexual exploitation nationally at the time.

    The girls, aged between 11 and 15, were seen as "difficult girls making bad choices".

    The language used by professionals was one which saw the girls as a source, and not the victims of their extreme behaviour, and they received much less sympathy as a result.

    11:22: 'Indescribably awful' Dave Gilyeat BBC News

    Five of the seven convicted abusers were of Pakistani heritage and two were of east African heritage.

    The victims were all white British girls. There is no evidence showing that any agency didn't act when they should have done because of racial sensitivities.

    Operation Bullfinch and subsequent prosecutions have shown concerted and rigorous action. The report says: "What happened was indescribably awful."

    11:19: 'Deeply disturbing'

    Maggie Blyth, the independent chair of Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children's Board, which wrote the report, is talking now.

    She said: "Organisations were aware there had been serious failings in the system so some of what was discovered was already known.

    "However I'm surprised to see the systemic failings across the period of 2005 and 2010. I was very personally shocked, I found the experiences and what happened to these children deeply disturbing."

    11:14: Police and council apologised Hannah Bewley BBC News Online

    After the case concluded, Oxfordshire County Council social services and the police apologised for not acting sooner.

    All girls had had some contact with Thames Valley Police and Oxfordshire County Council's children's services during the abuse.

    11:12: What is Operation Bullfinch? Hannah Bewley BBC News Online

    The serious case review looked at the authorities' roles in identifying and preventing child sexual exploitation.

    Abuse in Oxford was uncovered during Operation Bullfinch, which culminated in Mohammed Karrar, 38, his brother Bassam Karrar, 34, another set of brothers, Akhtar Dogar, 32, and Anjum Dogar, 31, and Kamar Jamil, 27, Assad Hussain, 32, and Zeeshan Ahmed, 28, being jailed in June 2013.

    The gang groomed and sexually abused six girls aged between 11 and 15 by plying them with alcohol and drugs before forcing them to perform sex acts.

    (Top L-R) Mohammed Karrar, Bassam Karrar, Akhtar Dogar, Anjum Dogar, (Bottom) Kamar Jamil, Assad Hussain, Zeesham Ahmed
    11:10: 'It was a bit exciting'

    In the review the victims detail their experiences.

    One said: "It was all a bit exciting. Suddenly the guys were bringing me stuff. They would buy us things.

    "It was exciting, Asian boys with flash cars. When the grooming started they were so kind and nice. It was attractive - then things started to change."

    11:08: 'Trafficked while in care'

    The mother of one of the victims said: "I ended up not knowing whether my daughter was more at risk from the services than she was from the men who were clearly using and abusing her.

    "I was giving social services and the police names and addresses... this went on for years, day after day, and nothing I was saying was being listened to or taken seriously at the time.

    "I knew way back in 2005 that my 13-year-old daughter was being trafficked while in the care of Oxfordshire County Council. I put that in a letter and they totally ignored it."

    11:06: 'Picked up outside offices'

    The victim continued: "They [the men] used to pick girls up outside social services offices on the Cowley Road, if that doesn't say something than I don't know what does."

    She accused the council of being insincere after receiving a letter from them three days before the review was published, which she believes was a photocopy sent to a number of individuals.

    11:03: Authorities were the worst - victim

    One of the victims, who was 13 years old at the time, said: "[To the authorities] we were just troublesome girls, probably a bit gobby, a bit aggressive and they just didn't want to know.

    "No-one in the local authority ever wanted to believe or hear that we'd either been raped of trafficked. They were the worst in my eyes of anybody."

    11:01: 'Lack of knowledge and understanding' Dave Gilyeat BBC News

    The serious case review foreword states that "child victims and their families feel very let down".

    The report has seen no evidence of "wilful neglect" or misconduct by organisations, but says at times there was "a worrying lack of curiosity which was not followed through".

    It states that the overall failings were a lack of knowledge and understanding around a concept (child sexual exploitation) that few understood.

    11:00: 'Guidance not followed' Michael Stoddard BBC News,

    The serious case review into child sexual exploitation following Operation Bullfinch has been released by the Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board.

    The report found no evidence of any wilful neglect but says the issue of child sexual exploitation and street grooming was not understood, and national guidance was not followed by the authorities.

    11:00: 'More than 370 children at risk' Michael Stoddard BBC News,

    More than 370 children were potential victims of sexual abuse in Oxford which was allowed to continue for years despite the authorities being warned it was happening, a report has found.

    Serious Case Review

    The girls, aged between 11 and 15, were treated as young adults rather than children, so it was assumed they had control of their actions.

    10:53: Serious case review to be published

    Just a reminder - at 11:00 a serious case review into child sex exploitation in Oxford will be published which is expected to heavily criticise authorities for the way they handled it.

    We will bring you live coverage here of all the major talking points, plus reaction.

    10:47: Join up care call BBC Radio Oxford

    There's a call to join up health and social care in Oxfordshire and across the country, from the care minister Norman Lamb.

    He's been telling us the current approach is too fragmented.

    Mr Lamb says he wants to see change within three years, whoever's in government after the election.

    10:35: Mini run Oxford Mail

    The streets of Oxfordshire were transported back in time yesterday as a convoy of vintage cars made its way through the county.

    Mini enthusiast Tanya Field organised the run from the Cowley Plant in Oxford to Nuffield Place in South Oxfordshire to mark the re-opening of Lord Nuffield's birthplace following its winter closure.

    10:19: Campsfield questions from MP

    Sarah Teather MP has told BBC Radio Oxford expanding Campsfield House, the immigration detention centre, "is not a sensible use of taxpayer money".

    The Lib Dem chaired a panel of MPs which has released a report which said immigration detention should be capped at 28 days.

    An application is due to be considered by Cherwell District Council to double the size of the controversial site near Kidlington.

    Sarah Teather
    10:07: Fish eater banned

    The RSPCA has released a video of a man swallowing a goldfish for the Neknominate online craze.

    Luke Berry swallowing goldfish

    Luke Berry has been banned from owning fish for five years after he admitted causing unnecessary suffering to an animal at Oxford Magistrates' Court.

    He was also ordered to carry out community service and must do 120 hours unpaid work and pay £500 costs.

    The RSPCA described it as a "callous and cruel way to treat a living creature".

    09:53: News on the hour Clare Woodling Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

    Coming up on BBC Radio Oxford at 10:00:

    David Cameron is proposing to make it a criminal offence for a person in authority to fail to protect a child from sexual exploitation.

    The measures would apply to teachers, police officers, social workers and councillors.

    09:38: Jail for failing to protect children? BBC News UK

    Teachers, councillors and social workers in England and Wales who fail to protect children could face up to five years in jail under new proposals.

    The new measures, being unveiled by the prime minister, would see the crime of "wilful neglect" extended to cover children's social care and education.

    There would also be unlimited fines for individuals and organisations shown to have let children down.

    The government's proposals - also to include a national helpline being set up to enable professionals to report bad practice - are a response to child abuse scandals in Rotherham, Oxford and elsewhere.

    09:20: Pensioner dies in M40 crash

    A pensioner has died in a crash on the M40 near Oxford.

    The collision involving a Volvo happened on the northbound carriageway between Junction 8a and 9 at 15:00 yesterday. The motorway was closed for nearly three hours for investigation work.

    The man in his 70s died at the scene. A woman in her 70s was taken to the JR2 hospital in Oxford by air ambulance with serious injuries.

    09:05: 'More than 300 exploited' The Guardian

    More than 300 young people have been groomed and sexually exploited by gangs of men in Oxfordshire in the past 15 years, a damning report into the failures of police and social services to stop years of sexual torture, trafficking and rape will reveal, the Guardian has learned.

    The victims, mostly girls, come predominantly from Oxford.

    One senior investigative source said: "If you think you haven't got a problem in your city or town, you are just not looking for it."

    Child abuse
    08:52: News on the hour Charles Nove BBC Radio Oxford

    Coming up on the BBC Radio Oxford news at 09:00:

    A single vehicle crash on the M40 near Oxford has left one man dead and a woman with serious injuries.

    A man his 70s died at the scene of the collision between junctions 8A and 9 at about 15:00 yesterday.

    08:40: Kanye in Oxford

    Well, did you spot superstar Kanye West in town yesterday?

    Kanye West

    The US rapper was visiting Oxford's Museum of Natural History after being invited by a student society.

    He walked in to a standing ovation, but according to the independent student newspaper Versa, he looked unimpressed.

    Among a host of other things, he told students that President Obama calls his home phone and the Nobel Peace Prize needs an awards show like the Brits.

    08:26: Proud not to be private Oxford Mail

    The head teacher of a Headington school has said parents should not "waste their money" on private education after it received a glowing Ofsted report.

    Jolie Kirby, headteacher at Cheney School, said it offered activities such as debating, rowing, lacrosse and classics - staples of a private school - but without the bill.

    08:13: 'No hiding' from failures Michael Stoddard BBC News, Southampton

    There is "no hiding" from the failures of authorities in Oxfordshire where young girls were groomed, a retired detective has told the BBC.

    Police and social services are expected to be heavily criticised at 11:00 when the scale of sexual exploitation is revealed in a serious case review.

    (Top L-R) Mohammed Karrar, Bassam Karrar, Akhtar Dogar, Anjum Dogar, (Bottom) Kamar Jamil, Assad Hussain, Zeesham Ahmed

    Seven men were jailed in 2013 for abusing girls between 2004 and 2012.

    Lead investigator Det Ch Insp Simon Morton said police "completely let the girls down".

    08:07: Bright and breezy Holly Green BBC Weather

    Rather cloudy with some rain in the east first thing, however this will soon clear to leave a bright and breezy day with isolated light rain showers, although most areas should stay largely dry.

    Holly Green
    08:00: Good morning Hannah Bewley BBC News Online

    Good morning and welcome to BBC Local Live for Oxfordshire on Tuesday.

    We'll be bringing you the latest news, sport, travel and weather from across the county.

    You can get in touch throughout the day and tell us what you're up to via email, Facebook or Twitter.



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