Shropshire

Archie Spriggs death: Father's fears before murder 'dismissed' by Shropshire social services

Archie Spriggs Image copyright FAMILY HANDOUT
Image caption Archie Spriggs was strangled by his mother Lesley Speed in 2017

The father of a seven-year-old boy killed by his mother on the day of a custody hearing said social services "repeatedly dismissed" his concerns.

Matthew Spriggs told the inquest into the death of Archie Spriggs he tried to protect his son from his ex-partner.

He contacted Shropshire social services for the third time in 2017 after Archie disclosed "several types of abuse and neglect", the court heard.

Lesley Speed, 44, was jailed last year for Archie's murder.

The inquest was told she strangled Archie at their home in Rushbury, Church Stretton, on 21 September, 2017.

In a statement read to Shropshire Coroner's Court by his lawyer, Mr Spriggs, of Shrewsbury, said he also asked Archie's school, West Mercia Police and Ofsted to investigate during June and July 2017.

"I contacted many organisations and I do not believe that any of the organisations took my concerns seriously," he said.

Mr Spriggs said he reported bruising to Shropshire Council in 2013, after his son said he had been "held upside down and shaken", and again in 2014.

"I informed social services that I had photographic evidence of his injuries, but they did not seek to take this from me," he said.

He contacted social services again following the May half-term in 2017.

Mr Spriggs said he was told staff would not investigate as their previous investigation "had not shown any threat level".

In the months before Archie's death he said he asked social services: "What is it going to take you to investigate? Bruises? Broken bones? Or my son to be killed by her?"

Shropshire coroner John Ellery was told part of Mr Spriggs' statement was disputed by the local authority and police force.

The inquest is expected to last two weeks.

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