In 2009, a woman suffering from bi-polar disorder killed her six-week-old baby by stuffing pages of the Bible down the infant’s throat, dousing the child in mineral turpentine and then jumping on her tiny body. The horrifically tragic incident took place near Cambridge, United Kingdom.
The mother, 41-year-old Julia Lovemore, has been described as a Christian fundamentalist in media, but it’s quite obvious, based on the facts, that her mental illness — and not her faith — is what drove her to commit unimaginable horror.
Among the most shocking details in this instance is that Julia and her husband, David, were allegedly under the care of National Health Service (NHS) workers. Two years after the incident took place, it seems health officials are taking the blame for failing to take notice the dire situation that was occurring in the home.
Take, for instance, this important fact: Just one hour before the infant’s murder took place, officials were at the house. The Daily Mail provides a recap of what is said to have occurred:
The computer games designer, 39, had been frantically praying on the living room floor, shouting for the devil to be taken out of his wife.
The health workers even heard his wife call from downstairs, but left without seeing her to arrange a formal assessment of the family.
Tragically, an hour later, Mr Lovemore carried his lifeless baby into Milton Health surgery, along with their first child, who was critically ill after being doused in white spirit.
Considering the family’s past history, it’s hard to imagine how the situation was left to fester. In 2006, records apparently show that Lovemore attempted to smother her first child with a pillow in an effort to get her to stop crying. But the documentation that highlighted this attack was apparently lost due to what the Daily Mail calls “fatal errors” on behalf of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Trust.
Also, in another sign that something was wrong in the household, just five days before the attack, Lovemore called to tell officials that she didn’t want any more home visits. This troubling sign that something was awry apparently also went unchecked, though.
“There was a failure to collectively recognise the extent to which this family were a risk to their children once they were mentally unwell, and to act more assertively to address their non-compliance with medication,” reads a new report released by NHS East of England Strategic Health Authority.
The Daily Mail continues, explaining how the report also highlights the couple’s religious extremism and how it clouded the investigation surrounding their ability to care for their two children:
The report has now criticised Cambridge County Council, local police and the NHS trust for failing to protect the girl, who died in June 2009.
It said there was lack of ‘assertiveness’ in making Lovemore take her medication.
It was ruled that too much time was spent on determining whether the family’s extreme religious views were a sign of mental illness rather than looking at the risk they posed to the children.
As a result of the incident, changes will be made to the methods that the local NHS trust uses in assessing mental wellness.
(H/T: Daily Mail)