Birmingham mother and children found hanged were known to social services
Birmingham coroner Aidan Cotter questioned GPs, hospital staff and social workers after they failed to report to police an assault on a young mother who was later found hanged with her two children.
The bodies of Musammat Mumtahana, 22, and Raheem, two and Nahim, one, were discovered at the family home in Radnor Road, Handsworth, on October 4, 2006.
An inquest into the three deaths revealed that the family had been referred to social services after Bangladesh-born Mrs Mumtahana was admitted to City hospital on June 6 that year, for a deep wound to the forehead.
Despite initially telling staff that the wound was caused by a fall, she later admitted her husband Shuhel Miah, 30, had punched her and he confessed to the assault.
However the court heard that neither hospital staff, social workers or the family GP reported the incident to police.
Mr Cotter said: “The GP knows about the hospital visit, the social worker knows and no one reports it to the police?”
Social services said there was no issue of confidentiality if a crime was committed but that it was dependent on the victim, who in this case did not what the matter to go any further.
Later, Detective Sergeant Sue Hordern of West Midlands Police told the court that ‘victimless prosecutions’ were possible.
She said: “Where there is a visible injury and medical evidence to back it up we would have been able to take the matter further. Had we been presented with that scenario it would have been investigated even though she did not want it to go further.”
Questioned by the family as to why the social work case was closed on June 19, 2006, Carol Douch, head of child protection for Birmingham City Council, said: “The case was closed at that point because both father and mother had been spoken to and there were no welfare concerns in relation to the children at that point.”
The inquest continues.