Monday, 15 October 2007

another victim of Camden social care-takers' negligence

Ukleigha Batten-Froggatt
Two life sentences for mother and daughter killer
Mental Health Foundation
April 4, 2006

A 30-year-old unemployed man received two life sentences today for murdering his girlfriend and her six-year-old daughter.
Mark Nicholas, 30, admitted stabbing to death 33-year-old Nicole Batten and suffocating her daughter Ukleigha Batten-Froggatt. The bodies were discovered at their home in a flat in Ossulston Street, Camden, north London, after police forced their way in. Concerns had been raised by social services because Ukleigha, who was on an at-risk register, had not been seen at school for a week.
Nicholas, of no fixed address but originally from Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, had been described in a psychiatric report as a potential danger to any woman with whom he had a relationship.
Judge David Paget ordered he should serve a minimum of 30 years before he could be considered for parole. Nicholas, a drug addict, had only been released from prison a week before the murders.
He had begun a relationship with Ms Batten in September 2004. Two months later he was jailed for driving-related offences, but went to live with her and her daughter on his release in February last year.
Ms Batten tried to end the relationship - a decision which resulted in the deaths. After the murders, Nicholas wrote a letter to a friend, saying: "All I wanted was love - all I got was grief. I will always love her... I am a murderer in love."
He acknowledged that his love would get him life sentences. Judge Paget said Nicholas had stabbed Ms Batten forcefully in the chest with a large kitchen knife which cut into her main pulmonary artery.
"Mercifully she died within seconds. You then murdered her daughter, almost certainly by putting a cushion over her face."
She was killed because she had witnessed her mother's death. Nicholas later drew out two of Ms Batten's social security benefits totalling £320. He used the money to buy heroin and crack cocaine and obtained a car in which he hoped to go to Wales. But he was arrested in Hackney, east London, six days after the killings.
A psychiatrist has said that Nicholas suffered a dangerous and severe personality disorder. He may be sent to Broadmoor for assessment for possible treatment.
But Judge Paget said if he was transferred for treatment, it would not affect the terms of his sentence.
Ms Batten's daughter had been placed on the Camden social services "at risk" register following concerns about her mother's lifestyle, in particular alleged heavy drinking.
Following Ukleigha's death, the council launched an inquiry into the conduct of the multi-agency child protection team responsible for her safety.
Source: Associated Press

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