September 26th, 2016

We’ll learn the lessons of Isabella, vow chiefs

Updated: 10:13 am, May 07, 2015

A SERIOUS case review has been launched into the death of a 12-week-old baby who was killed at the hands of her father.

Worcestershire County Council and other organisations, including the health service, will be involved in the investigation by the Worcestershire Safeguarding Children Board which follows the conviction of Isabella Vallance’s parents for causing and allowing her death.

Jessica Wiggins, formerly of Heathfield Road in Webheath, was convicted at Worcester Crown Court on Wednesday (November 19) of failing to act to prevent the death of her daughter under section five of the Domestic Violence, Crimes and Victims Act, after 11 jurors came to a unanimous verdict.

It followed a previous trial where the 20-year-old was cleared of child cruelty but the jury failed to reach a decision on the charge of allowing the death of Isabella, resulting in the retrial.

The father – Tyler Vallance, aged 21 and formerly of The Oakalls in Bromsgrove – had previously pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm and manslaughter in June after assaulting Isabella on more than one occasion and inflicting injuries to her head. She also had nine fractured ribs, a broken thigh and lower leg.

Isabella was taken to the Alexandra Hospital on December 7, 2012 and had to be transferred to Birmingham Children’s Hospital five days later where she died.

During the trial the court heard how Wiggins and Vallance, who lived together in Redditch, had been having problems with their relationship and he was violent towards her on a number of occasions.

Social services, health visitors and doctors had all been involved with the pair before Isabella was born.

Wiggins wept and collapsed in the dock as the verdict was read out and she will now appear for sentencing in court, alongside Vallance, on December 18.

Judge Robert Juckes QC called it ‘an unusual and difficult case’.

Det Ch Insp Jon Marsden said Vallance and Wiggins had been in a position of trust but had not lived up to their responsibilities.

“The death of any young child is a tragedy and Isabella Vallance had lived for just 86 days. She should have had a full life ahead of her but that was taken away by her father, a callous individual who could not control his emotions or his temper.” he said.

“Our priority was to carry out a full and thorough investigation into this baby’s death, which we have done, and while the overriding feeling is one of sadness we are satisfied that at least justice has now been done for Isabella.”

A spokeswoman for the Worcestershire Safeguarding Children Board said the review would consider whether or not any lessons could be learned from the circumstances of Isabella’s death. The report will be published once the review is completed.

“The Worcestershire Safeguarding Children Board will be rigorous in its work with partner agencies to ensure any learning from this case is taken forward to improve services to children and young people in Worcestershire.”

Isabella Vallance died at the hands of her father. (s)