Professionals “backed off” confrontation with Charlotte Bevan

A Bristol mother who died after jumping off a cliff with her newborn baby was described as ‘unpredictable’ by practitioners in a report released today.   

Charlotte Bevan. Photo credit: Bristol Life
Charlotte Bevan. Photo credit: Bristol Life

In December 2014 Charlotte Bevan left St Michael’s hospital with her newborn baby, Zaani Tiana Bevan-Malbrouck. Their bodies were discovered days later in the Avon Gorge.

A report released today by Bristol Safeguarding Children Board (BSCB), Serious Case Review outlined the incident and what can be learned from it for the future.

Despite there being a sharp increase nationally in referrals since Baby P in 2007, there has actually been a steady decrease in Bristol.

Long term downward trend of referrals. Photo credit: Bristol Safeguarding Children Board, Serious Case Review

The report highlighted the challenges that faced those involved with Charlotte’s care from beginning, to end.

“It was as if the shutters went down”

A mental health practitioner described their difficulties when attempting to discuss child protection issues with Charlotte. The practitioner said: “It was if the shutters went down. It was difficult – I was in her home she had a way of gazing…quite fierce.”

The report recognised how as a result of the hostile behaviour, medical professionals would “back off”. There was no clear plan in how to deal with these issues.

It was also found that the case management for service users with complex needs lacked coordination. Due to the variation of people involved with Charlotte, and her baby’s care, no one person was taking responsibility.

Bristol Mind Helpline: 0808 808 0330

Useful links:

Mind (mental health organisation)

BSCB

Bristol Mental Health (Facebook)

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