Kalyanjee one of many parents probed in British child-killings

May 7th, 2008 - 5:18 pm ICT by admin  

London, May 7 (IANS) An India-born man who is fighting for his life in a Scottish hospital after being found close to his murdered sons is only the latest in a long list of parents who have been linked with the deaths of their children in Britain. In a case that has hit the headlines in the national media in Britain, Paul and Jay Ross, two brothers aged six and two, were found murdered in a car in a quiet country lane in the Scottish city of Glasgow Saturday.

Ashok Kalyanjee, who is separated from the boys’ mother Giselle Ross, was found by the car with very serious burns after having tried to set the vehicle on fire, police said.

Police have not charged anyone but are waiting to question Kalyanjee, who remains in hospital under police guard.

According to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), on average one child is killed at the hands of their parent every 10 days in the provinces of England and Wales - about 35 a year over the past five years.

On the very day the Ross boys were discovered killed, two more siblings were found murdered in Scotland.

Eighty km away, in the town of Buckhaven, the bodies of Michelle Thomson, 25, and her seven-year-old brother, Ryan Thomson, were discovered by their mother in their home.

The pair were discovered in separate bedrooms, in a scene detectives described as “harrowing”.

As with Kalyanjee, the father of the two Buckhaven victims was found injured at the scene, and police are waiting to interview him at Queen Margaret Hospital in Dunmerline.

He too is thought to have been estranged from the victims’ mothers.

The NSPCC says such deaths happen most often because of abuse or neglect.

“Often a child or family is known to professionals, but the extent of abuse or neglect is not identified, and/or the alternatives for accommodating the child elsewhere are inappropriate,” it says in a briefing paper.

The British media have said Kalyanjee, who lived with his aged mother, was battling problems with drinking and gambling.

In a revealing statement, the boys’ mother Giselle Ross said, “Paul wasn’t even allowed to play outside in case he came to any harm.”

The NSPCC says factors causing child deaths as part of ‘familicides’ include children intervening in incidents of domestic violence, a very controlling partner and marital breakdown.

“Such deaths would be prevented if there was greater recognition of the effect of domestic violence on children and in particular clearer protocols around sharing information between police domestic violence units and child protection units.

“Therapeutic treatment of abusive spouses should also be more widely and easily available, as should general counselling for families experiencing marital breakdown. Anxieties around unsupervised contact should always receive the most serious attention,” the charity says.

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