Finley Boden: Council apologises for ‘missed opportunities’

By William Eichler | 28 March 2024

Derbyshire CC has apologised for the ‘missed opportunities’ to do more to safeguard 10-month-old Finley Boden who was murdered on Christmas Day in 2020.

Finley died after his parents Shannon Marsden and Stephen Boden inflicted 130 injuries on their son before he fatally collapsed at his home.

Finley was placed back in his parents’ care on 17 November 2020 despite social services raising concerns over their drug use and recommending a longer transition period.

A safeguarding review identified pandemic lockdown restrictions as a major factor helping the parents deceive the authorities, but also said there were ‘significant shortcomings’ in the care of Finley.

Steve Atkinson, the Derby and Derbyshire Safeguarding Children Partnership’s independent chairman and scrutineer, said: ‘The report acknowledges there were significant mitigating circumstances in the period leading up to Finley's death – the Covid lockdowns, the very restricted access, unfamiliar working circumstances and remote meetings and parental dishonesty and disengaging.

‘However, these are not excuses.

'More could, and should, have been done to help keep Finley safe.’

Executive director for Derbyshire CC’s children's services, Carol Cammiss, said: ‘Despite the significant Covid restrictions placed on our work at the time, we know there were missed opportunities for stronger practice and we apologise for that.’

She added the council took ‘immediate action to review and strengthen our systems’.

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Crime Safeguarding Children's services