Adjo Victoria Climbie
November 2, 1991 - February 25, 2000
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Born Victoria Adjo Climbie on November 2, 1991 on the ivory coast, this young, beautiful child would live a short  life.  Her parents, Francis Climbié and Berthe Amoissi sent  her to live with an Aunt, who originally lived in Paris, in order to give Adjo a better education. In November of 1998, they made the mistake of sending her off to a better life. At first Victoria and her Aunt, Marie Therese Kouao, lived alone in Paris, however, between April and June of 1999 they moved to England.  Marie was running from the authorities and had changed Adjo's name to Anna. 

While getting on a bus one day they met the bus driver, Karl Manning.  They soon moved in with Karl and within days he was already abusing and torturing Victoria. On July 14, 1999, Victoria made her first visit to the hospital as a result of his abuse. The doctors were immediately concerned and placed her under a 72 hour protective order.  At that time, the police and social services were alerted.

This would not be the last time that social services failed Victoria. Sadly, the System put into place to protect children missed at least 12 chances to save this little girls life.  How sad that they did not do their job!

At the time of her death, Victoria had 128 injuries on her body many of them were found to be cigarette burns.  Adjo was forced to sleep in a trash can liner in the tub in Karl Manning's apartment.  Her hands and her feet were bound and she was kept naked except for the trash can liner.

Karl had used many things to hit Victoria, including a bicycle chain, hammer and a belt buckle.  Adjo lived on scraps thrown to her much like they would be thrown to the dog.

Karl said no matter what he did to her, she never cried and he was even gutsy enough to refer to HER as Satan after all HE did to her.

Between July 14, 1999 and February 24, 2000, Victoria was tortured and beaten until on February 24, 2000 she was rushed to a hospital suffering from malnutrition and hypothermia.  On February 25, 2000 this beautiful little girl died.

A gray slab of mortar and tarmac with her name and date of birth and death etched into it, is the final resting place for Victoria.  She was buried in a cemetery in the ivory Coast.

In January of 2001, Marie Thérèse Kouao and Karl Manning were both sentenced to life in prison for the suffering they had inflicted upon this helpless little child.

The trial

Carl Manning and Marie Therese Kouao are charged with the murder of Victoria Climbie. During police interviews both claim that Victoria was possessed. 

November 2000: 
The trial opens with the prosecution making it clear that the blame lay not only with Kouao and Manning in the dock but child protection authorities who had been "blindingly incompetent". 

Manning denies murder but pleads guilty to child cruelty and manslaughter. Kouao denies all charges. 

12 January 2001:
Almost a year after Victoria Climbie's death, Manning and Kouao are found guilty of her murder. 

Sentencing both of them to life imprisonment, Judge Richard Hawkins says: 

"What Anna endured was truly unimaginable. She died at 
both your hands, a lonely drawn out death"

The Inquiry 

April 2001:
The government announces a public inquiry into the death to be headed by Lord Laming. 

The inquiry is the first in Britain to use special wide-ranging powers to look at everything from the role of social services to police child protection arrangements. 

Ministers make clear that they expect the inquiry to scrutinize the child protection system and not just the failings in the Climbie case. 

May 2001: 
Lord Laming opens the inquiry and in an unprecedented move calls both Marie Therese Kouao and Carl Manning to give evidence. He says the killers should appear at the inquiry to help it establish where the authorities failed to stop them. 

The inquiry is split into two parts. You can read the key stories on the Victoria Climbie special report. 

The first part or phase takes the testimony of more than 230 witnesses including neighbors, child protection officers and high-ranking social services officials. 

During this phase, the inquiry heard allegations of racism, incompetence and agencies neglecting their duty of care to Victoria. The inquiry hears of 12 occasions when agencies could have intervened and possibly saved the girl's life. 

The second part during 2002 uses a series of special one-day seminars to bring invited experts together to debate the nature of the child protection system and help Lord Laming draw up his conclusions. 

July 2002
Lord Laming reopens the first phase of the inquiry after it emerges that a critical document by social services inspectors had not been revealed to his team. 

August 2002
Carole Baptiste, one of the key social workers in the case, is found guilty of failing to attend the public inquiry and fined $500. 

November 2002
Two further social workers at the heart of the Victoria Climbie child abuse scandal are sacked for gross misconduct. Lisa Arthurworrey and her manager Angella Mairs are dismissed by Haringey Council in north London following disciplinary proceedings.

Return To Victoria's story
Read Updates About Victoria's Story
Read About The Victoria Climbie Charitable Fund
Timeline Of Events In Victoria's Short Life

Death Occurred in England

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