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Keanu Williams

2008  - January 2011

How many child deaths have to happen before something is done to permanently take care of the problem? When children are showing OBVIOUS signs of neglect and abuse, something needs to be done. Keanu Williams was showing the signs, but when his mother told people "he falls down a lot", they accepted that excuse. Children fall down a lot, so what? Injuries from falling down are different from abuse injuries. Rebecca Shuttleworth and so many others get away with so much for reasons that have yet to be explained to me, especially when Social Services are involved.

Keanu and his family were not new to the system and it would come out that Doctors, Social Workers, Police and the Nursery Staff had all failed to protect Keanu from abuse or even to keep him alive. In December of 2010, Keanu was taken to the Doctor with burns, bruises and marks on his body that couldn't be explained by "falling". Rebecca stated that he had burned his feet on a radiator that was close to where he slept, that didn't explain the bruises on his back, head and eyes, though claiming the child was a klutz who could fall over nothing seemed to be an acceptable excuse. When a Police Officer and a Social Worker went to the home to investigate, they said that this was a case of neglect rather than a case of willful neglect and nothing was done about it. I am not sure what the difference is, a neglected child is neglected even if it's not something the parent intends to, the child still needs help.

Another missed chance to save his life came when Keanu was observed by Nursery staff in January of 2011 and he had bruises on his chest, stomach and back and they rated him as "distressed". Once again, Rebecca's excuses were believed and nothing was done and four days later, Keanu would be dead.

Keanu had at least 37 different injuries that included bite marks and a fractured skill along with a fist sized tear in his stomach. During a 48 hour period, Keanu was beaten with some kind of stick over and over until his body could no longer take it and he died. Paramedics were called and discovered his body at the home of Luke Southerton, who was 32 years old and was Rebecca's boyfriend. Rebecca and Luke told paramedics that the child had suffered a heart attack. The couple was arrested and charged with the murder of Keanu.

Family members were in shock and torn apart by the death of this precious baby boy:

"He was full of life and loved playing with his siblings and cousins. He enjoyed all his toys and
would empty the toy box everything he came to play, but he especially loved Iggie Piggie. Kiwi
also loved food, he ate everything and was hungry all the time. Since the tragic death of Kiwi,
we haven't been able to grieve or say good bye to him properly. The whole family has been
torn apart by this and his death has left a gaping hole in our lives. We hope now this is over
we can lay kiwi to rest and begin to have some closure"
Angela Shuttleworth - Aunt



Luke was convicted of cruelty after being cleared of murder, manslaughter and causing or allowing the death of a child. For not helping and allowing Rebecca to beat Keanu to death, Luke was sentenced to nine months in prison, with nine months suspended.

Rebecca was convicted on four counts of child cruelty and murder and was out on bail throughout her trial and was seen in court with a woman she called her "partner". Rebecca would later tell a review board that she was actually surprised that they had not taken Keanu from her when he had been born since she herself had been in their care for her most of her childhood.

Rebecca was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after only 18 years. I get so angry when I see that time after time, life doesn't mean that the person who killed a child, will NEVER get out of prison.

The Independent Chair of the Safeguarding Children Board said that the agencies who were supposed to keep children safe were guilty of "totally unacceptable and unnecessary failures":

"Keanu died because there was a failure across every agency to see, hear and respond to him.
Staff were distracted by his mother's needs. Keanu died because people missed opportunity
after opportunity to intervene"
Jane Held

This page was created on May 28, 2014
Death Occurred in England

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