Lauren Victoria Wright
July 16, 1993 - May 6, 2000
Find A Grave Memorial

Lauren Wright was born to Craig Wright and Jennifer Bennett. Craig lived with his mother at the time a few miles away from Lauren, father and daughter had very little contact during the first three, critical years of her life. In 1997 at the age of four years old, Lauren took a trip with her mother, to Turkey. When Jennifer returned from Turkey, she had scratched out Lauren's name on her passport because when she went home to the UK, she left Lauren in Turkey. When the British Consulate organize the return of Lauren to the UK, she was placed on the child protection register. This would be Lauren's first experience with neglect that would only escalate to much worse over the years.

In May of 1997 Craig and his mother, Christine Wright, were given custody of Lauren and nine months later they received a residency order that said they were Lauren's legal guardians due to concerns that if she went back to Jennifer, she might not be treated properly. In January of 1999 the three moved to a different town where Lauren was enrolled at William Marshall School. Craig soon became interested in a young, single mother of two small children, her name was Tracey Scarff. In July, after knowing each other for only six months, Craig and Tracery got married and he moved himself and Lauren in with her, her six year old daughter and her nine year old son, Lauren was the youngest child, she was five years old.

People described Lauren as a happy little girl who trusted everyone and always smiled. Tracy worked as a playground assistant at the school Lauren attended and it didn't take long for Tracy to start resenting and not liking Lauren. Lauren started to be neglected while Tracy's children were treated fairly and always given praise. Lauren was often seen with bruises on her face and legs and the explanations were said to be unbelievable, but nothing was ever done.

In January of the year 2000 it was obvious that Lauren was in trouble and some of the staff at her school, including her teacher Ann Wynn, spoke to Tracy about the obvious, bad physical state Lauren was in. Head Teacher Jasmine Golson accepted the excuse that Lauren suffered from some kind of illness and that she had been bullied at school by another student.

Some evidence became apparent that Lauren was also suffering fro psychological abuse when someone said they had been witness to Lauren being made to stand in front of a fire, she was being punished for wetting her bed. Pepper was put into her food and at one point, a child saw Tracy put a worn into Lauren's soup. The bright, bubbly, happy little girl that everyone had known and loved so well, was slowly becoming withdrawn. A witness said that at one point Tracy had been walking down the street with Lauren when she suddenly punched her in the head so hard it knocked her down. Lauren got up and ran after her stepmother as she cried. The man said it made him sick to his stomach but he never reported it because he didn't want to become involved. SADLY, that is what happens in a lot of cases, I wonder when people will start to realize that child abuse is EVERYONE'S business and getting involved is necessary to save the lives of the children being abused.

At this point, Christine was still living next door and started a new job so she was not seeing Lauren as often as she previously had. One day she saw Lauren for the first time in a while and noticed a change in her weight as well as a large bruise:

"One day she was wearing a t-shirt and I saw her arms. They were very, very thin, like a
stick insect. I didn't realize she had lost that much weight. It was a very big bruise. It
covered her cheek"

Tracy told Christine that their dog had knocked Lauren down and she had hit the table. February brought about the first hope to get help for Lauren when she was seen by a General Practitioner who was told that Lauren was suffering from headaches, she was always tired and often dizzy, her nose would often bleed and she was losing her hair. Dr. Eamon Clarke told Tracy that Lauren needed to be seen at his main surgery the following day, which would have been February 10, 2000. Dr. Clarke found bruises:

"The main significant findings were two bruises. One on the right cheek, on the left forearm.
She had no others signs of illness at that time apart from the fact that she was a rather pale child"

Tracy  lied again, this time saying that Lauren had fallen on the playground at school. Lauren was referred to a specialist in a different hospital:

"We are still unable to explain why this child is feeling so poorly at the moment"

How could they NOT see that she was thin and obviously suffering from malnutrition which can and does cause someone to feel very tired? Why didn't they ask Lauren what was going on, how did she get the bruises?

Craig actually spent little time with his daughter, when he was leaving for work in the morning, she would just be waking up and when he got home from work, she was already asleep. A neighbor said that when Craig and Tracy were only dating, they got along very well and Lauren had been a very happy little child and then when they got married, Lauren had changed dramatically and it was mostly when she was around Tracy:

"My impression was that if she said anything she was going to get yelled at because
that is all Tracy seemed to do"
Sylvia Kent

Again, we have a neighbor who KNOWS things are just not right, but fails to do anything about it. One neighbor was better than the others since he DID call Social Services and reported that Lauren was not being treated properly. Lauren was always covered up very well, even when it was hot outside, like someone was trying to hide her body. Steve Arlington said that she always had a tired and scared look on her face and that it was obvious that something was wrong.

On March 14, 2000, Social Services Case Workers Claire Mann and Charlotte Coates went to check on Lauren. Lauren was spoken to at school and then taken to a health center to be examined physically:

"She a was very endearing little thing. All her clothes were too big. They looked like
hand me downs and were quite shabby. She was a very waif like child. She had very
poor quality, thinning hair. Her skin was very pale, she had quite a dull expression. The
examination revealed numerous bruises on her body, on her torso, her arms and legs.
The Doctor considered the injuries were inconsistent with the excuses given by Tracy
arranged and appointment with a Pediatrician"

Sadly, the two women noticed that Lauren was telling them exactly what Tracy had said, that she had fallen on the playground and that school bullies had caused her injuries, Craig also blamed the injuries on bullies at school. It was noted that Lauren only spoke kindly about her father and Tracy and that she had said she was happy at home.

March 20th brought about an examination by a Pediatrician who decided that Tracy had been telling the truth and Social Services changed the case from red alert to amber alert, a much less serious alert which meant that Lauren would be returned to the home of her parents. Later that same month Wendy Redman, the Village Postmistress would notice some extensive bruising all over Lauren's face:

"On most of her face, there was bruising, on both sides. It started at the neck. I have never
seen bruising like that before"

Wendy made her concerns known with the secretary at the school as well as with one of Lauren's Aunts. April came and so did another call to Social Services with someone calling in to report concerns about the abuse Lauren was suffering. At that time, the Social Worker who had been in charge of Lauren's case was no longer there and the report was left unanswered for a while. The new Case Worker was on vacation and Lauren was made to suffer longer until an appointment was made for her to see a Family Support Worker in the month of May.

Lauren did not go back to school in May and Tracey said that she had gastroenteritis, that excuse was good enough and no one came to check on Lauren. The truth was much worse. Lauren was laying in bed after having been beaten, she was bruised, malnourished and her digestive system was in horrible condition, she was unable to eat or drink anything at all. Tracey had beaten her so badly, hitting her in her stomach, that Lauren's digestive tract had collapsed. Tracey's own son told what happened that day:

"The day Lauren died, I remember mum punching her in the belly two times. I was
going to the toilet and I see mummy punch her in the belly two times"

What a horrible thing for a child to have to witness. It was May 6th that Tracey ran to the home of Christine to ask for help. Christine ran to the home of her son and tried to do CPR on Lauren, but it was too late, Lauren had already passed on. Christine noticed that Lauren had many bruises and when she asked, Tracey said that Lauren had pulled a wardrobe on to herself.

Graham Cook was and accident and emergency consultant and it was his opinion that if Lauren had received the proper medical attention the day she had died, she most likely would have lived. Instead we have another case of a child who COULD have been saved if someone had been paying attention to the MANY red flags that went up. Lauren was already on the child protection register and NEVER should have been left unprotected.

In September of 2001, Tracy was in court and a jury heard her say that she never did anything more than "smack" Lauren on her legs or bottom and that she and her stepdaughter had a good relationship. Defense Attorney Joanna Greenburg QC asked about her relationship with Lauren:

"I used to shout at the children on odd occasion. All of them"

Tracey denied that she ever hit Lauren in the face. She told the court that Lauren picked her own clothes, though she thought they were scruffy and not as nice as her biological children a boy who was eight and a girl who was five. Tracey told the court that she was the one who was responsible for taking care of the children, feeding them, making sure they were dressed and keeping them happy. Craig, she said, drank too much and his only actions with the children were when he would take them fishing once in a while.

Tracey said that she and Craig would argue quite a bit and that at times, the arguments would become physical. She said that she treated Lauren like one of her own:

"I loved Lauren. I did nothing to cause Lauren injury. I never deliberately hurt that child.
I didn't take her to a doctor as I had no reason to believe she was that sick. I did not
know she had a large number of bruises on her arms and legs. I did not realize how
ill she was. I thought she had a tummy bug as my own two children were also sick. I
did not think she needed to see a Doctor"

Craig said in court that he had no suspicions of Lauren being abused. The prosecution said that Craig had looked the other way and knew that Tracey was abusing Lauren. Craig denied that and said that if he had known what was going on, he would have taken Lauren out of the house:

"I wasn't looking for them and I didn't have any idea what was going on. I did not know
my little girl was dying. I did not turn away. I did not see anything to give me concern.
Tracey was always giving a good reason, I did not doubt her for one minute. She was
loving and caring about me and Lauren and the other two kids"

When Social Services visited because of a bruise on Lauren's face, Craig and Tracey told them that she had hit her face on a door handle and Craig said that a Doctor had diagnosed her with gastroenteritis:

"I just thought she was weak because she hadn't had any food for two or three days.
I did not know that she had that injury to her stomach, if I had known it, it would have
been totally different. Everything would be totally different, we would not be here now"

In October of 2001, Tracey Wright was found guilty of manslaughter and willful neglect and in December of 2014, she was sentenced to only 15 years for the pure evil she inflicted upon this little Angel. Craig Wright was also found guilty of manslaughter and willful neglect and his sentence was far more insulting to the memory of Lauren, for not protecting his daughter, Craig was sentenced to a RIDICULOUSLY short term of three years.

Sadly, Judge David Mellor had made it so that Tracey would be eligible for parole after only 7 1/2 years of her time had been served and Craig would be released after only 1 1/2 years. What that equates to is no justice for Lauren.

Gillian Shephard, the former Education Secretary had called for a full public inquiry into Social Service provisions. Sadly, the Department Of Health said that it wasn't right that every time a child died, someone wanted a public inquiry into their death. Gillian said that she thought the death of Lauren was even worse than the death of Victoria Climbie and that she had been failed by Doctors, school employees and Social Workers:

"It all took place in full view of those people who should have been caring for Lauren. This
case is a public disgrace. The Government has to grant a full public inquiry"

Dawn Dos, sister of Craig Wright agreed with Gillian and asked for an inquiry:

"There are many questions we need answered"

A spokesperson for the Department Of Health said:

"This is a very sad case but it would not be appropriate to hold a public inquiry into
all of the child killings that happen each year. We have already established a public
inquiry into the killing of another little girl, Victoria Climbie. That inquiry is under way
and is being held in public in London"

Sorry, but YES IT WOULD! Any child that is abused to death deserves justice and the only way to get justice is to find out what happened and prosecute those who are responsible to the fullest extent of the law. Each child deserves the same consideration.

The National Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Children said that the public had responded to the death of Lauren in the wrong way:

"Child protection is everyone's responsibility. It is not helpful to pin the blame on individuals,
effective child protection requires a good partnership between professionals and members
of the public. Lauren Wright had no one to turn to. No one managed to help her escape from
the torment of beatings, abuse and show starvation. For months she suffered in silence. She
died in agony after the final beating, emaciated, dehydrated and vomiting with injuries akin to
those of a road accident victim"
Mary Marsh - NSPCC Director

Lauren died at home and it was said that she had over 60 bruises over her entire body. It was said that Tracey had started a campaign of physical violence, emotional abuse and hatred against Lauren:

"Her behavior can only be described as vile and sadistic. There was never any suggestion
that Craig had assaulted or ill treated Lauren but at the end of the day he was her father, he
had parental responsibility and he was in that house"
Martin Wright - Chief Superintendent

It came out that at no time had a full social history of the members of family been done so the opportunity to fully check out Lauren's situation had been compromised. Of course NOW procedures had been changed to hopefully prevent any other children from dying in the future.

A wooden cross marks the grave of Lauren.

This page was created on December 1, 2014
Death occurred in England

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