Council leader surprised that Riley Pettipierre was not on radar of social services
A LEADING councillor says he is surprised social services were not involved in tragic Riley Pettipierre's life.
John Nelson spoke out as it was revealed the outcome of a serious case review sparked by the Belper tot's death has been delayed.
Councillor Nelson, leader of Belper Town Council and Mayor of Amber Valley, was speaking following the manslaughter conviction of the parents of Riley.
The two-year-old died after drinking his drug-addict mother's methadone.
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It was revealed in court that drug workers knew Riley's mother, Sally Dent, of Belper, who had been on a methadone prescription from before becoming pregnant, used heroin and crack cocaine.
Mr Nelson said that if officials had known that Riley was living in a household where drugs were taken, then social services should have been informed.
A serious case review, commissioned by Derbyshire's Safeguarding Children's Board, to look at the circumstances leading up to Riley's death, to see if it could have been predicted or prevented, was supposed to be completed this month.
But the safeguarding board has now said the final findings are expected "in the next couple of months".
Mr Nelson said: "The people in social services do not take their job lightly and I am sure, if they had been notified, they would have done something to help the family.
"I think social services should very much be aware of these situations and find out which children are at risk."
But Mr Nelson said his true anger was directed at drug suppliers who got people hooked in the first place.
He added: "I feel sorry for people hooked on those drugs and who cannot get off them. My view is the people who supply the drugs are the criminals and should be the ones who should get sent down.
"It's terrible what drugs do to people. If it hadn't been for the drugs, the child would not have been put in this situation."
A spokeswoman for the safeguarding board, said: "We're keen to ensure the final report and its recommendations take account of all relevant information leading up to Riley's death.
"We also need to look in detail at the information presented to the court which may not have been available prior to the hearing.
"There is, therefore, some further work to do on the final report.
"However, we have not waited for the outcome of the report to change and improve the way we work together to support families like Riley's.
"Our services are now better coordinated."