'Verdict on killer couple is a vindication of my 999 calls'
A WOMAN living near the home of a couple found guilty of killing their two-year-old son says she would have put a poster in her window calling for "justice" if the verdict had been different.
The householder, in her 50s, said she believed Sally Dent and Shaun Binfield were "bad parents" and that the verdict was a vindication for the times she had called the police about the family.
On Friday, the pair, formerly of Kilbourne Road, Belper, were found guilty of the manslaughter of Riley Pettipierre.
Dent, 33, and partner Binfield, 45, found Riley lifeless on their bed on March 13, last year, after he had drunk methadone from a child's beaker, which Dent had prepared herself.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Dent was also convicted of cruelty to a person under 16.
Prior to Riley's death, neighbours had been so concerned about the drug activities of his family that they had contacted the police.
Officers began an investigation but it is not clear whether they knew that health workers had been assigned to drug-addict Dent's case and that the workers became aware she was pregnant and then had a child.
Derbyshire social services appear not to have been told about any potential risk to the child, posing the question of why Dent was not made known to them from the point when it became clear she was expecting a child.
The householder, who would not be named, said she had called the police about drug activities in the house while Riley lived there.
The woman said: "Social services have a lot to answer for and so do the police.
"The verdict was right. If they had been found anything other than guilty I would have put a poster in my window saying ' Justice for Riley'."
Another householder on the road, who is in her 60s, said that Dent and Binfield deserved prison.
But she added: "I hope that she [Dent] uses the time to get off drugs. If you saw them in the street you wouldn't think she was cruel to that child.
"They were lovely people and they helped us when they could. I remember them coming to the door at Halloween with Riley dressed up.
"It's so sad because he was a lovely little boy but it's saved him from a life of drugs."
The woman said she also reported the family to the police for drug activities.
She said she was surprised that Dent did not have to take her methadone in a controlled environment.
She said: "If that isn't the case, it certainly should be."
A report on Riley's death by Derbyshire's Safeguarding Children's Board, looking to see whether it could have been predicted or prevented, is due to be published later this month.
It is likely to recommend "issues for actions by agencies involved", to improve the way they work together.
The couple are due to be sentenced on February 19.