The scandal of Riley Pettipierre: Why was mother with a known history of taking hard drugs still allowed to bring up Riley?
ONLY 11 days before Riley Pettipierre's death, neighbours were so concerned about the drug activities of his family, they contacted police.
Officers say they began an investigation into what was happening at 124a Kilbourne Road, Belper.
What is not clear is whether they knew that health workers had been assigned to drug-addict Sally Dent's case and the workers were aware she had become pregnant and then had a child.
Evidence has been revealed that health staff were satisfied Riley was in good health and developing normally.
Yet there was evidence heard in court that Riley had traces of cocaine, heroin and methadone in his hair, showing he had ingested these drugs in his final months.
Derbyshire social services appear not to have been told about any potential risk to the child at any point.
So this poses a question of why was Dent, a known hard drug user, not made known to them from the point when it was clear she was expecting a child?
Social services say they were never involved with Riley's family and, despite Dent saying in court that health officials knew of her drug-taking, the NHS has refused to discuss its role.
Derbyshire's Safeguarding Children's Board commissioned a Serious Case Review to look at the circumstances leading up to Riley's death, to see if it could have been predicted or prevented.
The report is due to be published later this month but is "likely to recommend issues for action by the agencies involved", to improve the way they work together.
Dent, 33, and partner Shaun 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 for herself.
Binfield made desperate attempts to resuscitate Riley, while Dent called for an ambulance. But the little boy was pronounced dead in hospital.
Yesterday, they were both convicted of his manslaughter. Dent was in addition convicted of cruelty to a person under 16.
Dent, clutching the hand of her partner, sobbed as the jury delivered its verdicts.
Judge John Milmo remanded the couple into custody to await sentencing on February 19.
He thanked the jury for undertaking "such an emotionally-charged case".
Following the verdict at Nottingham Crown Court, Detective Chief Inspector Phil Cox said: "This was a tragic incident that was wholly avoidable.
"This has been a difficult inquiry for everybody involved, because we are dealing with the death of a child.
"But, ultimately, who is there to speak up for Riley? Yes, it must be tragic for the parents, but we mustn't forget a child has died in this.
"We are keen to point out the dangers and risks of children living in homes with drug users. There was a culture of drug taking in that house. It's a chaotic lifestyle and the standards, which someone might normally expect, can slip when someone is not in control of themselves."
During the two-week trial, the jury heard Dent, who became addicted to heroin at the age of 16, began a methadone programme before she became pregnant with Riley.
The night before Riley died, Dent poured 20 to 40ml of methadone into a unused child's beaker. She told the jury she thought it was "safe", with a tight lid and so would not spill. She said she then put it on the window sill out of reach of Riley.
The court heard that at about 2am on March 13, Dent had taken the beaker into the bedroom and put it on top of the wardrobe next to a wooden box, in which her methadone was usually stored.
She said that Binfield had come to bed about 10 minutes later and she asked him to move the beaker. They both told the court that he had put it on top of a CD rack on a chest of drawers, where they usually kept the TV remote to prevent Riley getting it.
But prosecutor Yvonne Coen accused the couple of making up stories about where the beaker had been placed. She said it had been on top of a pile of CDs, where Dent had initially indicated to the police and a place that Riley could have reached.
But Dent told the jury she had been confused when being interviewed by the police, having lost her son earlier that day.
Binfield said he assumed Dent would have taken the methadone in the night but she did not and the following morning neither of them checked to see where the beaker was.
At about 8am Dent asked Binfield to look after Riley while she got some more sleep. Binfield said that he and Riley went into the lounge and then he went into the kitchen to make up some milk for his son.
When he returned about 10 minutes later, he found Riley in the bedroom sitting next to Dent, who was asleep. He said Riley told him he was going to stay there and lay down next to his mother.
At 10.30am Dent woke, realised her methadone was gone and then found Riley lifeless.
Ms Coen said leaving the methadone in a child's beaker where Riley could reach it amounted to "grave negligence" as the child would have thought it was juice.