This mother killed her son- even when the father “begged” the authorities about the dangers and hysterical behavior of the mother. My cautions for my boys are similarly ignored.

Father of boy killed by mother says he pleaded for authorities to act

Matthew Spriggs tells inquest he feared for the safety of son Archie, who died aged seven

Steven Morris and agency @stevenmorris20

Mon 11 Nov 2019 17.55 GMTLast modified on Mon 11 Nov 2019 17.56 GMT

Police tape
 Archie was strangled by his mother Lesley Speed, on the day of a family court custody hearing Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA

The father of a seven-year-old boy who was murdered by his mother has told an inquest that he pleaded with social services and police to protect his son but was repeatedly brushed off.

Matthew Spriggs, whose son Archie Spriggs was strangled by his former partner Lesley Speed on the day of a family court custody hearing in September 2017, told Shropshire coroner’s court he could not comprehend her actions

In a statement read to the court, Spriggs said he raised serious concerns about Archie as early as 2013 but was not taken seriously.

He claimed that in the months before his son died, he telephoned social services and asked: “What is it going to take for you to investigate? Bruises? Broken bones? Or my son to be killed by her?” The alleged reply was: “It won’t come to that.”

The inquest, which began on Monday and is expected to last for two weeks, heard that Speed, who was looking after Archie at her home in Rushbury, near Church Stretton, Shropshire, is serving a life sentence after being found guilty of murder.

Spriggs, from Shrewsbury, said he reported to social services in 2013 that he had found bruises on Archie’s upper body and the boy had told him he had been held upside down and shaken by his mother. Spriggs said he told social services he had photographic evidence but nobody went to view the images.

He said he told social services in 2014 that bruises had appeared on Archie’s body in unusual places such as the inside or underside of his limbs. The boy told him that his mother had hit him but Spriggs said he saw no evidence that social services began any investigation.

Spriggs claimed Archie told him in May 2017 that he had been abused and neglected. Again, Spriggs said he went to social services but was told that no investigation would take place as no threat to his son had been found. When he asked what the previous investigations had consisted of, he was allegedly told it was one phone call to the boy’s headteacher.

“I pleaded with them to protect my son,” he said. “I even asked them to put him in care so he would be safe.”

Spriggs said he also contacted the police and Archie’s school. “I just wanted Archie to be safe,” he said. “I do not feel my concerns were taken seriously.”

He added: “I did everything so that Archie and I could have contact with each other. Throughout my son’s life, everything I did was for him. I love my son and wanted him safe. I contacted many organisations and I do not believe that any of the organisations took my concerns seriously.”

A serious case review said agencies missed opportunities to intervene in the situation.

The inquest was told that part of Spriggs’ statement to the court was disputed by the local authority and West Mercia police. The inquest continues.