SOCIAL workers are being investigated over the Liam Fee case following admissions the two-year-old “fell off the radar” before being murdered by his mother and her lesbian partner.

A probe is under way into failings by health and social care staff after the child was neglected for years before being killed by Rachel Trelfa and Nyomi Fee.

The case has attracted comparisons with the death of three-year-old Mikaeel Kular who was beaten to death by his mother in January 2014 – just two months before Liam’s death.

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Both boys had involvement with Fife Social Work.

The Herald can now also reveal that, in Liam’s case, a call was made to social services about another boy in the women’s care just months before his death, but never followed up.


A source at Grantsmuir Farm in Kirkcaldy, where Trelfa kept a horse, claims he called Fife Council’s child protection department because the seven-year-old, who cannot be identified, suffered serious injuries to his foot.

He claims he spoke to someone and left his name, contact details and information on why he was calling, but never heard anything further.

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The source, who asked not to be named, said: “Rachel wasn’t on the yard for a few days and when she came back she said that one of the boys had septicaemia on his foot and he got skin grafts from his thigh on to his foot.

“She showed the pictures of his foot to the girls on the yard and I asked to see them, and it was then I decided to phone child welfare.


“I was just concerned when I saw the pictures that things weren’t right.

"I said to her ‘how come you never noticed when you were bathing him?’ She said ‘he’s very independent, he baths himself’.

“But with those injuries he had, there would have been seepage, it would have been sticking to his socks, and there would have been an odour.

“I couldn’t understand how that boy’s foot could have ended up in such a state and they never noticed, I just thought to myself ‘this is wrong’."

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The man said he contacted Fife Council to raise concerns about the child's welfare.

He said: “I gave him all my information and details of what I was calling about and I was told that someone would get back to me but it never happened.

“When the little boy died I called them again and spoke to a woman and explained I had called a couple of months ago raising concerns and now this has happened.


"Again I was told that someone would get back to me but I’ve still never heard anything.”

Throughout the trial, several witnesses gave evidence that they had also raised concerns about Liam’s welfare with the authorities – including nursery staff and a childminder.

Another parent also called social work after meeting the women with Liam in his buggy with a blanket over his head and growing concerned that he was either “drugged or dead”.

Read more: Young boys' evidence led to conviction in Liam Fee case

A senior social worker within Fife Council admitted during the trial that the youngster had fallen “off the radar” for months, while Trelfa and Fee’s excuses for the injuries he suffered were accepted as “plausible explanations”.

The investigation into the near “malnourished” child’s case has been on hold due to the trial but will now go ahead.


A senior legal source involved in the case said there was evidence of “some concerns of healthcare workers who noticed bruises and not a great deal happened as a result of that”.

Fife Child Protection Committee confirmed that a significant case review will take place looking at Liam’s death.

Dougie Dunlop, committee vice chairman, said: “Liam’s death was a tragedy that has left everyone deeply shocked and saddened.

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“Our job is to work with families and communities to protect children and provide them with a safe, nurturing environment. Nothing is more important.

“In the circumstances where a child has died it is right that we should reflect on what happened to see whether there is any scope for improvement.”

The review will form two parts – the first will look at information available from files and policies that were in place before Liam’s death, while the second part will look at any new information that came to light during the criminal proceedings.


Mr Dunlop said the review was being led by Dr Jacqui Mok, a former lead paediatrician for child protection for the City of Edinburgh who is currently chairwoman of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health's Scottish Child Protection Committee.

He described Dr Mok as having "vast experience in the field of child protection" and being "independent of all the agencies involved".

"We want to provide reassurance that this independent review will be thorough and comprehensive," he added.

Read more: Herald View - Liam Fee case highlights potential benefits of Named Person policy

A spokeswoman at Fife Council refused to comment on the claims made by the farm source, adding that everything will be looked at as part of the review.

A similar investigation into the death of Mikaeel, whose mother Rosdeep Adekoya was jailed for 11 years after admitting culpable homicide, found that it could not have been predicted.

While the family had been involved with social work, the report said that Adekoya’s ability to physically care for the child was “never in question”.