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News and Comment July 2015

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4 July (Part 2) - Rhys Lawrie - It’s complicated

The last time the Rhys Lawrie murder cover-up was mentioned here was on the 24th June. It was reported that former Bexley social worker Suzetta Botman claimed to have no knowledge of an Initial Assessment on Rhys and Bexley police took that assurance at face value.

The blog almost immediately provoked an email from a former Bexley council employee…

An Initial Assessment is a very comprehensive form so I find it hard to believe that its author could have no recollection of the document four years later.

The social worker says she has no recollection of the IA form nor the family. When she was shown the form she still did not recognise the family nor the incident, but note how the statement is worded to carefully avoid stating that it was an IA form that she actually signed herself, and therefore wrote herself!

Very good points which caused me to review the original blog and read the documentation on which it was based again - and seek assistance from Rhys’s grandfather, Trevor.

He is especially suspicious of the Serious Case Review because it was supposed to be independent but instead was chaired by a former Director of Children’s Services at Bexley council and according to several informants, a close friend of the Director under whose nose Rhys’s murder occurred. Trevor has drawn my attention to this section of the Review.
Serious Case Review

The mid-December date is December 2007.

Note that there is no concern for Rhys’s wellbeing. Things were “good“, “friendly and relaxed”. No problems, no reason to do anything. Bexley council’s lack of action is vindicated.

The social worker to which Rory Patterson’s report (Line 3 above) refers is Suzetta Botman. And what proof is there of that?

Ms. Botman was definitely the Social Worker with responsibility for the Rhys case. All the correspondence at the time was addressed to her. For example, this letter, from Rhys’s doctors at the Lakeside Medical Practice in Yarnton Way.
Doctor's letter
And for good measure here is a very small part of the Initial Assessment which Suzetta Botman can’t remember.
Initial Assessment
So above is the ultimate proof that Suzetta Botman was the responsible Social Worker, that the Serious Case Review recorded she had found no family problems, that the Initial Assessment form was completed by Ms. Botman in 2008 and everything was entirely satisfactory; the only problem was that Ms. Botman could not remember any of it. Her police statement confirms it.

Or could the documents indicate something totally different?

That the reason that Suzetta Botman cannot remember the Initial assessment, a form which apparently has no provision for a signature, is a fabrication by Bexley council written after Rhys’s death.

Rhys’s grandfather certainly thinks so and given that he has lots of documents which indicate that things were anything but satisfactory in the murdered boy’s Erith home, he probably has good reason to be suspicious - and for Bexley’s Chief Executive and councillor Philip Read taking such exceptional measures to hinder enquiries.

When one or two things don’t add up one might assume human error. When absolutely nothing makes sense, from suppressed evidence, to unprotected crime scenes and 39 injuries constituting death from natural causes, one is entitled to assume that something stinks. Next time some reports of Rhys’s ill-treatment will be contrasted with Bexley council’s supposed ignorance of the situation.


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