Friday, August 05, 2022

Leiland-James Corkill

In May Laura Castle was sentenced to 18 years in prison for the murder of Leiland-James Corkill, a one-year-old boy who had been placed with her and her husband in a pre-adoption placement by Cumbria Council council.

The council's executive director John Readman provided a public statement on behalf of the council at the time, including an apology for Leiland-James’ death. 

"Adoption should have been a new beginning for Leiland," he said.

"That was cruelly taken away from him by the person who should have cared for him and kept him safe.

"We are deeply sorry for Leiland's death, it should not have happened.

"Our thoughts and sympathies are with his birth family and all those who knew this little boy.

"Abuse of a child by adopters is almost unheard of and we are determined to do everything we can to prevent this happening again, here or anywhere else."

The independent Best Practice Review into the case has now been published and is available on the Safeguarding Children Partnership website at

Leiland-James Michael Corkill : Cumbria County Council (

The information that has come out through the trial and this report was shocking and distressing.

I believe that we need a task and finish group of the Council's scrutiny committees to go through this report and ensure that all the lessons it identifies have been learned and fully implemented.

After tragedies like this politicians always say things like "This must never happen again," which is the right thing to aim for, but far too often it still does. Let's do what we can to make sure this is not one of those times.

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