WHY is it that every time a television newscast reports the violent death of a child, members of the human race with a sensitive side to their nature recoil in horror and question how anyone could treat a helpless and innocent toddler in such a manner?

We had yet another example when harrowing details were revealed of the physical abuse suffered by threeyear- old Ryan Lovell-Hancox at the hands of Christopher Taylor and Kayley Boleyn, into whose care he had been left by his young mum while she and her partner decorated their home in Bilston, West Midlands.

Ryan suffered 70 injuries during weeks of systematic brutality. A comparatively minor one, if that description is appropriate, which, on reflection it isn’t, given the pain it must have caused, was a carpet burn on his nose, sustained when his face was savagely rubbed into urine on a carpet, which he had wet in terror after being yelled at. He died in hospital and his killers have been found guilty of murder. According to media reports of the trial, they showed no emotion when the verdict was announced. Perhaps they would if the judge donned a black cap before delivering sentence later this year. But I digress. The UK abolished capital punishment decades ago. We are a “civilised” society, although one could be forgiven for questioning the accuracy of that statement.

Ryan was not on the “at risk”

assessment of the social services but, given the number of recent examples of children who were, and subsequently died as a result of illtreatment at the hands of their biological mother and father and/or an assortment of partners/aunties/uncles/friends, there is no guarantee he would still be alive had he been. That is possibly a tad unfair on the social services, under-staffed, under-resourced and stretched to the limit by their workload.

A personal opinion is that a serious number of children are doomed from birth. So many people who become parents, usually by accident, lack the maturity, economic stability, social awareness and common sense to assume responsibility for another human being. A domestic environment, already made unstable by unemployment, financial turmoil, alcohol and drugs, is most certainly not the place for a baby or toddler.

Little wonder we have so many Baby Ps.

A teacher I know, currently on the staff of a school in one of the “less desirable” areas of Bolton, describes the parents of some of her pupils in most unflattering terms. I think she means that aggressive, ill-mannered, uncaring morons don’t make ideal mums and dads. There is a solution, but suggesting it will trigger an inevitable backlash. The teacher and I agree that compulsory sterilisation would be the best possible solution to lots of society’s problems. I wonder how many others share that view?