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Joanne Hill Review Results

September 10, 2009

A review after a woman with mental health problems drowned her disabled daughter found “no serious failings” by health and social services.

Joanne Hill, 33, from Connah’s Quay, Flintshire, murdered Naomi, four, because she could not cope with the little girl’s mild cerebral palsy.

Simon Hill branded his wife “evil” as was jailed for life last year.

Flintshire Council has accepted the recommendations made by a serious case review it ordered after the case.

The findings of the review were made public on Tuesday.

Chairwoman of Flintshire’s local safeguarding children board, Susan Lewis, said in the report: “There are no serious failings identified within this review.”

Carers of patients receiving mental health services should be more fully involved with those working with their relatives
More information should be sought from people making referrals to mental health teams
Crisis teams dealing with mental health emergnecies should have a clearer point of contact for patients and their carers
Midwifery services should give greater consideration to mental health issues
Source: Flintshire Council

Ms Lewis added: “The review looked in great detail at the history surrounding the circumstances leading up to the death of (Naomi), the knowledge of professionals directly involved with the child and also the mental health services experienced by her mother.

“Nevertheless, no matter how good our services are, we are never complacent.

“Accordingly, the authors have recommended, and we have accepted, a range of recommendations which we have already started to pursue in advance of this publication.”

Hill, who had a long history of mental health problems starting at 17, admitted killing Naomi, who walked with the help of calipers, after failing to convince her husband that she should be offered for adoption.

Her trial at Chester Crown Court heard that in early 2007 Hill suffered a serious relapse of her depressive illness and was being treated at home with nurses visiting her twice a day.

Joanne Hill

Joanne Hill had a history of mental health problems

On the evening of 26 November that year, after an apparent improvement in her condition, Hill got drunk and drowned her daughter in the bath by holding her head underwater for 10 minutes.

She then dressed Naomi in denim dungarees and a pink and yellow top before putting her in the family car along with her handbag and a bottle of wine.

She drove around the local area for the next eight hours , stopping to drink the wine, buy another bottle and petrol, while her dead daughter remained in the back seas.

Eventually, she drove to the Countess of Chester Hotel and carried the child into A&E, screaming for help.

Speaking after his wife’s conviction last September, Simon Hill said: “Joanne is a non-swimmer with a fear of water. To be held under water is her biggest fear.

“What she did to my princess Naomi was evil.”

The judge gave Hill a minimum term of 15 years saying there was no excuse for what she did.

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