Mom says she will always “hate” her ex-killer who dumped her 11-month-old baby boy in the channel “for attention”



A mom said she would always “hate” her ex-killer who dumped their baby boy in a canal.

Emma Blood, 24, said she was considering suicide after baby Zakari was killed by her father, Zak Bennett-Eko, 23, in Bury, Greater Manchester in 2019.


Mum Emma Blood has already spoken of her “unimaginable pain”Credit: MEN Media
Zak Bennett-Eko, 23, threw baby to death in icy river


Zak Bennett-Eko, 23, threw baby to death in icy riverCredit: MEN Media

“I missed my little boy so much that I decided to kill myself when my daughter was born safe and sound. But when she arrived I knew I could never leave her,” she told the Mirror.

“I looked at Isla and cried for hours because I missed Zakari and I had sworn to be with him, but I knew Isla had no one but me to rely on. Isla gave me enough to live on. She saved my life. “

Emma still harbors a lot of anger towards Zakari’s father almost two years later and says she didn’t know he was a paranoid schizophrenic.

“I hate Zak. I never hated anyone again. I know he’s sick, but I don’t have a hint of sympathy for him. If he was crying out for help, why kill our son for attention?

“I had no idea how sick he was. He told me he had suffered from psychosis in the past for which he was taking medication, but he never told me he was schizophrenic.

“No one in his family did either.”

Bennett-Eko was convicted of the manslaughter of his son, out of reduced liability, and received an order for indefinite hospitalization.

The psychopathic dad threw 11-month-old Zakari over a 5-foot fence into the River Irwell after believing his son was turning into a devil.

He then ran into a pub and announced what he had done.

Emma, ​​an eight-month-old mother who was pregnant with Isla at the time of Zakari’s death, said she would have sought help for Zak if she had known he was ill.

“I could have made him take his meds and see the warning signs and my son could still be here. I might have even decided not to have children.”

She recalls that Bennett-Eko had acted oddly in the days leading up to her son’s death.

I hate Zak. I never hated anyone again. I know he’s sick, but I don’t have a hint of sympathy for him.

Emma blood

Bennett-Eko claimed singer Beyoncé was her late mother and accused her of dating British rapper Aitch.

Emma worried, but the 23-year-old’s family told her he was “putting it on”.

A week before Zakari’s death, she took Bennett-Eko to hospital after he complained that he “wasn’t feeling well”.

Emma said Zak seemed “happy and relaxed” and played with Zakari the morning he was murdered.

“I had no idea what was going on in his head. When we got back I went upstairs to clean up and when I got down they were gone. I thought they would be back soon. “she said.

But 20 minutes later, she heard sirens and a helicopter and was called by the police.

Emma froze when a passerby said to the police, “Have you ever arrested this psychopath? He killed his baby.” Emma said, “My heart fell in my belly.”

She remembers the doctors at the Royal Bolton Hospital trying to revive Zakari and the “hours” she was sitting next to his lifeless body.

“I held him, I kissed him… it was awful. He was so cold and heavy and it will live with me forever.”

Emma remembers baby Zakari as a “happy, content baby with a wonderful little smile and a head full of curls”.

A week after putting Zakari to rest, she gave birth with Isla, who will be two years old in October.

A close examination of the case revealed thirteen key flaws in the way healthcare teams handled the care of Zak and his family.

Paul Sharkey, review manager, discovered that Zak had “got lost” in the health care system after moving to another area.

He also revealed that there had been an “active failure” not to assess Zak at the Greater Manchester Mental Health Emergency and Emergency Department days before the incident.

There was a ‘faulty’ team around the family assessment that produced the wrong plan of action to support the family, as well as a lack of ‘secondary support from the mental health / disorder agency’. secondary apprenticeship for the father ”.

Agencies working in Bury and Greater Manchester have also been accused of communication problems around the family.

A review of the circumstances surrounding Zakari's death revealed 13 lapses


A review of the circumstances surrounding Zakari’s death revealed 13 lapsesCredit: MEN Media
Baby Zakari Bennett-Eko was rescued from the River Irwell in Greater Manchester but was pronounced dead in hospital


Baby Zakari Bennett-Eko was rescued from the River Irwell in Greater Manchester but was pronounced dead in hospitalCredit: MEN Media
Tributes left to the young


Tributes left to the youngCredit: MEN Media

Bennett-Eko said he believed the 11-month-old was turning into a devil when he threw him into the River Irwell at Radcliffe in Bury, Greater Manchester on the afternoon of September 11 2019.

During his trial, the court heard that the paranoid schizophrenic had visited North Manchester General Hospital days before his son’s death and asked to be severed, but left before being treated .

A serious case review published by Bury Integrated Safeguarding Partnership found Bennett-Eko was fired from a learning disabilities department after moving between Bury and Manchester.

He listed 13 factors that combined to produce a “path to evil” for Zakari, including a “fragmented and highly complex adult health and social care system”.

The report states that Bennett-Eko and Zakari’s mother were transferred to Bury from Manchester in June 2018, which was a major factor in their “social isolation and increased vulnerability”.

If they had been treated a month later, they would have found temporary accommodation in Manchester due to a change in policy, according to the review.

In August of the same year, Bennett-Eko was fired from the Manchester Learning Disabilities Department for lack of attendance.

The review said: “The result was that he became ‘lost’ and his needs were overlooked by the Manchester healthcare system, including the key element of a responsible clinician to oversee his medications.”

Reviewers said a “flawed” assessment by Bury Children’s Social Care in May 2019 did not take into account the risks of Bennett-Eko not taking his medication and reverting to cannabis use.

By August of the same year his mental health deteriorated rapidly and in September 2019 he visited A&E three times at North Manchester General Hospital, but the delays meant he was not seen. by an access and crisis service before the death of her son.

Tony Decrop, deputy director of social services and protection at Bury Council, said there had been no “full appreciation” of the risk Bennett-Eko posed to his son.

He added: “All agencies involved are very sorry for what happened and are determined to do everything possible to prevent, as far as possible, something like this from happening again.

“We have already learned from the review of this case and action has been taken accordingly.”

Bernadette Enright, Executive Director of Adult Social Services for Manchester City Council, said: “This was a complex case with multiple factors and a distressing and extreme conclusion.

“It is important that all agencies involved in this case reflect on preparing for these tragic events and use the learnings to strengthen the practice.”

Julian Hendy, of the Hundred Families charity, said: “Zakari’s father had a worrying history of severe mental illness and violence which was known to services, but he was not followed and monitored as he should have. being.

“He too was vulnerable, but despite his many requests for help, he did not receive the care and treatment he desperately needed. If he had, young Zak might still be with us today.

Dad, 22, arrested for “throwing baby boy to death from bridge after taking 11 month old to buy milk”


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