herald

Monday 11 December 2017

Family of little Hassan (2) 'has no answers'

"We have no answers."

These were the dumbfounded words of the uncle of tragic toddler Hassan Khan who was stabbed to death in his own home.

Little Hassan (2) was found dead in a bedroom of his family apartment in Ridge Hall, Ballybrack village, on Thursday afternoon.

His mother, Hazel Waters (43), remains in custody after she was arrested in connection with the boy's death.

Ms Waters' brother Gary said that the family is still trying to piece together what happened.

"The whole situation is unfathomable to us. We have absolutely no answers," he said.

"We have put all our trust in the guards to take this forward. That includes all aspects regarding Hazel and the child, and the father."

Mr Waters revealed that his sister met Hassan's father Saleem Khan (61) in 2008 but the couple had never married.

A post-mortem examination held yesterday confirmed that the toddler died as a result of a stab wound to the neck, caused by a pair of scissors.

He said that the extended Waters family have "absolutely no understanding" as to how the tragedy could have happened.

Mr Waters last saw his sister a week ago but he had not spoken to her since she was detained at Dun Laoghaire Garda Station.

Hug

"I suppose there's nothing to say to her," he said. "If I could get a way of giving her a hug without her reacting adversely to it, I would be very pleased."

Gardai, who are conducting a full murder investigation, say they are dealing with a "dreadfully tragic" case.

The HSE had previously launched a child protection inquiry in August after Hassan was the subject of a garda Child Risk Ireland (CRI) alert.

However, on that date, gardai found the boy safe and well in the company of his father within an hour of the alarm being raised.

A HSE child protection investigation then found that Hazel Waters was capable of raising her son safely.

Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, confirmed it would hand over information to any investigation on the support offered to the boy and his family before his death.

The boy's father, who was informed of the tragedy on Thursday night, was being comforted by family and friends.

It is understood that he formally identified his son's body at Tallaght hospital yesterday.

Gardai were granted permission to extend Ms Waters's period of detention and were granted a court order enabling them to preserve the apartment for a longer period.

Yesterday the Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald said the family supports made available to Hassan and his family are likely to be examined as part of the investigation into his death.

hnews@herald.ie

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