THE county council has referred itself for an independent review after a baby in its care died, prompting a murder investigation by police.

Baby Leiland Corkill had been placed with potential adoptive parents but died before a formal adoption order was granted by Cumbria County Council.

John Readman, Executive Director of People at Cumbria County Council, said: “This is a deeply distressing case and our thoughts are with the little boy’s family.

"We can confirm that he was looked after by the Local Authority and at the time of his death was placed with adoptive parents.

"The county council, as part of the Cumbria Safeguarding Children Partnership, has recommended that a full independent safeguarding review is carried out."

A 37-year-old woman and a 34-year-old man, both from Barrow, have been arrested on suspicion of murder, causing and allowing the death of a child, two counts of assault/ill treatment/neglect/abandon a child/young person to cause unnecessary injury.

On January 6, police received a report from the North West Ambulance Service regarding an incident at a property in the Furness town.

The child was transferred to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital from Furness General Hospital for specialist medical care due to his critical condition.

Sadly, the one-year-old passed away on the afternoon of the January 7.

Cumbria County Council said Leiland was in its care and placed with potential adoptive parents before the final order was granted, as is standard procedure.

It is a requirement of the Adoption and Children Act 2002 that a child lives with their adoptive parents for a period before an application for an adoption order can be made.

When a child is placed with adopters, the adults go through a rigorous background and financial checks.

They assume parental responsibility but the child also remains ‘looked after’ by the local authority until an adoption order is granted.

A national newspaper reported that Leiland was taken from his birth mum Laura, of Whitehaven. at only 48-hours-old and placed into the care of Cumbria Social Services.

Speaking to The Sun newspaper, gran Yvonne Corkill, 57, said: “It’s horrible.

He was a happy, cheerful little boy and we can’t believe what’s happened.”