David and Samuel Briggs (David and Samuel Filipache)

In October 2000, less than four months after arriving in County Armagh, 14-month-old David died in the care of his adoptive parents Gwen and Geoffrey Briggs.

The Assistant State Pathologist for Northern Ireland, Dr Michael Curtis, failed to examine X-rays which showed multiple fractures on David's body when he carried out an initial post-mortem. Later his body was exhumed and a second post-mortem examination revealed 27 partially-healed fractures.

Two weeks after the death of David Briggs, his 14-month old twin brother Samuel was brought to hospital with a fractured skull. Geoffrey Briggs had punched the child for refusing to take some medicine. Unlike his brother Samuel survived the attack.

Geoffrey Briggs received one year imprisonment for the attack on Samuel and was released after six months when he was being attacked by fellow inmates, after which the couple fled to Scotland. For the death of  David no-one was ever charged. The Briggs were former overseas missionaries.

The boys were adopted from Romania, where there parents were unaware of their adoption.
Date: 2000-10-01
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse, Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father


Organizations: Craigavon and Banbridge HSS Trust



Portadown, Armagh
United Kingdom
DocumentDatesort icon
No prosecutions after Romanian child's death2008-02-09
No prosecution over twin's death 2008-02-08
Child Maltreatment, Child Abuse Fatalities Among Internationally Adopted Children2007-11-01
New pathologist missed infant's multiple fractures2005-02-12
No danger signs: boss of twins' adoption: Social Worker breaks silence2005-01-15
'My nightmare over case of tragic twins'2004-09-04
Tragic twins 'were not orphans'2004-03-23
Medic Faces Disciplinary Action Over Twin's Death2004-03-09
'No concerns' over twin's home2004-02-27
Probe after orphan death 2004-02-26
Pathologist found not guilty 2004-01-16
Baby 'was starved of oxygen' 2004-01-14
Injuries 'should have been seen' 2004-01-13
Health chiefs 'failed' tragic adopted twin2003-09-04
How did baby die?2003-09-04
Trust criticised over baby death 2003-09-04
Call to release baby report 2003-07-02
Baby's injuries report kept secret 2003-07-02
Baby beater is targeted by loyalist pipe bomber2002-10-20
Jail after 'grave' attack on baby2002-03-21
Vicious dad brutally beat the baby he travelled across world to adopt2001-12-02
Care worker disciplined over boys1996-06-15


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