THE mother of a woman who walked in front of a train with her baby son has criticised officials for their "insensitive" inquiries.
Carol Oettinger lived with daughter Donna and grandson Zachary in Riddlesdown before the pair were hit by a train on March 22.
The bereaved grandmother is waiting for the results of three official inquiries but says the public bodies involved have failed to treat her with respect and have made the most difficult time of her life even harder. Clive Reed, Carol's ex-partner and friend, told the Advertiser she had been treated with insensitivity by officers organising a meeting held by the CSCB. "There was a meeting on June 25 which Carol was told about by letter a week beforehand," he said. "It said she would have to complete a presentation about what childcare got right, what they got wrong and what improvements she would like to see. "Carol has never done any public speaking before, but it said she could bring an 'objective adult' with her, so I said I would come and we would write it together. "Then she got a call a few days before and the officer said no, she would be allotted someone by them, or she would have to bring a solicitor. "How could she stand up in a room full of strangers and talk about the most emotive and terrible thing that has ever happened to her? "It was so insensitive she decided she just couldn't go. I was there when she got off the phone and she just cried and cried, it was awful. I was outraged by it." A spokesman from the CSCB confirmed its invitation was not taken up by Carol Oettinger. "Safeguarding boards are implementing a number of new approaches to serious case reviews," he said. "We have been keen to explore the way in which family members can feed into the process, and in this case a family member was invited to attend one of the learning sessions. The invitation was, however, not taken up." Mr Reed said his friend was also anxious to hear the results of the SLaM inquiry because she feels Donna's mental health treatment for her severe anxiety was not good enough. A SLaM spokesman said: "We are currently carrying out a thorough internal review of Donna Oettinger's care and treatment. "We take the death of any patient extremely seriously and our thoughts are with the family." The British Transport Police said it has handed evidence to the coroner.