Foster Father Abused Children in his Care for 14 Years
A foster father accused of collecting child porn was free to abuse the children in his care over a fourteen year period after police failed to investigate an anonymous tip-off alleging his abuse.
When a London police station received an anonymous call in 1999, detailing the man’s alleged offences such as showing young children pictures of other children being abused, it was not acted on.
Over the following fourteen years, the foster father carried out 20 acts of abuse against five school girls that he and his wife looked after under Hackney Council’s foster scheme. The abuse included acts of indecency, sexual assaults and even rape.
He was jailed in 2013; however prosecutors think the attacks he committed were carried out between 1999 and 2008. There is also a fear that he filmed the abuse and uploaded it online for others to view.
Needless to say, local child protection agencies are ‘furious’ after discovering police failure to follow up the initial claims made against the man, which are said to have been before his first documented act of abuse.
After uncovering the failings in a Serious Case Review, Jim Gamble of the City and Hackney Safeguarding Children Board (CHSCB), has criticised the force. He said:
‘The police failed to deal with an early anonymous complaint about the main offender’s use of indecent images. I am convinced that had they done so the vast majority of the offending (known to us) could have been prevented.
‘Police knew an allegation had been made against a foster carer and on each of the occasions when he was subject to the regular checks that carers are required to undergo, a decision was made not to share that information. In my opinion this case provides evidence that this system needs to be urgently reviewed.
‘Whilst this opportunity to intervene occurred over a decade ago, I welcome the fact that the police have accepted the recommendation to investigate this incident and I am reassured by the steps they have taken to restructure and realign responsibility and oversight for contemporary investigations.’
Other Authorities Unaware of Allegations
Despite the fact that officers carried out four background checks on the man as he and his wife fostered 30 children, the CHSCB confirmed that Hackney Council were not made aware of the allegations of abuse at any time. Mr Gamble added that were Hackney Council made aware of the allegations, children would not have been put into his care.
Calling the oversight by police among the worst he has ever encountered, Peter Saunders of the National Association of People Abused in Childhood said:
‘Foster children are extremely vulnerable. That’s why foster parents, the majority of whom do a brilliant job, should be doubly investigated if there’s a hint of suspicion.’
Meanwhile, Scotland Yard explained that they could provide no details regarding the ‘serious error’ because records had been destroyed.
Sexual Abuse Claims – Expert Advice
Hampson Hughes Solicitors specialises in directing sexual abuse claims in a considerate and compassionate manner. Our Abuse & Criminal Injuries Department is headed by Greg Neill – Greg is a member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers (ACAL).
For an open and friendly conversation about your situation, and to find out how we can assist you relevant to your individual experience, call 0800 888 6 888 or email [email protected]
You will be given the direct-dial of your case handler, meaning that you will always be able to reach the person you need.
Source: Daily Mail