Thursday, October 9, 2008

Errors made in sex offender case

Errors were made in the case of a convicted sex offender who was allowed to care for his daughter and ended up abusing her, an inquiry has found.

The man, 67, from the Redcar and Cleveland area, was allowed to carry on living with the girl in 2005 despite her complaints of sexual abuse.

He has since been jailed and a South Tees Local Safeguarding Children Board inquiry was ordered into the case.

The report concluded that mistakes were made by social services and police.

Police investigated the abuse complaints, but the girl remained in the man's care until February 2006.

The father of seven, referred to as Mr X, was later convicted of 12 sexual offences and received an indeterminate prison sentence, with a minimum term of four years.

Mr X, who was considered to be "very high risk", was not on the Sex Offenders Register because his previous convictions dated from before its introduction in 1997, the report said.

Series of errors

But it said he had been known to police and social services since moving to the area from Islington in 1995.

He was not assessed as posing a significant risk to children, it found, and police failed to pass on intelligence in 1999 and 2003 that "could have contributed significantly to the overall assessment of risk".

The report also questioned Mr X's medical treatment.

It said: "Mr X was a known sex offender. He was prescribed Viagra at a time when he was a sole carer of children."

It said 18 child protection referrals were made to Redcar and Cleveland children's social care department between 1995 and 2006, but that a "series of errors" led to the children remaining in the care of Mr X.

The report said social workers did not adequately check the case history of the family.

In a statement, Cleveland Police said it "acknowledged" the findings of the report.

"25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years"
.........Sarah Tofte

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