Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Schoolboy, 11, raped nine-year-old disabled boy after council ignored warnings he was a danger to others - 15th June 2011

Social services repeatedly ignored pleas to take a boy of 11 into care just days before he raped a nine-year-old disabled boy.

The sickening attack came just 13 days after a child psychiatrist had written the second of two letters urging them to take immediate action.

Despite the warnings, social workers chose to do nothing and instead the disturbed youngster, now aged 13, was free to rape his defenceless victim.

A damning report published today condemned the horrifying catalogue of failings and concluded that the attack was entirely preventable.

The serious case review concluded that Sunderland City Council had ‘consistently’ failed in their duties and had paid little, or no attention, to the repeated warnings about Child X.

It said: ‘The lessons to be drawn from this serious case review for Sunderland Children’s Services Social Care are significant and extensive.

‘They consistently failed in their statutory duties to safeguard Child X.

‘Mental health services were involved and latterly made representation to Sunderland Children’s Services Social Care.

‘Unfortunately these were not listened to or acted upon before a serious offence took place.’

The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, carried out the sickening attack on June 8, 2009, after luring his disabled victim to his bedroom with the promise of Pokemon games.

Once inside the room the boy carried out a 15-second attack, ignoring the pleas of his victims for him to stop.

His victim then went home and told his mother who called the police.

Sentencing him to four-and-a-half-years' detention in November 2009 the judge at Newcastle Crown Court said the crime could have been avoided if Sunderland social services had heeded Dr Stephen Westgarth’s warnings.

The psychiatrist first wrote to them on March 23 that year, then on May 26, but received no reply. Read More