A social services department at Norfolk County Council has been accused of placing a five year old child at risk by failing to prevent a convicted paedophile from having access to her. He had been placed on the sex offenders register for life after two decades of abuse
The Mail Online reports: A social services department allowed a convicted paedophile unrestricted access to a five-year-old girl and failed to tell her mother about his past.
The troubled social services department at Norfolk County Council has been accused of placing the child at risk as they allegedly knew the man was allowed to care for the girl alone but did not warn her mother about his history.
The case came to light after MPs and foster carers called for an investigation into claims the department has wrongly removed dozens of children from their carers.
Minutes from a meeting show the girl sat on the paedophile’s lap in the presence of a social worker on April 10 last year – two weeks before police were forced to intervene after he disappeared with her.
The allegation is the latest to hit Norfolk Children’s Services after Ofsted raised concerns about child protection in the county.
A senior Government social work adviser who worked on the Baby P case has been drafted in to help turn the department around.
The girl’s mother, who lived in Great Yarmouth at the time, said: ‘They failed me, they put my daughter at risk and I want some kind of justice.’
The paedophile – whose crimes were described as ‘lamentable’ by a judge at the time – was placed on the sex offenders register for life in 2008 for attacks on girls as young as seven over a period of two decades.
He re-established contact with the girl’s mother, who he was related to but had not seen for decades, in February last year.
She insists she had no knowledge of his sex abuse past and says that he initially seemed to be playing a positive role in the family’s life.
But the woman alleges the man sexually assaulted her on April 25 before taking her daughter on a shopping trip alone.
She phoned social services and was told to call the police immediately.
Officers tracked him down after about an hour and established the girl had not been harmed.
Two days after this incident social workers revealed his history of abuse to the girl’s mother – she claims they told her she must have been aware.
A council spokesman said that the girl was not subject to a child protection plan at the time, although documents show she was classed as a less serious ‘child in need’.
He added: ‘It is disappointing that when he was present during a meeting at the mother’s home, we didn’t put two and two together and realise that he was a convicted paedophile.
‘No concerns were raised about him by the mother or anyone else at that meeting, and it was not thought necessary to check the background of a visitor.
‘Once the level of risk became clear we acted quickly to ensure the child’s safety. Fortunately, we have no reason to believe that the girl was harmed during the time he was with the family.’
It is disappointing that when he was present during a meeting at the mother’s home, we didn’t put two and two together and realise that he was a convicted paedophile
– Norfolk County Council spokesman
The social worker involved has since left their job.