Accused sexual abuser allowed to assault boy after being housed with families

A man accused of sexually abusing a child was housed with young families – where he molested another boy.

The 20-year-old man was on bail for abusing an 11-year-old when he was placed in the same accommodation as young kids.

He was under the care of Norfolk County Council at the time, who failed to inform North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) that he was not meant to be left alone with children.

The man was jailed in May 2017 for abusing the 11-year-old and 14-year-old boys.

The failings by the children’s services department were exposed in a serious case review, published on Wednesday.

The report into the case found that the man was accused of abusing the boy in December 2015.

He was on bail when he was housed with a number of families in May 2016, when the second child was assaulted.

Just four weeks before he was put in the home, police had graded him as a “medium” risk for child sexual exploitation.

However, even when children’s services found out he was living in a home with children they did not tell NNDC for another two weeks.

Earlier that year he was also refused accommodation by a housing agency because of the allegations of abuse against him.

The serious case review also found the abuse should have been referred to something called the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) so councils and other services in Norfolk would know about the case.

The investigator found there was a “missed opportunity” to assess his risk.

The report read: “Unfortunately, due to a set of mistaken assumptions by both the police and Norfolk children’s services, each agency thought that the other was taking primary responsibility with the housing agency for moving.”

Sara Tough, director of Norfolk children’s services, said they “did not act quickly or decisively enough”. “We are sorry to those affected,” she added.

Ms Tough said children’s services had “completely transformed” over the last two years.

The department is currently rated “requires improvement” by Ofsted.

 

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