North East Lincolnshire social services has defended its actions
in five cases of alleged sexual contact with under-age girls
involving Soham murderer Ian Huntley, writes David
Social workers were involved in or aware of five cases,
including an alleged indecent assault on an 11-year-old girl, but
in each case the girl did not want to make a complaint against
Four of the girls, one who was 13 and the others 15, regarded
Huntley as a boyfriend briefly in 1995-6 when he was in Grimsby.
The indecent assault allegation was investigated by the police in
1998, but no prosecution followed.
Darren Shaw, deputy director of child care for North East
Lincolnshire Council, said that once the girls decided not to
complain there was nothing else the social workers could have done
apart from recommend the girls saw a GP.
He said Humberside police force, which was informed of each case
except one involving a 15-year-old girl based on rumour, would have
been expected to look into Huntley’s past. Each case was in a
different part of the council’s area, and was dealt with by a
different social worker.“
Even with the benefit of hindsight there is nothing we could
have done differently,” he said.
“The responsibility of the children’s service is to
help and support children and young people. Huntley was an adult
and was not our client. The council had no power to take action in
relation to Huntley.”
He also said there was nothing in any dealings social services
had with Huntley to suggest he could be a killer.
The school in Soham where Huntley and Maxine Carr worked did not
approach North East Lincolnshire Council for any information before
he was employed, and the council would not have expected an
approach because neither was employed by the council.
Huntley was convicted of murdering Holly Wells and Jessica
Chapman at the Old Bailey, and has been given a life sentence for
each murder. Maxine Carr was cleared of assisting an offender, but
convicted of conspiring to pervert the course of justice. She was
given a three-and-a-half year jail sentence.