Social services accused of failing to liaise with police over Huntley

Social services did not pass on concerns to police that Ian Huntley
was having a sexual relationship with a pair of school friends, the
Bichard inquiry heard this week.

Peter Billam, a former senior police officer with the Humberside
force, said he had never seen a fax sent by Roger Davis of
Immingham School to North East Lincolnshire social services in

It detailed concerns that two girls, known as CD and EF, had been
having a relationship with Huntley and that he had given them
alcohol and drugs.

Billam, who headed the Grimsby child protection unit but is now
retired, defended the unit’s inaction saying that he did not know
about the fax.

Nine months earlier, Billam had taken the decision not to prosecute
or caution Huntley despite him admitting to a sexual relationship
with a 15-year-old girl because she would not press charges.

The girl, known as AB, believed that Huntley, aged 21 at the time,
was her boyfriend and without a complaint by her, the prosecution
was unlikely to be successful.

“It was a boyfriend/girlfriend situation, which was not uncommon.
She did not want to prosecute her boyfriend,” Billam said.

The inquiry heard that AB was the first of several girls to come to
the attention of the police through their involvement with Huntley.
AB and her brother had been allowed to stay with Huntley by an
unnamed social worker after being thrown out of their home by their

Billam said he was “very surprised”that the incident had not been
entered into the child protection register but earlier admitted
that the system was largely a “managerial tool” and “unreliable”.
He added that he would “possibly” have acted differently over the
CD and EF case if he had made the link with AB.

Counsel to the inquiry James Eadie said social services had
“arranged”, after speaking to Huntley, to let ABand her brother
remain with Huntley despite knowing she was having a sexual
relationship with him. Eadie said questions would need to be asked
about why such a decision was made.

Witnesses from North East Lincolnshire social services will give
evidence to the inquiry next week.

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