A social worker “arranged” for a 15-year-old girl
and her younger brother to stay with Ian Huntley despite the fact
she was known to be having a sexual relationship with him,
writes Sally Gillen.
North East Lincolnshire social services had received a referral
that the girl, known as ‘AB’, and her younger brother
had been thrown out of their home by their parents, and were living
with Huntley. AB was known to be in a sexual relationship with
Huntley and was possibly pregnant.
The public inquiry into how Huntley got a job as a school
caretaker in Soham despite a string of sexual allegations against
him, including four of underage sex, heard that an unnamed male
social worker had allowed the girt, known as AB, to remain with
Counsel for the inquiry James Eadie said “an unnamed male
social worker spoke to Ian Huntley …….and arranged for
the children to stay there”.
Questions would need to be asked about why such a decision was
made, he said.
AB was the first of a number of girls who came to the attention
of Humberside police and North East Lincolnshire social services
between 1995 and 1999 because of her involvement with Huntley.
The case, which occurred in Aug 1995, was later the subject of a
joint investigation by the police and social services. But despite
signing a police statement in which she admitted to having a sexual
relationship with Huntley, who was 21 at the time, another social
worker concluded there were no concerns in relation to AB’s
The case was never entered onto the police child protection
database. Eadie said Humberside police had explained this failure
by saying the forms had either not been submitted, had been lost in
transit or not processed.
Earlier, he told the inquiry that the database, one of three in
Humberside to record intelligence by the police, had been described
in a June 2003 police best value inspection as
“ineffective” and “almost worthless”.
Child protection police officers were unable to access it from
their own computers, no guidance was provided as to the nature of
what should be on it, and the task of inputting information was
left to clerical workers, who only worked office hours preventing
access at any other time. Just two of the nine incidents involving
Huntley were recorded on the child protection database.
Over the next 16 days the inquiry will hear from North East
Lincolnshire social services, Humberside and Cambridgeshire police