Probe into blunder over paedophile

    An inquiry into how a convicted paedophile came to be housed next
    to a children’s home and later abducted a 13-year-old boy has been
    launched by Birmingham Council.

    Social services announced the inquiry after Patrick Marsh was
    sentenced to four and a half years in prison at Birmingham Crown
    Court last week for taking the child, who was in the council’s
    care.

    The council’s deputy leader, John Hemming, said: “I have been
    concerned about the council allocating inappropriate people housing
    in a number of inappropriate locations and wish to see a full
    investigation into why this happened.”

    Marsh was placed in council accommodation in 2001 with the help of
    a multi-agency public protection panel, made up of the police, the
    probation service, housing, social care and education.

    Hemming said he had also intervened in a case involving a person
    with a history of drugs offences who had been placed in a sheltered
    housing scheme for older people and was involved in a brawl with
    residents.

    In 2002, the housing department created a specialist post to better
    co-ordinate and create more robust procedures relating to the
    allocation of housing to high-risk offenders in the community.

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