Milton Keynes Council regret over sex abuse

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THE council has expressed its “regret” over four siblings who were abused by their father for 12 years due to negligence by social workers.

The young people last year successfully sued Milton Keynes Council at the High Court for £320,000 compensation.

They had been placed on the child protection register of the former Bucks County Council in 1992 after it was discovered their father had sexually abused them.

But six months later social workers allowed the man to return to the family home and the children’s names were removed from the register.

For 12 years he continued to abuse the youngsters in what the court heard was a “reign of terror”. Their suffering only ended when the father had a stroke in 2005.

Two years later he admitted 40 sexual offences and was imprisoned for life.

Milton Keynes Council took over the responsibility of social services in 1997 when it became a unitary authority.

Though it contested liability all the way to a High Court appeal, it was finally ordered to pay compensation.

After the case, child abuse specialist Tracey Emmott was concerned that the council had seemingly neither changed its social services procedures nor fully investigated the abuse the children suffered.

She helped the four victims take their case to city MP Iain Stewart. This week, in a letter to the MP, council chief executive Dave Hill said procedures had changed and a more “robust” checking system was in place.

He wrote: “We regret the events which caused distress and damage to your constituents.

“I hope this response will assure you, and them, that the same mistakes will not be repeated today.”

Mr Stewart said: “This was an appalling case of abuse. It is essential that lessons are learned so that this cannot happen again.

“I trust Milton Keynes Council will continue to ensure their procedures and safeguards are robust.”