Peter Wilson was allowed to abuse children at Little Stars Day Nursery in Birmingham. Student colleagues at the nursery had raised concerns about him having a ‘special relationship’ with a vulnerable toddler and they told their college tutor that he had taken children to the adult toilet on his own and sat them on his lap. A superficial investigation was carried out by Birmingham City Council but no action was taken.
Poor nursery management and a failure by OFSTED and Birmingham City Council to properly investigate suspicions enabled the man to continue with the abuse.
Wilson raped a toddler and filmed it on his mobile phone. The abuse at the nursery was only revealed when police seized his computer following unrelated complaints of online grooming.
He was jailed for life after pleading guilty to two charges of rape and 46 other sexual offences at Birmingham Crown Court in June 2011.
Worryingly, Wilson was employed as fully qualified nursery nurse in October 2009, even though the nursery had not made an up-to-date Criminal Record Bureau check and he had not completed his college course.
Government inspectors OFSTED also received an anonymous complaint and carried out an investigation, but they did not speak to Wilson. An improvement notice was issued to tighten up safeguarding procedures and ensure that staff had appropriate qualifications.
Wilson also raised concerns with OFSTED, it is thought in an attempt to deflect attention away from himself.
Jane Held, independent chairwoman of the multi-agency Birmingham Safeguarding Children Board said: “Responsibility for this awful abuse must, and does, lie with the perpetrator. He was clever, duplicitous and manipulative and took advantage of weaknesses in the system.
“Parents should be able to trust the people they leave their children with to ensure that children are properly protected. In this case there were unfortunately a number of weaknesses in the way that nursery was run and a number of opportunities to intervene earlier and prevent the continuation of abuse which were missed.”
This is the worst kind of abuse and could absolutely have been avoided if proper checks had been made before employing Mr Wilson and if reported concerns had been properly investigated.
This truly sad story and the catalogue of errors that surrounded it serves to highlight the many problems in the systems intended to safeguard the welfare of children in this Country. The onus is on all of us to not only report concerns when they arise but to try and ensure that those concerns are properly investigated. At Jordans we act for many clients who have suffered abuse as children and have been left devastated by their experiences.