According to a BBC article, Pembrokeshire’s Council leader says he has a “deep regret for any shortfalls” in the case of a sacked youth worker who later went on to abuse a boy. Mik Smith stayed in his job in the council despite an internal inquiry in 2005. Smith was jailed for six years last week at Swansea Crown Court.
A Labour motion calling for a full investigation was dropped, after the Welsh Children’s Commissioner said he would pursue the matter. Six out of the 11 complaints made against Smith in 2005 were upheld and he was given a verbal warning, but chief executive Bryn Parry Jones said there was no evidence of criminality. The 49-year-old from Haverfordwest was eventually sacked by the council in 2012 after a report by the social services inspectorate called for his case to be reviewed.
Unfortunately he went on to abuse an eight-year-old boy and filmed his actions in 2013. The victim’s mother said if the council had investigated complaints properly in 2005 her son may not have been abused.
The boy’s mother has called for an inquiry into how the council handled the complaints. “He is in a position of huge responsibility for the people of Pembrokeshire who need to live in a safe way,” the boy’s mother told BBC Wales’ Week In Week Out programme earlier this week.
Significant failings in the council’s disciplinary processes were highlighted by the national inspectorates in 2011 which led to the authority changing its procedures and management of the education department and the council’s chief executive said past failings would not be repeated. Wales’ children’s commissioner Keith Towler is looking at the council’s handling of complaints about Smith and collating information, but there is not yet a formal investigation, according to his office.