A report by Mark Greenburgh has stated that no legal proceedings should be brought against any current or former employees of Rotherham Council over how the cases of child sex abuse were handled.
The report has stated that the failings were “not the fault of any one person but the result of multiple and systemic failures. But there were key moments when a substantially different history may have occurred if individual judgements and responses had been better.”
More than 1,400 children were sexually abused in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013 the Jay report found. Six reports have now been published by the Council in response to the Jay Report’s findings.
Rotherham Council was declared “not fit for purpose” in 2015 over its handling of child sexual exploitation and is in the process of recruiting more social workers in an attempt to use fewer agency staff.
The report states that former staff member Ged Fitzgerald who was chief executive from 2000 – 2003 and Jacqueline Wilson, who was head of children and families within social services from 2000 – 2004, were not to be blamed for the emerging evidence of child sex exploitation. The report has however urged that they both read the report into how they handled the events as “there are points at which each missed opportunities to have changed the outcomes.”
One of the survivors of the abuse, Sammy Woodhouse has said “I want people held accountable and it just feels like it’s never going to happen.” Ms Woodhouse was only 14 years old when she met Arshid Hussain, known as Mad Ash around Rotherham. He was one of three brothers charged last February with grooming and sexual abuse of more than 50 girls including Ms Woodhouse. Arshid and his brother Basharat were found guilty of 38 offences, which included the offences of rape, indecent assault, abduction, actual bodily harm and forcing their victims to have sex with others. Arshid, 40, was imprisoned for 35 years; Basharat, 39, and Bannaras, 36, were imprisoned for 25 and 19 years respectively.
Rotherham MP Sarah Champion has said that the “reports are a wasted opportunity to allow the town to move forward.”
If you have been affected by anything in this article and would like advice on how to pursue a civil damages claim, please do not hesitate to contact our highly professional Abuse team. We have successfully represented numerous victims of alleged abuse by professionals and authorities.