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Times - Article 1994 - Wandsworth Council blocks rape inquiry - Teresa Cooper

18th Dec 2013 | in Kendall House Child Abuse News

Sunday Times :

Edition 1SUN 09 OCT 1994, Page 1/5 Council blocks rape inquiry BY LIZ LIGHTFOOT, LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT HOME NEWS

POLICE have accused Wandsworth council, the flagship Conservative borough in south London, of preventing the prosecution of an alleged rapist. Detectives believe the authority has hindered the inquiry because it fears disclosures about the brutal treatment of children in its care. The council, which failed to inform police immediately of the 16-year-old girl’s allegations, has repeatedly refused to allow police access to social work files, its internal inquiry or the girl’s medical reports.

This has led Kent police to suspend their inquiries. The alleged rapist is still fostering children for Wandsworth.

``I am troubled that a public service such as Wandsworth social services is not open to external scrutiny,’’ said Detective Inspector David Pryde, heading the investigation. ``The fact that they appear able to hinder and undermine a current criminal inquiry is most unsatisfactory.’’ Pryde believes Wandsworth is trying to prevent details of its oppressive child care emerging. ``From the documents that have come into the possession of the inquiry team, I can see why Wandsworth social services do not wish these files to be open to external scrutiny,’’ he said. The girl was sent by Wandsworth to a children’s home in Gravesend, Kent, owned by the Church of England but independently managed and since closed. Records obtained by the victim show she was frequently locked in a small room with just a bed and a wash basin once for 163 days and subjected to a ``pin-down’’ regime, in which she was stripped and injected with strong tranquillisers from the age of 13.

The two alleged rapes occurred shortly after the girl turned 16 and had been fostered out to a couple in Herne Bay, Kent. Her sister alerted Wandsworth social workers, who were sceptical. No medical examinations were carried out to test her claims. The social workers did hold a meeting to discuss her case with officials at the children’s home. However, the minutes reveal that the foster father accused of rape was present but not the girl. They record that the girl had been interviewed by a social worker but had refused to withdraw her allegations. The girl was forced to confront the alleged rapist and his wife to repeat the allegation at a meeting, in contravention of good social work practice.

She was not given the support of a social worker during the confrontation. It was also alleged in reports that the girl was having sexual relations with men before the alleged rape, a claim she was not told of at the time and now vehemently denies. Although the alleged rape happened 10 years ago, the girl, now a woman of 26 with her own children, contacted the police in September last year when she learned the man was still fostering for Wandsworth council. ``The social workers brushed it all under the carpet. They tried to get me to retract but I wouldn’t so they contacted Kent police, but the inquiry never got anywhere at the time,’’ she said this weekend. ``I never got over what happened. It has affected my health and my relationships with men ever since.

The way I was treated by the social workers was wrong. It has spoilt my life.’’ Behind the legal tangle is a tragic story of a young girl taken into care by Wandsworth because of family difficulties. Her mother suffered from schizophrenia and her father from alcoholism. Though close to her father, the council sent her to Kendall House, a children’s home in Gravesend, 30 miles away. After an attempt to run away to see her father, the home began to drug her. ``I didn’t want them to and struggled, so they used to pin me down, two male staff and two female, stripping off my knickers to give me the injections,’’ she said. Files show she was given powerful doses of Valium and other tranquillisers, along with drugs used to treat schizophrenia.

The case will be raised in the Commons next week by Neil Gerrard, Labour MP for Walthamstow. He said: ``I will be calling for an urgent debate. It is all the more urgent that we get to the truth because the man accused is now fostering people with learning difficulties.’’ At the time of the alleged incident Wandsworth council was led by Paul Beresford, since knighted, elected to parliament and made a junior environment minister. A council spokesman said it was not releasing the files on the advice of its insurers but had offered to meet Kent police to answer specific requests for information. He said no medical examination was made when the claims were raised because the alleged rape had occurred some time earlier.


  • On 3rd Mar 2010 at 08:19 PM Yvonne Stewart-Taylor said...

    The same crap was done by police when SS allowed my second cousins to be sodomised in care, on more than one occasion. They also held children in unlawful housing sharing a room, mixed sexes. the police were reluctant to even investigate. They all protect each other in corrupt practices and fail to protect vulnerable children who are removed on bogus evidence in the first place. Evil to the core, cover up follows cover up. The truth will still come out.

  • On 5th Mar 2010 at 01:50 PM Melizza Moore said...

    I remember telling my then sw how terrified I was being in my foster family as I had been hit by the foster father and his eldest son used to physically hurt me. It was a weird atmosphere to be in. But it all seemed so normal. But I was very scared to be in the same room as their son who was six years older than I. That social worker left me there. Years later after many “bad dreams” of repeated sexual things by unknown people.(1998) I was told that the eldest son had confessed to sexual abuses. But I was made to look like a liar by others. Including school teachers. Its in my psychiatric records too.

  • On 8th Mar 2010 at 08:00 PM not a MP said...

    This is an absolute disgrace, why are not all the elected councillor’s from Kent County Council ( Conservative run) in up-roar about this , especially the opposition one’s, they all must surely know about this and other such abuses, such as forced adoptions, yet still so silent; what have they got to hide or who are they protecting?

    Clearly it is not the children , how do we know this is still not happening in their ‘children’s services’ fostercare, childrens homes?

  • On 10th Mar 2010 at 05:17 AM Teresa said...

    This is how Wandsworth social services behaved then and they are still behaving in the same way now.

    When Wandsworth sent me my files the end of 2006 most of the KH stuff was missing or blocked out but they had in fact sent another Kendall House girls case conference files in with mine by accident. That girl just happened to be the KH bully and her files reflect how she treated us and she was also a Wandsworth girl.

    I would like to hear from her just so I can return her files that Wandsworth sent to me by mistake as they were in the middle of mine for some strange reason. Thats a very serious mistake to make as each girls files should be 100% confidential and I didnt request her case conferences.

    I would like to thank you all for your support xxxx

    Melizza, I would like to hear more about your experiences and you can email me on .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and hugs as I know what you have been through is very difficult and you are so strong for coming here and posting

    not an MP, hope your well hun? I was thinking of you the other day and will see you soon grin yes it is shocking what Wandsworth done and continue to do today and I done a lecture at the met uni recently & 2 Wandsworth social workers were so vile to me they were pulled aside by the lecturers and told off. Shocking really and one things for sure, those 2 social workers are a risk to children given how they behaved at the uni and the dreadful things they said about me which yes they tried to undermine the abuse id suffered and behaved in a very disturbing way. There is no way I would trust any child with those two social workers ever. They should be sacked.

    Yvonne we will get that story on here grin hugs xxx

  • On 10th Mar 2010 at 05:36 AM Teresa said...

    ps The foster father lived in the Herne Bay area and had fostered other children before me,compliants had been made by other children and a kent social services wouldnt use him because they had serious concerns but I was placed with him by Wandsworth who knew of the concerns just as they knew the concerns about KH yet still put me in both bad places. He had a vunerable person placed in his care by Wandsworth after they let him get away with what he done to me and he was prosecuted for abusing that person in his care and he is never allowed to look after children or vunerable adults again yet he now owns a B&B for families in another seaside resort where unsuspecting families with children stay. He was being prosecuted at the time of the article above in 94 and during the time of the parliamentry debate where Mr Bowis acting on behalf of Wandsworth forgot to mention he was being prosecuted for abusing someone else and we had no idea until after the debate.

    There is a lot to be said in the way of which social workers and their seniors believe they can hide or cover up every injustice to children in their care from their failures to protect and they do it knowingly

    They do not have to be involved in the physical act of the abuse to be an abuser and the fact is, covering up child abuse is in itself as bad as the physical act of abuse to a child so those involved in the cover ups are just as bad as the child rapists themselves.


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