Boy rapist report due this week

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THE verdict of an investigation into how social workers handled a boy rapist will be published this week.

The dossier – an Executive Summary Report of the serious case review which has taken more than 18 months to complete – will detail the actions of Sunderland City Council’s social services department.

A review was ordered after the 11-year-old boy was convicted of raping another boy in the Sunderland area in June 2009.

Before the attack, Dr Stephen Westgarth, a consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist, wrote two letters to the council pleading for the boy to be taken into care and they were ignored.

Weeks later the boy carried out the rape.

Sentencing him at Newcastle Crown Court in November 2009, Judge Beatrice Bolton said the attack would not have happened if the defendant had been placed into care.

She said in sentencing: “It is a great pity to say the least when Dr Stephen Westgarth wrote to social services recommending that you should be placed in care on March 23 that this letter appears to have been ignored.”

Jan Van Wagtendonk, chairman of the Sunderland Safeguarding Children Board, said: “It would be inappropriate to comment ahead of the publication of the executive summary, details of which are still being finalised.”