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On the rigorous background check on foster parents. Nonetheless, abuse does happen. Here is a sad case of child abuse by foster parents happening in UK …. (and note: while this may be a one incident because it was discovered, there could be more that have not been detected, so really some things are just a tip of the iceberg.) |
Gay foster couple jailed for abusing boys in their care
By Arifa Akbar
Published: 24 June 2006
A gay foster couple have been jailed for sexually abusing boys placed in their care.
Ian Wathey, 41, was imprisoned for five years, while his partner, Craig Faunch, 32, was sentenced to six years at Leeds Crown Court, for abusing four boys aged between eight and 14.
The couple from Pontefract, West Yorkshire, who had denied the allegations, were approved as foster carers by Wakefield Council in July 2003 but began using the boys for their own sexual gratification within months.
The court heard that Wakefield social services had been sent a photograph taken by the men of a boy urinating, which could have triggered an investigation, but that it had been lost by the department.
Judge Sally Cahill QC said neither of the men had shown any "empathy, remorse or any responsibility for their actions".
Faunch was found guilty of two charges of making indecent photos of a child and the court was told that he used a camcorder to film two naked eight-year-old boys in the shower.
He was also found guilty of five counts of sexual activity with a 14-year-old boy. Wathey was found guilty of four charges of sexual activity with another 14-year-old boy, and of encouraging a child to watch a gay pornographic video.
Referring to Faunch's abuse of a 14-year-old boy, she said: "You chose to victimise and abuse that boy, showing the very depths in my view of what you are prepared to do."
The court was told how the men had explained away the photograph of the boy urinating to social workers by saying that the images were taken to embarrass the boys into closing the toilet door. The photograph was sent to social services by the child's mother.
Social workers decided that the men had been "naive and silly" for taking the photo after hearing their explanation. Judge Cahill said: "Once you realised social services would not take any action ... you went on to abuse others in your care, believing yourself safe from the authorities."
The judge said it was "quite incredible" that police had not been involved earlier, which may have prevented further abuse.
After the men were convicted three weeks ago, Wakefield Council commissioned a full independent inquiry. Kitty Ferris, from Wakefield's social services, said the department had reviewed its internal procedures to identify what lessons should be learned.
"The allegations made against Mr Faunch and Mr Wathey were referred to the police as quickly as possible and were subject to a joint investigation by the police and social services under the safeguarding procedures," she said. "This investigation led to the prosecution of the couple. The council has offered support to children who have been affected by this case."
Neither man had been in trouble with the police before these incidents came to light, and were approved as foster carers after checks.
The victim whose complaint triggered the police inquiry gave evidence via a video link during the trial. Describing the abuse, he said: "It hurt. Afterwards, I said, 'Pack it in now,' and then I went to bed. I was gutted. I didn't want anything to do with anyone else. All I could do was sit there and cry."
Defence barristers for the two men had claimed that the allegations were "bizarre" and "incredible".
[ Last edited by whampoa at 2006-10-1 05:51 PM ]