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16 June 2011, 10:24
Sunderland Council bosses have apologised for mistakes leading up to an 11-year-old raping a nine-year-old boy.
As many as 21 organisations involved in the attacker's care from across the country contributed to a serious case review which has concluded the attacker and victim were failed.
The rapist, known as Child X, and his family were well known to police, health, education and children's services for years.
Professionals were concerned about inappropriate remarks he made, often of a sexual nature. He also witnessed domestic violence and two letters were sent by a child psychiatrist warning social services about his behaviour but no action was taken.
He attacked the nine-year-old in 2009, having lured him into a bedroom with the offer of playing a computer game.
He admitted rape at Newcastle Crown Court and was sent to a detention centre for four and a half years.
An independent report into the case included the criticism highlighted communication failures between agencies, adding:
'The lessons to be drawn from this serious case review for Sunderland children's services social care are significant; they consistently failed in their statutory duties to safeguard Child X.'
Sunderland City Council leader Paul Watson said:
'As a council we acknowledge that things could have been done better in this case.'
Keith Moore, executive director of children's services, said new procedures were in place and more experienced social services staff replaced temporary workers. adding:
'We are sorry that mistakes were made.
'We fully accept the findings of the serious case review. We also accept that the failure of children's social care to respond to the two letters from the child psychiatrist should not have occurred.'