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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 December, 2003, 12:01 GMT
Council 'powerless' to warn on Huntley
Soham college
Huntley worked at Soham college
A social services body that investigated allegations of under age sex involving Ian Huntley in the 1990s says it could not have done any more to prevent the killer getting work at Soham college.

Huntley was named in five cases dealt with by North East Lincolnshire Social Services over four years from 1995 to 1998.

In each case, he was brought to their attention as the "boyfriend" of vulnerable young women.

A spokesperson for the social services' children's service said they kept no record of him as none of the allegations against him was proven and they had no power to act any further.

The spokesperson said four of the young women involved refused to make a complaint against Huntley, and in the case of the fifth, police investigated but decided to take no further action.

Four of the cases involved claims of under age sex, the fifth was an allegation of indecent assault.

SOCIAL SERVICES' RECORD OF HUNTLEY
August 1995 - allegation of underage sex
April 1996 - allegation of underage sex
May 1996 - two allegations of underage sex
July 1998 - allegation of indecent assault
"The five cases were from different areas, involved different people, who had no reason to cross-refer with one another," the spokesperson said.

"The department could only have done what it did anyway - jointly investigated any and all concerns with the police.

"The responsibility of the children's service is to help and support children and young people; Huntley was an adult and was not our client."

The department said it did not alert police or colleagues in Cambridgeshire about Huntley when he applied for the job at Soham college because they only had records of allegations, which would not be picked up in the normal police checks used when someone seeks a job with children.

No record

The spokesperson said: "No-one remotely involved in this appalling tragedy would be human if they didn't wish they had done something differently.

"Even with the benefit of hindsight when we have reviewed the cases where Huntley was mentioned there is nothing that would suggest he would go on to commit these crimes.

"We will never know whether anything could have prevented Huntley from killing.

"I believe we did everything we reasonably could."

NE Lincs council said that like all other councils, it does not keep a record of adults who present a danger to children.

It said that when concerns are raised about an adult, it checks the information out and alerts the police.

"We had no power or responsibility to do anything about Huntley," the spokesperson said. "He was an adult and never a client. We couldn't go any further.

"Once the young women declined to complain about Huntley, our focus had to be the welfare and protection of the hundreds of other children referred to us."




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