Sunday, 3 November 2013
Kent County Council Let Pervert Foster Child
KCC let pervert foster child. 05/05/11
David Matthews who has no National Insurance number
by Paul Francis
A convicted paedophile managed to foster a child - despite having a vile history of sexual abuse, it has emerged.
David Mason, aged in his 50s, didn't have his identity checked and Kent County Council only made a quick check on his home.
The authority which permitted the placement has now been heavily criticised by a High Court judge.
Formal checks on Mason's application may have exposed his true identity - and a history of sexual abuse, said Mr Justice Baker.
He urged the authority to "urgently review its practice" saying he hoped those responsible "learn the lessons".
KCC has publicly apologised, admitting the care and attention "was not good enough".
The case is the latest in a series of embarrassing episodes for Kent social services, which was ordered by Ofsted to improve child protection services after an inspection last year found them to be inadequate.
The judge said a "number of alarming matters" had come to light about the practices and procedures of the authority.
Had the council carried out its duties properly and conducted a proper assessment of the man, the fact that he was a paedophile would have come to light sooner.
Malcolm Newsam, KCC's interim director of families and social care, said: "What happened in this case is deeply regrettable.
"We have been absolutely focused on recognising our shortcomings and weaknesses.
"A plan to make sure substantial improvements are made to the services we provide to children in Kent is already being actioned."
The KM Group recently revealed that 2,700 cases referred to KCC had not been assigned to a dedicated social worker at the height of the crisis in its child protection services.
Mason was able to adopt a fresh identity after assistance from his local MP in acquiring a new National Insurance number.
Mason, who convinced his MP that he was suffering from amnesia, failed to mention that he was wanted by police in Scotland for sexual offences.
On the back of a letter from the MP, Mason was also able to secure an extension to his rented accommodation.
It was only after allegations unconnected to the fostering case were made in July 2009 that his true identity was revealed.
Mason, who went by the name David Mathews, was arrested and fingerprinted and the lie finally exposed.
Mason begged to be locked up and have the key thrown away after admitting a string of horrific crimes against children aged between five and 14.
The bearded and balding art tutor was given an indefinite term of imprisonment in December 2009 after admitting 24 charges including rape.
He had previously been jailed for three years in 1982 for abusing a boy Scout.