Social workers apologise for not protecting vulnerable schoolgirls - Oxford Sex Gang

Police and social workers apologised yesterday for not protecting vulnerable schoolgirls who were sexually abused and exploited by a paedophile ring. The admissions of failure come after victims as young as 11 were drugged and raped when they were supposed to be in official care. Catastrophic failings by police and social services allowed a child sex ring to sexually torture girls as young as 11 for eight years, despite victims repeatedly telling officers they had been raped or abused. Last night – after the vicious and 'medieval' predators were convicted at the Old Bailey – the police and social services apologised for failing to answer the girls’ desperate pleas for help, but bosses of both refused to resign over the scandal. This morning Sara Thornton, chief constable of Thames Valley Police since 2007, twice refused to acknowledge calls for her to resign in the wake of the scandal, saying only that she needed to 'drive improvements into the future'. When asked by oday programme presenter John Humphrys if she would offer her resignation, Miss Thornton said: 'I accept responsibility and as I’ve said I’m very sorry it took so long, but the focus has got to be moving forward. I think the focus for me is on driving improvements in the future. he gang groomed more than 50 vulnerable youngsters before selling them for sex around the country. They used knives, cleavers and baseball bats to inflict severe pain on the girls for their twisted pleasure. But a catalogue of golden opportunities to stop the abuse were missed from as early as May 2005. Three of the girls who gave evidence at the trial were reported missing from residential care on 254 occasions. One went missing 126 times in 15 months. Astonishingly, carers at the children’s homes – which were run by Oxfordshire County Council – just watched as the men collected the girls at night. On one occasion, a manager refused to pay a 14-year-old victim’s taxi fare when she returned to her care home. he girl was then driven back to Oxford where she was raped. The care worker was later sacked and the privately-run care home, where the council placed children, was closed down. Nine out of ten social workers in Oxford knew that girls were being groomed by Asian men, a school support worker told the court. Five girls were abused while in the care of county council social services. If you have an interest or were affected by this article please do not hesitate to contact Charles Derham our specialist child abuse solicitor. We will treat any communications with the strictest of confidence.


Charles has considerable specialist experience in pursuing claims for compensation for those who have been abused in childhood. His specific expertise means that he is recognised locally, nationally and internationally for his work which has taken him all over the world including, USA, Australia and New Zealand.

He is also recognised for his significant involvement in the high profile litigation against St Georges School (Anglemoss Limited) and Cyntwell High School. These cases involved a staggering number of individuals who pursued those responsible whom despite heavily defending the claims brought against them settled by way of out of court settlements.

Charles regularly features in local and national press and he is often asked to provide his professional opinion and commentary on relevant abuse law issues and developments on radio and television broadcasts. Such broadcasts include BBC South Today, BBC Wales, ITV and ITN News.

Charles is a member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers.

You can follow Charles on Twitter and Facebook.

Charles obtained his Law degree at Kingston University, before successfully completing his Legal Practice Course. He trained and qualified with Verisona Law beginning his specialism in the field of child abuse claims. He received his higher rights of Audience in 2012 making him one of the youngest Solicitor-Advocates in the country who is able to represent his clients in the High Court. Charles is head of the abuse team who collectively have secured compensation for hundreds of victims of abuse.

He began diversifying in to other aspects of abuse law and his team are one of the very few in the country who specialise in claims against social services.

He is involved in complex group action litigation and also represents a number of individuals and who are pursuing private companies, local authorities and perpetrators in pursuit of their justice.

Charles has strong contacts with some of the most prominent barristers who advise on abuse claims including a number of QC’s. He also has robust connections with highly qualified expert witnesses he instructs in support of those who he represents.

  • Child abuse claims
  • Claims against social services
  • Complex/Catastrophic Clinical Negligence claims

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