Mail on Sunday, November 16 2008
By Eileen Fairweather
Baby P’s relative is linked to big paedophile network
A CLOSE male relative of Baby P was feared to have recruited youngsters in care for a notorious paedophile ring, according to a secret report seen by The Mail on Sunday.
Although he is not believed to have had any contact with Baby P, his involvement in a child abuse scandal in Islington, North London, in the early Nineties raises questions on the extent of checks into Baby P’s background.
‘The family should have been subjected to forensic examination,’ said a child protection expert. ‘Even cursory checks would have rung alarm bells. Social workers might then have removed the baby, as a paediatrician and police pleaded.’ The relative was named in reports as a victim and a feared recruiter of children for pimps. In the early Nineties he was put in a children’s home.
At the time, all 12 of Islington’s then homes, and at least one of the boarding schools it used, had been infiltrated by paedophiles. The relative, then a frightened 13-year-old, was under the control of three pimps – Alan, John and George – who persuaded him with money, drugs and threats to bring other children to them. He tried in vain to blow the whistle and protect himself and other children. He gave social workers the names of others ferried from the homes to, he said, Manor Park, Tottenham, Soho and Westminster to ‘be buggered by old men’.
But none of the men were placed under surveillance or questioned. Several social workers and managers fought hard to get help for the boy and other children targeted by the paedophiles.
Social worker Neville Mighty was deputy superintendent of Islington’s then unit at 18 Highbury Grove, where pimps slept overnight. His boss claimed such men were simply ‘boyfriends’ and said Mighty was a prude to repress the children’s sexuality.
Mighty, who had received death threats, had named the relative in a report pleading with Islington’s then director of children’s services, Lyn Cusack, for help.
Ms Cusack, married to a senior policeman, did nothing save threaten disciplinary action because Mighty was ‘rude’. Eventually, in June 1992, Mighty was sacked.
Liz Davies, the senior Islington social worker who encouraged Mighty to go public, said: ‘We got too close. There were too many powerful people involved. Child sex, pornography and sadism are extremely lucrative industries.’ In 1994, a damning independent report criticised the failure of police and social workers to help the relative and to help protect children in care in Islington.