Pension at 44 for child abuse inquiry man (19.01.96)

Evening Standard, 19th January 1996

by Stewart Payne & Eileen Fairweather

A COUNCIL youth worker exposed in an Evening Standard investigation into child abuse has been retired on a full pension.

 Andrew Davis, 44, who admitted he saw nothing wrong in having sex with young children, is suffering mental illness brought on by an inquiry into the suitability of his working with young people and is now deemed “permanently unfit for work”.

 His employers have been unable to test allegations against him because of his condition and say they have no choice but to give him a full pension.

 Mr Davis first came under scrutiny when the Evening Standard conducted an investigation into child care abuses in Islington.

 A male social worker claimed he had been sexually assaulted by Mr Davis, who is gay. The newspaper passed details onto an official inquiry set up in the wake of the allegations, and Mr Davis was traced to new employers, Westminster Council, where he was working with vulnerable young offenders.

 Soon after, Mr Davis complained of stress and Westminster put him on paid sick leave while it conducted an inquiry into his past employment at Islington.

 He is now said to be suffering an “acute stress reaction” brought on by the allegations made against him and the inquiry cannot be concluded. He will now receive a full pension for the rest of his working life.

 The decision follows uproar in August when it emerged he was working despite being named in a confidential section of the Ian White report on child sex abuse within Islington council.

 The White report investigated Evening Standard claims that children in Islington’s care were preyed on by paedophiles working for the local authority and in the community at large. The newspaper alleged that a dogma-ridden management in the Labour-controlled borough meant that cases of abuse were not properly investigated, particularly if they concerned gays, and those under suspicion were able to take up posts elsewhere.

 This was confirmed by the report, which concluded children could still be at risk.

 Mr Davis joined Westminster three years ago with a good reference. Yet the Islington agency social worker had reported the alleged assault at a children’s home where they both worked to his chiefs.

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