ONE of the children abused by Tiverton paedophile Karl Hole has told the Gazette she might never have become his victim had both her parents been told of his record.
Hole, 43, was treated at Langdon Hospital, Dawlish, after being convicted of a sex offence several years before he was allowed regular unsupervised contact with the girl.
Social services were aware of his previous offending and warned one of the youngster’s parents, who chose to ignore their concerns and did not pass on the information.
The other parent was kept in the dark for five years while their child was subjected to a horrific episode of sexual abuse which also involved another child.
If they had known Hole was a paedophile, the parent would have fought for custody and would have ensured Hole did not come anywhere near their child, they told the Gazette.
Hole, of Lowman Green, Tiverton, was jailed for a minimum of 16 years after admitting five counts of raping a child between 2008 and 2012 and two of sexual activity with another. Exeter Crown Court heard last month that he filmed and photographed many of the attacks.
Social workers have been accused of letting down his victims by failing to stop Hole from having contact with him.
The parent who was not informed of Hole’s offending has backed the Gazette’s Protect Our Kids Campaign, which is calling for an inquiry into what went wrong.
“In other parts of the country it is policy to inform both parents when a child is in danger and for some reason they chose not to let me know,” they said.
“It is sickening to think that for five years I was completely ignorant to the situation while my daughter was being abused.
“If only I had known I could have done something to protect her.”
The victim, who is now “getting on with life” said: “I was so relieved when he was jailed. Prison is the best place for him.
“Social workers were in touch regularly but we always met at school. I don’t think this was the best place and I wish they had told both my parents about his past, because I didn’t want to be the one to break the news.”
Both want to see Devon County Council social services adopt a policy of warning both parents of a child at risk.
An Ofsted report into the state of Devon’s child protection services has branded them “inadequate”. Spotting children at risk and then taking action to protect them was a particular weakness.
The report has not yet been made public, but Alan Wooderson, chairman of Devon’s Safeguarding Children Board, has already stepped down. Nobody from the council was available to comment on why only one of the victim’s parents had been told about Hole.
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