New inquiry into child abuse in Southampton by foster carer Rex Case

Daily Echo: Rex Case Rex Case

AN inquiry has been launched into historical child abuse within foster care in Southampton committed by serial paedophile Rex Case.

The Local Safeguarding Children’s Board (LSCB) has confirmed to the Daily Echo that another Serious Case Review has been commissioned in the city – this time focussing why the abuse carried out by Case was not prevented.

As previously reported Case, a foster carer, was convicted of 18 charges including rape and indecent assault and was jailed for 21 years in February 2012.

The charges related to five young girls in his care who he repeated abused during the 1990s.

They included a girl who was staying with him at his home in Holly Hill, Bassett, Southampton, between the ages of three and five, who he raped – but when she revealed what happened both social services and police failed to act.

Following the court case last year Southampton social services admitted they had failed to intervene to stop the abuse.

They admitted that their “mistakes of the past” had led to “tragic outcomes” for the girls.

Now their actions along with other safeguarding agencies in the city, are to be scrutinised.

The LSCB is the same authority that is currently looking into whether enough was done by the authorities in the cases of seven-year-old Blake Fowler and brothers Jayden and Bradley Adams.

The boys were known to social services at the time of their deaths in the city in 2009.

A spokesman for the LSCB said the latest Serious Case Review would be completed within six months.

Dawn Baxendale, chief executive of Southampton City Council, said: “We welcome the decision by the LSCB to commission a Serious Case Review concerning the tragic outcomes for the vulnerable young people involved.

“We will continue to work closely with the LSCB and our partner agencies to improve public services for children and young people in our city.”

A spokesman for Hampshire police said: “As part of the serious case review, Hampshire Constabulary will be reviewing its previous involvement with Mr Case to identify whether there are any lessons to be learnt to improve future practice.”

Southampton Crown Court heard how Case had been entrusted with the care of some of the city’s most damaged and vulnerable children – many of whom had been sexually abused before – but he betrayed them.

Describing how Case had groomed the little girls, presiding Judge Peter Henry described Case as “devious, manipulative, cunning, aggressive and obsessive” who had followed “a path of systematic abuse”.

Judge Henry went on to question why the authorities never stepped in to stop Case, despite the alarm being raised by a desperate five-year-old girl, who revealed the extent of his sickening abuse of her in 1997.

He said: “For reasons that still escape me there was no prosecution at that stage. Social services did not prevent you from being involved with young children thereafter. You must have been manipulative and persuasive and persuaded them you were not an abuser.”

Following the sentencing Southampton City Council apologised and revealed that investigations at the time were simply not good enough.

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