Police apologise for LOSING old records on care home sex fiend who went on to RAPE three women

February 27, 2015 | by | 0 Comments

Police have apologised for LOSING crime records of a triple rapist which could have stopped him at least five years before his horrific attacks at a care home.

Rapist Colin Stokes (SWNS)

Rapist Colin Stokes (SWNS)

Vile Colin Stokes, 49, was jailed for 14 years for raping three women with learning difficulties at the home where he worked.

A safeguarding review of the case has revealed sexual abuse allegations were made against the pervert in 1997 but the CPS threw the case out due to a lack of evidence.

But the allegations – along with information on 7,325 other crimes – were not transferred when Gloucestershire Police upgraded to a new computer system in 1998.

More allegations were made against Stokes in 2007 but the CPS knew nothing about the previous ones and the case did not proceed.

The monster went on to abuse his position to rape three women, aged 32, 50 and 54, in 2012 and 2013 – who all had learning disabilities and required 24-hour care.

Gloucestershire County Council also failed to properly follow up the first two allegations which “stood in the way” of potentially preventing his final attacks, the report added.

Paul Yeatman, independent chairman of Gloucestershire’s Safeguarding Adults Board, said: “The board deeply regrets what happened to these victims.

“The review has shown the crimes committed could have been prevented if previous allegations had been further investigated and information shared between partners.”

Stokes attacked the victims – who all lived in supported accommodation in Gloucestershire – when he was meant to be looking after them.

One has the mental age of a child, another is registered blind and the third needs help to communicate.

Stokes was employed to work the night shift and help with day-to-day tasks, but was left working alone due to staff cut backs.

He admitted three counts of rape between January 1 2012 and April 1 2013 and the review was launched after he was jailed last March.

The 81-page report released this week said his crimes were predictable and preventable and criticised the police and the care home provider.

Police admitted if officers investigating allegations in 2007 had known about the  investigation 10 years before it could have led to a prosecution.

The report also states the multi-agency safeguarding policy does not appear to have been followed, and there was no record of a safeguarding alert being made.

Sally Crook, Assistant Chief Constable of Gloucestershire police, said: “We accept that the failure to transfer information across police systems was completely unacceptable and we apologise to the victims and their families for this.

“While the small amount of information held on the old police crime recording system about the 1997 investigation may not have changed the outcome of the 2007 investigation, we accept that there is simply no way of knowing what impact knowledge of the investigation could have had and we understand this is not satisfactory.

“We also understand that this will not be of any comfort to the victims and their families.

“The failing was not the fault of the investigating officers, who may not have known about the old system, or officers in the Public Protection Bureau, moreover an organisational failing affecting more than one crime type.”

Police are now reviewing more than 7,000 records which were not transferred, and just over 1,000 have been reviewed and almost 500 transferred to the current system.

Gloucestershire County Council admitted their response to previous allegations in 1997 and 2007 was ‘inadequate’.

A spokesman said: “We accept and deeply regret that the lack of proper follow-up to these two allegations stood in the way of opportunities for the offences in 2013 being prevented.”

Margaret Willcox, director for adult services, added: “We have improved how we help to keep vulnerable people safe.”

The council also said it had now made changes in training, quality checking, unannounced visits, talking to family members and improved recording systems.

The Care Quality Commission also admitted not inspecting the home for four-and-a-half years was ‘unacceptable’,

They said it happened because it was under-resourced and the home re-registered, further delaying an inspection.

The supported living accommodation where Stokes was employed has since closed and the women are living in the community.

Jailing him at Gloucester Crown Court, Judge Jamie Tabor told Stokes his behaviour was “cruel and depraved” and the women had ‘the minds of little children’.

He was jailed for 14 years with a further six years on licence and was put on the sex offenders register for life.

After his sentencing the families of his victims said in a joint statement: “Stokes was in a position of trust – he was there to look after and protect these women.

“Not only did he betray that trust in their own home, he turned out to be a monster.

“We would like to thank the police for the sensitive way they have handled this. But the fact is this should never have happened.

“At the heart of this case are members of our family – sisters and daughters – and hearing about their suffering at the hands of Stokes has broken our hearts.”

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