Gay foster parents abused young boys

Date: 2006-05-23

Nigel Bunyan

A council was condemned yesterday for failing to prevent a paedophile homosexual couple from abusing young boys even after being alerted by one of the victim's parents.

Foster parents Ian Wathey, 40, and Craig Faunch, 32, face long terms in jail after being convicted of molesting and filming eight-year-old twins and two boys aged 14.

The twins were video-taped as they showered together, while one of the older boys was sexually abused by Wathey in his bedroom.

Both men "hurt" him, he told Leeds Crown Court. "I do not like them any more. I want them to go to prison."

Yesterday it emerged that Wakefield council had been warned of possible abuse by the twins' mother, Mrs X.

She had found bathroom photographs of her sons but an inquiry by social workers cleared the paedophiles of wrongdoing and said they had simply been "naive and silly". Police were not called in. Wathey and Faunch had moved on to abusing the two 14-year-olds by the time police arrested them in Pontefract, West Yorks.

The two men began abusing boys within a month of Wakefield social services approving them as foster carers in July 2003.

Outside the court, Mrs X said: "I thought the council would have contacted the police as part of the investigation. . . Maybe if something had been done sooner we would not be here today."

Kitty Ferris, for the council, said applications by the men to become foster carers had been approved "in accordance with statutory requirements and council policy".

She added: "Although correct procedures were carried out at every stage the service has reviewed its internal procedures to identify what lessons should be learned."

Both men were told they faced substantial jail terms and sentencing was adjourned.


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