Bosses knew of Birmingham nursery rapist’s ‘special relationship’ with child

A nursery assistant jailed for life for raping a child was known by authorities to have had a ‘special relationship’ with his victim, a serious case review revealed today.

Paul Wilson
Paul Wilson

Paul Wilson was jailed for life in July 2011 after pleading guilty to raping a child at the Birmingham nursery where he worked.

Then aged 21, he also admitted 47 counts of grooming of teenage girls over the internet.

Birmingham Safeguarding Children Board today published a serious case review into the abuse at Little Stars Nursery in Nechells.

The report revealed it was known by the nursery, Ofsted and the local authority that Wilson had a ‘special relationship’ with the child which should have raised the alarm and been examined in more detail.

Jane Held, independent chairwoman of the multi-agency board, said: “Responsibility for this awful abuse must, and does, lie with the perpetrator.

“He was clever, duplicitous and manipulative and took advantage of weaknesses in the system.

“Parents should be able to trust the people they leave their children with to ensure that children are properly protected. In this case there were unfortunately a number of weaknesses in the way that nursery was run and a number of opportunities to intervene earlier and prevent the continuation of abuse which were missed.”

The damning review also found ‘a lack of communication resulted in missed opportunities to collate the accumulating concerns about the perpetrator and his relationship’ with the child.

It added there was ‘poor management’ within the in the nursery and the council did not communicate to the relevant agencies and investigate when the initial child protection concerns were raised. In addition there was a failure by Ofsted and the local authority to properly investigate concerns and a lack of rigour and depth to the nursery inspection process.

The report makes eight key recommendations which are being addressed.

In addition each agency has been ordered to conduct an internal review.

Ms Held added: “There are three key lessons arising from this review.

“One is that those in charge of settings caring for children must ensure there are strong clear practices and systems to minimise the risk of abuse.

“The second is to listen to and ask about children’s experiences rather than just speak to adults.

“The third, and potentially the most important, is that safeguarding children is a job for everyone.”