A YOUNG woman was subjected to repeated sex abuse – despite telling Kirklees Council staff what was happening.
The victim also had to pay out money to her abuser, while being cared for by staff working for the authority.
Now Kirklees Council has been ordered to pay £15,000 compensation to the victim.
The Local Government Ombudsman found that Kirklees Council failed to protect her and have ordered a review of training and record-keeping procedures.
The ruling was welcomed by Huddersfield solicitor Rebecca Chapman, who acted for the woman, named Katrina.
Ms Chapman, of Ridley & Hall, said: “Although a complaint had been made to the police, there was not enough evidence to charge the alleged perpetrator.
“It was clear that Katrina had suffered an enormous amount of distress and should never have been put in this position.
“I am pleased that the pain she suffered has been recognised and that procedures have been put in place to try to prevent it from happening to other people.
“It should never have happened to this very vulnerable young woman”.
In a review, the Ombudsman revealed that the council did not take into account her history in relation to previous abuse and court orders which were known to the council.
The council failed to take into account Katrina’s ability, or mental capacity, to make decisions about keeping herself safe when they had previously decided she could not make to decisions to protect herself.
The Ombudsman found that Kirklees Council’s failings caused severe distress to Katrina and her family.
She had been originally abused by her then boyfriend in 1999 and 2000.
The council eventually obtained a court order which allowed them to advise Katrina in her decisions about who to be friends with and where she should live.
She spent some time in a number of different care homes and made significant progress at those homes.
She then moved to her own flat but continued to receive support provided by Kirklees.
Katrina had not been at her new flat for very long when she started a relationship with another person who was living in the block of flats and who was also receiving care from the council.
The man then went on to persuade Katrina to do things that she did not want to do financially and sexually. Katrina told members of Kirklees staff, who were supposed to be caring for her, about the things that she was being made to do but no action was taken by the members of staff or the council.
In addition to the payments, Kirklees has been told to come up with a new support plan for Katrina.
Ms Chapman said: “Money will never compensate her for the suffering she endured. I am determined to ensure that the council fulfils the other recommendations made by the Ombudsman.”
A council spokesman said: “The council does not normally comment on individual cases. In this case every effort was made to safeguard Katrina in very complex circumstances.
“However the council did fully accept the Ombudsman’s recommendations and acknowledged the need to develop a more detailed care plan for Katrina.
“This was done and the council remains committed to moving forward and maintaining a positive relationship with both Katrina and her parents.”