Carlisle hostel's 'mistake' housing rapist Mark Jackson

Mark Jackson
Image caption Jackson had been carrying out work at a school

A hostel that housed a man who raped a 16-year-old girl in Carlisle has admitted it made a "mistake".

Mark Jackson was living in the hostel on St James Road, in Denton Holme, when he attacked the teenager in October.

Background checks had been carried out by the charity Cumbria Action for Social Support (CASS) but the hostel did not get access to the information.

CASS and the hostel, run by Impact Housing, said new guidelines had now been put in place.

The background information contained Jackson's convictions for violence against women and fraud, among other offences.

Mike Muir, chief executive of Impact Housing, said: "The mistake that we made is that we took on trust a referral by another agency and we will never do that again.

"There are police checks in place for people like Jackson and if we'd actually seen the piece of paper that would have given his background we'd never have housed him in a million years.

'Worried about him'

"What we're saying now is we won't house anyone without seeing that piece of paper."

Neil Waller, from CASS, said the charity conceded that the information it had sent to Impact Housing was incomplete.

Image caption Impact Housing closed the hostel in December 2011

Mr Muir added: "If there are any doubts we have, we have a relationship with the police where we can ask them.

"From what we know in retrospect, everyone was worried about him [Jackson] but no-one was doing anything about it."

A review of how Jackson came to be at the hostel has revealed that he was being supported by the charity Addaction and carrying out environmental work, including at a school.

It is not yet known if this was during term time.

Jackson was jailed for 12 years in December.

Impact Housing closed the hostel last month and its fate remains undecided.

A public meeting is being held and one of the options being discussed is to turn it into a hostel for homeless women.

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