Sunderland Council apologises after rape by boy, 11

A council has apologised for mistakes which led to an 11-year-old raping another boy.

Sunderland City Council admitted it failed to act upon two warning letters written by a child psychiatrist about the schoolboy's mental state.

The rape happened in 2009 after he invited a nine-year-old into his bedroom to play computer games.

A Serious Case Review identified errors in communication between the agencies involved in the young rapist's care.

It found that the child and his family had been known to the police, health, education and children's services for a number of years, but there was no co-ordinated involvement between the agencies.

'Very sad case'

It also found that Sunderland City Council had not listened to advice from mental health professionals.

The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was sent to a secure detention centre for four-and-a-half years and ordered to spend another three-and-a-half years on licence once released.

In a statement the council said it was sorry that mistakes had been made, and a number of measures had been implemented to improve its service.

These included; additional training for staff, new ways of answering and acting upon letters, monthly meetings with doctors and other health professionals, and monthly case file audits to highlight and act on any outstanding issues.

Councillor Paul Watson, leader of Sunderland City Council described it as a "very sad case".

"As a council, we acknowledge that things could have been done better in this case," he said.

"We've listened and learned from what went wrong and we've put in place in a series of measures, including extra training, resources and investment.

"This is to help make sure as far as possible that something like this doesn't happen again."

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