Wales

Denbighshire council 'failed miserably' to support girl, 15

Llandudno Magistrates' Court Image copyright Richard Hoare / Geograph
Image caption The girl appeared at Llandudno Magistrates' Court on Monday

A vulnerable 15-year-old girl might have to sleep on the streets because a council "failed miserably" to support her, a judge has said.

District Judge Gwyn Jones made the comments about Denbighshire council at Llandudno Magistrates' Court on Monday.

The teenager, who cannot be named, is due to stand trial for knife offences and Mr Jones said he had concerns about where she would go if released on bail.

The council told the court it had been unable to find a placement for her.

A council social service manager explained to the court the department had unsuccessfully searched for foster and residential placements across the UK, and denied Mr Jones' claim it appeared the council "have washed their hands of her".

Image copyright Denbighshire County Council
Image caption Denbighshire council told the court it had searched across the UK for a placement for the girl

Prosecutor James Neary said the girl had done everything expected of her in respect of the criminal proceedings, but police had concerns about placements with her family.

Nia Dawson, defending, said the girl had called friends but could not give an address.

Granting the girl bail, Mr Jones added: "My criticism of Denbighshire social services is such that I expect a full report to explain why social services appear to have failed miserably to provide any level of support to this 15-year-old vulnerable girl who may now be obliged to live on the streets without any support from the social services team.

"It is scathing criticism. It would appear they have washed their hands of her."

The judge added: "I feel very uncomfortable having to release a 15-year-old girl on bail when there's very little support for her."

Mr Jones said the matter was a "welfare issue", which should be dealt with in the family courts.

Denbighshire council has been asked to comment.

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