HT: Michelle Maklin
A homosexual foster couple were left free to sexually abuse vulnerable boys in their care because social workers feared being accused of discrimination if they investigated complaints, an inquiry concluded yesterday.
Craig Faunch and Ian Wathey were one of the first homosexual couples in the country to be officially approved as foster parents. They looked after 18 children in only 15 months. With no previous convictions, they came across as respectable men who simply wanted to help boys with a variety of problems. In reality, they were paedophiles, who repeatedly abused the children in their care.
Can it get worse?
Wathey, 42, was jailed for five years in June last year after being convicted of four counts of sexual activity with a child and one offence of causing a child to watch sexual activity.
Faunch, 33, received a six-year jail sentence after he was found guilty of five charges of engaging in sexual activity with a child and two of taking indecent photographs of a child.
And they were still approved as foster parents!
The report, following an independent review of the case, said:
“One manager described the couple as ‘trophy carers’ which led to ’slack arrangements’ over placement.
“Another said that by virtue of their sexuality they had a ‘badge’ which made things less questionable.
“The sexual orientation of the men was a significant cause of people not ‘thinking the unthinkable’.
“It was clear that a number of staff were afraid of being thought homophobic.
“The fear of being discriminatory led them to fail to discriminate between the appropriate and the abusive.”