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Cite as: [2015] EWFC 93

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This judgment was delivered in private. The judge has given leave for this version of the judgment to be published on condition that (irrespective of what is contained in the judgment) in any published version of the judgment the anonymity of the children and members of their family must be strictly preserved. All persons, including representatives of the media, must ensure that this condition is strictly complied with. Failure to do so will be a contempt of court.

Neutral Citation Number: [2015] EWFC 93
Case No: ME14C00882: ME14C00883: ME14C00884


Royal Courts of Justice
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL

B e f o r e :


Kent County Council
- and -


1st Respondent
- and -

2nd Respondent
- and -

By Her Children's Guardian)

3rd Respondent

1st Respondent
- and -

2nd Respondent
- and -

By Their Children's Guardian
3rd, 4th & 5th Respondents

1st Respondent
- and -

2nd Respondent
- and -

By Their Children's Guardian
3rd & 4th Respondents


Mr Frank Feehan Q.C. Ms Katie Phillips, Mr Ian Meikle (instructed by Kent County Council)
for the Applicant in all three cases
Mr Paul Storey Q. C. & Mr Stephen Chippeck (instructed by Pearsons and Co) for the 1st Respondent
Mr Philip Newton & Mr Edward Kenny (instructed by Stilwell & Harby Solicitors) for the 2nd Respondent
Mr Philip McCormack & Sharn Bhachu (instructed by Davis Simmonds and Donaghey Solicitors) for the 3rd Respondent
Mr Cyrus Larizadeh & Ms Dorothea Gartland (instructed by Robinsons Solicitors) for the 1st Respondent
Mr Leslie Samuels Q.C. & Mr John Thornton (instructed by Boys & Maughan Solicitors) for the
2nd Respondent
Ms Jo Porter & Ms Lydia Slee (instructed by Berry & Berry LLP Solicitors) for the
3rd, 4th and 5th Respondents
Ms Louisa Adamson & Mr Clive Styles (instructed by Kingsfords LLP) for the 1st Respondent
Mr Mike Batt & Ms Holly Coates (instructed by Morris Sutherland Solicitors) for the 2nd Respondent
Ms Mary Robertson & Mr Jonathan Bennett (instructed by Rootes Alliott Solicitors) for the 3rd, 4th & 5th Respondents
Hearing dates: Monday 24th November - Friday 19th December 2014; Monday 5 January 2015; Tuesday 6 January 2015.



Crown Copyright ©

    Judgment (as revised on 6 January 2015)

    Mrs Justice Theis DBE :

    Layout of the judgment

    Introduction 1-27
    Law 28-52
    Background 53
    D family 54-97
    E family 98-184
    F family 185-252
    Z 253-357
    ZM 358-360
    JE 361-374
    JS 375-386
    JC 387-402
    LF 403-410
    AK 411-421
    JD 422
    Discussion & Findings:
    Allegations made by Z
    Other findings

    Conclusion 545-546
    Requests for clarification 547-565


  1. This matter concerns three related cases involving six children from three different families. It was agreed they should be heard together, due to the significant amount of common and inter-related factual evidence.
  2. The alternative was to have three separate hearings where many of the parties from the other cases would have been interveners, probably unrepresented. As all of the lay parties require an interpreter, this would have been very challenging.
  3. This has been an exceptionally difficult case to manage due to the complexity of the facts relied upon by the LA, the extensive disclosure of documents (as a result of the parallel criminal proceedings) and the fact that none of the defendants speak English. The logistics of ensuring the documents have been seen and understood by the lay parties has not been straightforward. The court is enormously grateful to the industry of the respective legal teams who have co-operated and worked very well together to keep this hearing effective. Ensuring this hearing has remained on track in a way that has been fair has been the common aim of all parties, as well as the court.
  4. There are a number of factors that have contributed to the hearing being able to reach a conclusion within the time estimate.
  5. First, the LA is to be commended for the resources they have made available to keep on top of the disclosure. They have been assiduous in making sure disclosure from the police has been made in a timely fashion. The necessary resources have been available so that documentation was quickly paginated and distributed to the parties. It is almost unique in my experience that a case with over 12 lever arch files of documents (nearly half of which came in just before the start of this hearing) should have experienced no difficulties in pagination. The credit for that is due to the efficiency of this LA.
  6. Second, due to the effective liaison between the parties, the court administration and my clerk we have been able to have continuity of interpreters for the duration of this hearing. It is obvious that continuity has been beneficial to the smooth running of the hearing and all the interpreters have been of the highest standard.
  7. Third, the level of co-operation between the legal teams has been extremely impressive. They have all worked together to maintain the effectiveness of this hearing. All parties have had the benefit of representation by experienced counsel and solicitors. All parties have been anxious to avoid this hearing being adjourned and have worked together to avoid that happening. The children who are the subject of these applications have been in foster placements for over seven months, any further delay in the court being able to determine the factual issues in their cases would have been detrimental to their welfare.
  8. This fact finding hearing has taken four weeks. Its purpose has been for the court to consider whether the LA can establish there is an evidential foundation, on the balance of probabilities, that each of the children concerned have suffered, or are likely to suffer significant harm and that harm is attributable to the care given to the child, or likely to be given to him if the order were not made, not being what it would be reasonable to expect a parent to give to him (section 31 CA 1989). This is a necessary requirement for the court to determine before the LA can seek any substantive orders under section 31 CA 1989. The facts relied upon by the LA are serious and include allegations of child exploitation, drug taking, prostitution and serious failure to protect older children.
  9. One of the major difficulties has been the logistics of this case and the parallel criminal proceedings. The mothers in each of these three related cases were arrested on 7 May as a result of a lengthy police investigation into allegations of child sexual exploitation. Care proceedings were issued shortly after their arrest and the LA obtained emergency protection orders, followed by interim care orders relating to all the children.
  10. The families within these proceedings have been known as the D family, the E family and the F family.
  11. The D family have one child, KD, who is 10 years. Her mother is AK and father JD.
  12. The E family have three children, VE and SE, and LE. Their mother is JE and their father JS.
  13. The F family have two children, DF age 15 years and JF age 7. Their mother is JC and their father LF.
  14. The D family has one older child AD, the E family two older children NE and IE, and the F family two older children SF and LJF.
  15. The mothers in the E and the F case are sisters.
  16. The mothers in the D (AK) and E (JE) cases are charged with offences of child trafficking. AK is also charged with assault and imprisonment, administering a substance with intent to stupefy, causing child prostitution and arranging or commissioning a child sex offence. JE is also charged with arranging or commissioning a child sex offence and causing child prostitution. They have been remanded in custody since their arrest in May. They are charged with 5 others - RB, MC, REB, JDI and RF - who are charged with similar offences save for RF who is charged with sexual activity with a child and RB and JDI are also charged with rape. The criminal hearing is listed to commence on 12 January and is expected to last eight weeks.
  17. The mother in the F case (JC) was arrested interviewed and released on police bail. A subsequent decision was made that she would not be charged with any offence. Another person, KC (the mother of CC), was also arrested, interviewed and released on police bail and a subsequent decision was made that she would not be charged with any offence.
  18. These cases were first listed before me in July 2014 and I have dealt with all case management hearings since then. It is not necessary, in this judgment, to set out all of those hearings, save to say that it was agreed by all parties that I would deal with issues relating to police disclosure. No party took issue in principle with that at any stage, or the structure of those hearings. In the event, virtually all the material I have seen has been disclosed, in places redacted by the police in relation to non relevant third party information. The only material that has not been disclosed I have, with the agreement of the parties kept under review during this hearing and remain satisfied that it is not relevant to any of the issues in these proceedings. Where material has been redacted that has been done by the police. I was asked in relation to Z's medical records to review those redactions, with the agreement of all parties, at the start of this hearing. I have carefully considered at each stage whether any material I have seen that has not been disclosed impacts on my ability to determine this case. I am satisfied it doesn't as the material is not relevant, either way, to any issues in the case.
  19. The criminal trial was originally listed for 6 weeks in September and this hearing was fixed in July to start on 24 November, with the intention that it would follow the criminal hearing. In September the criminal hearing was adjourned to 12 January 2015, once it became clear the relevant police disclosure was not going to be available in time.
  20. Whilst the court has endeavoured to ensure the timing of the police disclosure has not been delayed, there has inevitably been slippage. This resulted in a significant volume of disclosure coming in during the first week of this hearing (approximately 4 lever arch files). With the agreement of all parties the oral evidence was delayed until the second week to enable the parties to consider the material. The police disclosure now runs to 8,000 pages and the combined care bundles are in excess of 1,000. On any view this has been a vast amount of material to absorb, particularly for the lay parties who don't speak English.
  21. Although no application has been made I have independently kept under active review whether this hearing could remain effective.
  22. One of the core issues I have to determine is the reliability of accounts given by a 16 year old girl, Z, of child trafficking and sexual exploitation. She has given accounts of her experiences to a number of people, including the police and social worker and has been the subject of 4 ABE interviews, in total lasting over 6 hours. The first was in March and the last in October.
  23. A Re W application as to whether Z should give oral evidence was made at an earlier hearing. In order to deal with that application a psychologists report was commissioned. She gave a cautious view 'tentatively' that Z was strong enough to give evidence in both courts (criminal and family) but 'close monitoring of her psychological stability will be needed'. She was seen on two occasions by a social worker and clearly said she did not want to give evidence. Having balanced the relevant considerations I concluded she should not give oral evidence in these proceedings, as I considered if she did so it would be detrimental to her welfare. That judgment was given on 7 November 2014 and has not been challenged by any party. Although not part of any party's case at that stage, I considered whether the family hearing should be adjourned to take place after the criminal trial. For the reasons set out at paragraph 46 of my November judgment I concluded this hearing should proceed.
  24. I have heard oral evidence from Claire Ledger (CL) social worker, DI Cooper, Kayleigh Jones (KJ) social worker, Lisa Heeley (LH) social worker, DC Verier (DCV), ZM (Z's mother), JC, AK, JS, JE, and LF. JD was available but no one required him to give evidence.
  25. I have had the benefit of detailed written closing submissions from each of the parties, which have been of the highest standard and have been a great assistance.
  26. One of the difficulties in this case, and one of the reasons for the length of this judgment, is the lack of a comprehensive chronology for any of the families or Z. Such a chronology is an essential ingredient to understand the context of any findings made by the court.
  27. The children are all having contact with their parents. JC and LF have contact twice per week. JS has contact twice per week. JE has telephone contact once every two weeks. AK has had 3 telephone contacts to date.
  28. The Law

  29. The legal framework has been agreed between the parties.
  30. There is only one standard of proof in these proceedings, namely the simple balance of probabilities (Re B [2008] UKHL 35).
  31. The burden of proof is on the LA being the party who makes the allegations; it is not reversible and it is not for the other party(s) to establish that the allegation(s) are not made out.
  32. The 'inherent probability or improbability' of an event remains a matter to be taken into account when weighing the probabilities and deciding whether, on balance, the event occurred; "common sense, not law, requires that in deciding this question regard should be had to whatever extent appropriate to inherent probabilities" – Lord Hoffmann in Re B at para 15.
  33. If a fact is to be proved the law operates a binary system in which the only values are 0 and 1, therefore it is open to the Court to make the following findings on the balance of probabilities :
  34. a) that the allegation is true
    b) that the allegation is false

    As Lord Hoffmann observed in Re B "if a legal rule requires the facts to be proved a judge must decide whether or not it happened. There is no room for a finding that it might have happened; the law operates a binary system in which the only values are naught and one".

  35. Findings of fact must be based on evidence not speculation, as Munby LJ observed in Re A (Fact Finding: Disputed findings) [2011] 1 FLR 1817 at paragraph 26 "it is an elementary position that findings of fact must be based on evidence, including inferences that can be properly drawn from evidence and not suspicion or speculation".
  36. Dishonest witness: "if a court concludes that a witness has lied about a matter, it does not follow that he has lied about everything. A witness may lie for many reasons. For example out of shame humiliation misplaced loyalty panic fear distress confusion and emotional pressure" R v Lucas [1981] QB 720.
  37. Evidence: when carrying out the assessment of evidence, regard must be had by a Judge to the observations of Butler-Sloss, then President in Re T [2004] 2 FLR 838 at para 33:
  38. "Evidence cannot be evaluated and assessed separately in separate compartments. A judge in these difficult cases must have regard to the relevance of each piece of evidence to other evidence and to exercise an overview of the totality of the evidence in order to come to the conclusion whether the case put forward by the LA has been made out to the appropriate standard of proof".

  39. The evidence of the parents and any other carers is if the utmost importance. It is essential that the court forms a clear assessment of their credibility and reliability. They must have the fullest opportunity to take part in the hearing and the court is likely to place considerable weight on the evidence and the impression it forms of them - Re W and another (Non accidental injury) [2003] FCR 346.
  40. The assessment of credibility generally involves wider problems than mere 'demeanour' which is mostly concerned with whether the witness appears to be telling the truth as he now believes it to be. With every day that passes the memory becomes fainter and the imagination becomes more active. The human capacity for honestly believing something which bears no relation to what actually happened is unlimited. Therefore, contemporary documents are always of the utmost importance: Onassis and Calogeropoulos v Vergottis [1968] 2 Lloyd's Rep 403, per Lord Pearce; A County Council v M and F [2011] EWHC 1804 (Fam) [2012] 2 FLR 939 at paras [29] and [30]: see Mostyn J in Lancashire CC v R [2013] EWHC 3064 (Fam) at paragraph 8 and 51.
  41. Similar principles as to the weight to be attached to children's statements in cases of alleged sexual abuse were considered and applied in Re E [1991] 1 FLR 420 at page 425 and Re M [1999] 2 FLR 92 at page 108.
  42. It will be submitted that there are disadvantages to which the Court must be alive where a party has to give evidence and be cross-examined via an interpreter and whilst in custody, whereas, by contrast, the complainant will not have been exposed to such cross-examination. Similar such difficulties were encountered by Pauffley J in conducting a fact-finding exercise in Re J (A Child) [2014] EWCA Civ 875 (at paragraph 75, 99 f & g and 108 c), where her findings were set aside by the Court of Appeal.
  43. A summary of the guidance contained in the relevant authorities is set out in the judgement of Baker J from paragraphs 53 to 64 of Devon County Council v EB & Ors (Minors) [2013] EWHC 968 (Fam).
  44. Hearsay evidence given in connection with the upbringing, maintenance or welfare of a child is admissible in Family proceedings under the Children (Admissibility of Hearsay Evidence) Order 1993. A recorded interview of what a child, or young person, has said amounts to hearsay evidence but is admissible as evidence as the truth of the statements in family proceedings by virtue of the above Order.
  45. Such evidence will have to be assessed by the Judge to see what weight may be attached to it. As per Neill LJ "hearsay evidence is admissible as a matter of law, but…….this evidence and the use to which it is put has to be handled with the greatest of care and in such a way that, unless the interests of the child make it necessary, the rules of natural justice and the rights of the parents are fully and properly observed" Re W (Minors) (Wardship: Evidence) [1990] 1 FLR 203 at page 227.
  46. Section 4 – Civil Evidence Act 1995 - When estimating the weight to be given to hearsay evidence in civil proceedings, the court must have regard to any circumstances from which any inference can reasonably be drawn as to the reliability or otherwise of the evidence. Regard may be had, in particular, to the following:
  47. (a) whether it would have been reasonable and practicable for the party by whom the evidence was adduced to have produced the maker of the original statement as a witness;

    (b) whether the original statement was made contemporaneously with the occurrence or existence of the matters stated;

    (c) whether the evidence involves multiple hearsay;

    (d) whether any person involved had any motive to conceal or misrepresent matters;

    (e) whether the original statement was an edited account, or was made in collaboration with another or for a particular purpose;

    (f) whether the circumstances in which the evidence is adduced as hearsay are such as to suggest an attempt to prevent proper evaluation of its weight.

  48. The weight given to the material was a matter of judicial discretion. Unless it was uncontroversial, it had to be regarded with great caution. In considering the extent to which, if at all, a judge should rely on the statements of a child made to others [outside of court], the following factors, inter alia, were relevant:
  49. 1. the child's age;

    2. the context in which the statement had been made;

    3. the surrounding circumstances;

    4. the previous behaviour of the child;

    5. the child's opportunities to have had knowledge from other sources;

    6. any knowledge of a child's predisposition to tell untruths or to fantasize

    (Re W (Minors) (Wardship: Evidence) [1990] 1 FLR 203)

  50. In a case such as this where the Court has already decided that, based on the decision of the Supreme Court in Re W (Children) (Abuse: Oral Evidence) [2010] UKSC 12; [2010] 1 FLR 1485, a young person should not give oral evidence, some of the factors set out in the above two paragraphs are unlikely to be relevant, but others clearly are.
  51. As for the principles of conducting interviews of children and young persons set out in Achieving Best Evidence in Criminal Proceedings: Guidance on Interviewing Victims and Witnesses, and Using Special Measures (the Guidance), The Report of the Inquiry into Child Abuse in Cleveland 1987 (The Cleveland Report), and The Report of the Advisory Group on Video Evidence (The Pigot Report) and the assessment of the weight to be attached to such interviews, these matters were considered in detail by The President, Sir Nicholas Wall, Wilson and Aikens LJJ in TW v A City Council & Others [2011] EWCA Civ 17 and in particular in paragraphs 21 to 30 of the President's judgment.
  52. Further guidance in cases involving alleged sexual abuse was given by Hollings J in Re A and Others (Minors) (Child Abuse: Guidelines) [1992] 1 FLR 439 at 444. Where no video recording facilities exist, the next best record should be kept, such as an audio recording or manuscript note: see KS v GS [1992] 2 FLR 361 at page 366 -367 per Thorpe J.
  53. Overall deficiencies in the ABE process are not necessarily by themselves sufficient to prevent the court relying on the statements of the child in the actual ABE interview Re R [2011] EWCA Civ 1795 at para 26 and Re H [2014] EWCA Civ 232 at paragraph 17
  54. In Re B (Allegation of Sexual Abuse:Child's Evidence) [2006] 2FLR 1071, the Court of Appeal found that the ABE Guidelines had not been followed, but went on to find that a failure to follow the Guidelines reduced, but by no means eliminated, the value of the evidence. Evidence of this kind fell to be assessed by the judge, however unsatisfactory its origin. In every case the judge had the unavoidable task of weighing up the evidence, warts and all, and deciding whether it had any value or none. The judge had been entitled to take the flawed evidence into account, having recognised its deficiencies, and had evaluated it carefully in the context of other independent evidence
  55. Initial questioning in advance of an ABE interview is appropriate and provided for in the guidance as long as due process and the precaution of good practice are maintained SS v SA, FS and S [2013] EWCA Civ 1254
  56. The Court should take proper account of any weaknesses as part of the broad assessment of the integrity of the process Re D [2012] EWCA Civ 1584 at paragraph 22
  57. The Court should always be alive to concerns about social engineering when considering making findings in respect of the threshold criteria for example in cases where children are living in impoverished circumstances or the parents have specific learning difficulties: see e.g. Re L [2006] EWCA Civ 1282 at paragraph 51.
  58. Background

  59. I will now turn to consider the relevant background taking each family in turn. One of the difficulties in doing this has been the volume of material and the way the documents are prepared. Many of the documents repeat the history over and over again, often in a slightly different way and in a different format. It has been necessary for the court to keep reminding the LA of the need to get the raw material and contemporaneous documents and not rely on the repetition of material. Repetition of an event many times over does not enhance its evidential status, in fact if often weakens it, as frequently there are inaccuracies in the re-telling. A frustrating feature of this case has been the way social work assessments and records of meetings are recorded, it has frequently been very difficult to determine the source of the material within them.
  60. The D family background

  61. The mother, AK, is 38 years. She was born in the Country A. The father of the children, JD, is 47 years. There are two children, AD, 19 years and KD 10 years. The family moved to the UK in July 2010. KD started school in October 2010.
  62. In March 2011 there was a referral to the LA from a neighbour via the NSPCC alleging there were ten adults and two children living in a one bedroom flat. The LA met AK to discuss the referral. AK stated the only time people visited was when her sister had visited with her husband.
  63. A further referral was received 7 days later again alleging overcrowding, that there were 8 adults living in the property. A social worker visited the following day unannounced, the property appeared clean and tidy and AK stated her uncle was staying there while he looked for accommodation.
  64. At the end of March the LA were notified that the landlord had given the D family notice to leave the property due to anti-social behaviour. In discussion with the landlord the LA report that they were being evicted due to overcrowding, adults were coming and going at all times and the owners of at least two cars lived at the property. The family were evicted at the end of April 2011.
  65. There is a LA file note dated 29 March 2011 of a discussion with the landlord of AK's flat and the reasons for the eviction, mainly relating to overcrowding and noise nuisance to neighbours. There is a reference that AK had fallen into rent arrears.
  66. A core assessment completed on 1 April 2011 which concluded AK denied the flat was overcrowded and there were rent arrears. The landlord claimed eviction due to non payment of rent, overcrowding and anti social behaviour. There were concerns about poor school attendance by KD (c78%) and AD.
  67. The LA contacted AK in May to find out where they were living. She informed them with friends, but refused to give any address. The following day AK informed the LA they were moving.
  68. The LA closed their file in early June 2011.
  69. In December 2011 JD moved to work in Portsmouth.
  70. On 6 January 2012 AK married DH. They did not live together full time and separated on a date which is not known.
  71. In May 2012 AK was conditionally discharged, having been arrested by Kent Police on suspicion of battery.
  72. In mid 2012 AK and JD separated. JD returned to the Country A where he has remained. There is no evidence that he was aware of AK's marriage.
  73. In November 2012 Kent Police received information that AK was prostituting herself, using piko and that she and AD were shoplifting.
  74. In December 2012 Kent Police received information that AK was planning to prostitute young girls from her home, she was assisting in selling stolen property and allowing a male to cut and weigh piko there.
  75. On 27 December 2012 the police executed a search warrant on AK's address, nothing of note was found. AK stated that the male they were looking for does stay there every now and then.
  76. In February 2013 Kent Police receive information that AK is a prostitute and her home address is used by several Eastern European males to deal drugs and sell stolen property from.
  77. In March 2013 AK and the children moved. At the same time Kent police received information that VC was prostituting a Czech or Slovakian girl from AK's home address.
  78. In June 2013 Kent Police receive a call from an adult female alleging that a month previously AK had attempted to set up an arranged marriage for her with a Pakistani male in Luton. The female alleged that she had since learnt that AK had arranged other marriages with Pakistani males.
  79. On 8 October 2013 AD married MJH. He lived in London during their relationship and they separated shortly after getting married. AK said in her statement she did not even know his name.
  80. 17 March 2014 the LA had referral for child and family assessment due to concerns regarding KD's school attendance and AK being named by a young person in connection with selling young people for sex. Assessment started on 18 March 2014 and completed on 23 April 2014. It was conducted by Gill Heasman (GH).
  81. 18 March 2014 the LA received information from Kent Police that a male with connections to drugs and unlawful weapons possession had been found at the family address.
  82. 20 March 2014 Kayleigh Jones (KJ) visited AK at home and KD at school. AD was considered to be physically in a poor condition compared to 2011. In the assessment she was described as looking 'dishevelled and uncared for. AD's facial skin was sore and red, her hands were purple and had cuts to her knuckles and the backs of her hands. AD's hair was matted and appeared dirty, her teeth were black and appeared rotten and she had a large blister on the sole of her foot. During previous involvements in early 2011 AD was clean, tidy and well presented; therefore this represents a marked deterioration in personal care and hygiene.' KD was seen alone at school, was softly spoken and well presented. KD said when AK and AD have friends around KD is sent to her bedroom where she will play with her dolls.
  83. 2 April 2014 KJ visited the family home. AK was concerned the police were targeting Eastern European families. AK spoke about her neighbour a black man who smokes weed and the smell comes into her house. In a discussion about pika being an up and coming drug, AK and AD denied hearing about this. AK stated there had been rumours in the Slovak community about her being a prostitute. There was a discussion about her benefit entitlement and a meeting arranged to discuss this the following week.
  84. 9 April 2014 social workers KJ and Claire Ledger (CL) visited the home. KD was there and is described as being well presented. AK expressed concern that the police were watching her, the case note records 'AK informed me that she was stopped checked by a plain clothed officer 14 days ago when out with her friend SS. AK highlighted to the officer that just because she was out with SS and is aware she is a prostitute and drug taker it does not mean she is those things. The same officer apparently informed AK that they are aware she is a prostitute, but she states that this is not true'. During their conversation the record notes AK's phone kept ringing showing the caller id as SS, AK answered the phone and became angry saying stop calling me I have social services here. AK spoke of a relative wanting to take KD because she was 'cute and intelligent' and that this was a way of him getting control over AK. She appeared fearful of giving his name, but did eventually identify him and said he was a pervert out for 'young meat' who had a long criminal record in the Country A.
  85. 11 April 2014 CL did a home visit and AK said her uncle was a drug dealer and she wanted to give information about him to the police. CL saw birth certificates identifying both AD and KD as JD's daughters.
  86. 22 April 2014 KD's school informed LA her attendance was 85.98% and she is achieving reasonably well.
  87. 23 April 2014 child and family assessment was completed. GH had not been able to visit the family home but CL had visited there twice recently and had no concerns about the state of the home. KD and family members were seen on 20 March, 2, 9, 11 and 22 April. KD is reported to suffer from asthma and has been prescribed two asthma pumps. KD's school attendance had previously been 72 %, but was better now at 85.98%. AK said the children had had no contact from JD for over two years except a text on birthdays.
  88. The assessment recommended 'Taking into consideration all of the above it is my view that the risks of KD being sexually exploited are too high for KD to remain in her mother's care and I propose removing KD to foster care until there are further thorough investigations by social services and the police to establish the facts. Significant concern have been raised by Z which appears to substantiate previous concerns raised which subsequently cast doubt on AK's ability to provide 'good enough' parenting to KD'.
  89. 7 May 2014 AK was arrested by the police in connection with allegations of child exploitation. KD was placed with foster carers under police protection. The police took a number of items from AK's home including bank cards (not in her name), a passport found in the freezer and a document purporting to give details of someone who was taking part in a fake marriage.
  90. AK was interviewed by the police on three occasions on 7 and 8 May 2014. She answered questions in the first interview and gave no comment responses in the following two interviews. She denied the allegations she had been involved in child exploitation or abuse.
  91. The LA applied for an emergency protection order in relation to KD, which was granted on 9 May and an interim care order was subsequently granted by HHJ Polden on 14 May.
  92. On 12 May 2014 the foster carer contacted the LA. A man had come to their home to sell paintings. The foster carer's daughter was reported to say the man probably came to buy us; she is reported to have got this from KD.
  93. 15 May 2014 KJ and DC Brightman (DCB) visit KD at the foster carers. The visit was video recorded. KD gives details about her home life and the food she likes and who AD's friends are. KD said she had heard about people being sold from a boy at school.
  94. AK filed her first witness statement on 28 May. She stated she only knew Z vaguely, had limited contact with her and she understood Z was prostituting herself for money and drugs and had done so with AK's neighbour. She referred to a man she called her Uncle who had threatened to take KD away as a way of getting at AK to secure a sexual relationship with her. AK admitted to sometimes using drugs, but denied it affected her ability to care for KD and she never deals in drugs. She stated she saw JC and Z together on one occasion near a kebab house arguing.
  95. On 16 June 2014 drug testing report stated AK had used increasing amounts of methamphetamine at a medium level during the period Nov 2013 to May 2014, there was no evidence that AK had used cocaine or any drugs within the opiate drug group since November 2013.
  96. On 1 July 2014 AD moved to live with JD in the Country A. JD is currently being assessed as a possible carer for KD.
  97. On 3 July 2014 KJ visited KD. During that visit KD gave details about people she knew. Z – KD described her as being a girl with black hair who had whirls on her face, she said she was a teenager who came around her house and that her mum would take her out but she did not know where. She described her as a bad girl as she smoked weed and that she had seen her roll it outside their house. SS – KD said she is her mum's friend and that SS is nice, she would come to the house lots of times and would always be hanging out with AD as well as her mum and they would all go out to see M. She gave a description of SS and said her mum liked SS. E – she gave a description of E who she described as her mum's best friend, she thinks he has two children called K and E and a wife called E. IE – she said IE's mum is her mum's friend, she is called 'I'. KD highlighted that IE wouldn't go to her house but 'I' would. She named 'I's children (LE, SE & VE). KD said 'I' and her mum are good friends and she would come round and they would go out together. KD said 'I' knew Z and when asked how said her mum had introduced them. KD said Z didn't like 'I' but she did not know why, she said her mother and N were no longer friends but she did not know why. KD was asked if she knew any anyone else who was friends or family with 'I', she said J who would come outside their house and give mum stuff but didn't know what this stuff was. KD did not know the name M. KD was asked about JC, she said that was 'I's sister and was also called 'I'. She had not met JC's children. KD was asked about REB, she said he was a man who came to the home to sell stuff to her mum. KD knew a girl called PF, she was called PF and hung around with Z. KD did not know anyone called A.
  98. On 8 July 2014 KJ visited KD to discuss videoing a conversation, as they had done previously. KD said she didn't want to be the one who caused mum to be sent to prison and she is worried it is her fault. The record notes that KJ explained to KD 'that other girls had come forward and said that mummy has done some naughty stuff and this is why the police are talking with mum so none of this is her fault'. The foster carer called later to say that KD does not want to have a video conversation as she said if she was to say anything wrong she might get her mum into trouble and she will go to prison.
  99. 16 October 2014 AK filed a statement giving details of hers and AD's recent marriages and the history of her relationship with JD.
  100. 17 November 2014 AK filed a third statement. She said she was not very close to JE and communicated with JS by text and facebook about their children. In relation to JC she said 'I knew of her from her being part of the Slovak/Romany community. We were not friends but if I saw her I would normally say 'hello'.' She knew LF through the community. She denied knowing RB and RF. She knew REB as he worked in a furniture shop where she had brought some items. She knew MC and JDI through the furniture shop.
  101. KD had her first telephone contact with AK in November and has had three since then.
  102. Threshold findings against the D family

  103. These can be summarised as follows: That
  104. (1) AK abused drugs, namely methamphetamine and cocaine.
    (2) AK permitted other adults to abuse illegal drugs in her home.
    (3) AK brought into the home and used drugs paraphernalia such as needles and syringes in the child's home.
    (4) AK permitted a number of identified persons to live at the child's home, making it overcrowded.
    (5) AK caused or permitted the exposure of Z to inappropriate and abusive sexual activity.
    (6) AK knew or ought to have known that Z was a child and failed to protect her from the risk of sexual, physical and emotional harm. KD knew Z was a teenager.
    (7) JD has neglected KD's emotional and physical needs by failing to keep in contact with her and failing to make any proper enquiry regarding KD's welfare needs.
  105. AK admits drug use and the drug paraphernalia that was found, but denies it would result in the risk of significant harm to KD. She denies all other allegations.
  106. JD admits he has not kept in contact with KD but states he was unaware of any risks of significant harm.
  107. The E family background

  108. JE is 35 years and JS 33 years. They have been together for 14 years and are unmarried. JE has five children NE 19 years, IE 17 years, VE and SE both 10 years and LE 3 years. JS is the father of VE, SE and LE. The father of NE and IE is reported by JE to be deceased.
  109. On 30 November 2004 the district court in Kosice, Slovakia decided that NE and IE should live with their father EH and JE should pay maintenance.
  110. 6 October 2004 JS is convicted in Slovakia of having sexual intercourse with a girl under 15 years. From the documents it appears there was no separate penalty as he had served a sentence for another offence.
  111. JE moved to the UK from Slovakia in August 2008 with the children and JS joined them in April 2009.
  112. 5 June 2009 the LA received a referral concerning the family living with their aunt with no access to benefits and the children not attending school. The family were signposted to education and benefits services.
  113. They moved to an address in Town A in May/June 2010
  114. In December 2010 IE (then 14 years old) was excluded from School for violent behaviour.
  115. 21 January 2011 the LA received information that IE, then 14 years, had formed a relationship with PD (aka MD) who was between 16 – 18 years.
  116. In March 2011 the LA received a referral from the police following reports that CCTV footage showed IE being punched and dragged by her wrist by PD. In an email from the asylum team they record they found IE in bed with PD, they stated she was there on her way home from a party. The record notes that when they checked the position with IE's step father he confirmed IE would be with PD.
  117. 3 June 2011 the LA received information from Kent Police that PD alleged to them that JE had been paid £2 by a male to allow him to touch IE's breast. IE and JE both denied these allegations when seen by social worker (with an interpreter) on 7 July 2011. The record notes that JE told IE she knew IE was having sex with PD and that at times IE was spending time at PD's bedsit. She was advised that this was not allowed as PD had been told by the asylum team that he should not have any visitors, particularly girls. PD was waiting outside the property when the social worker left.
  118. 1 August 2011 JE failed to notify the police, as she had agreed to, that IE had been absent for two days.
  119. LE was born in September 2011.
  120. 19 September 2011 JE reported that IE was spending a lot of time away from home.
  121. 17 October 2011 JE reported that IE had not been staying at home for over a month and that IE had said she was with PD. JE stated she had tried to report this but had language problems.
  122. 13 January 2012 JS was cautioned by police for common assault.
  123. 4 May 2012 the LA received information from Kent police that JS was dealing with drugs from the address of JS and JE.
  124. 19 July 2012 police recorded there had been an incident of domestic verbal abuse by JS. No further action taken.
  125. In August 2012 JHD was born, a month after IE's 16th birthday. Following her birth IE and JHD lived with JE and JS at the address of JS and JE. PD may also have been living there too.
  126. 14 August 2012 the police investigated a domestic abuse incident between JE and JS; they had had an argument about text messages between JS and other women. JE asked JS to leave for the night which he agreed to do.
  127. 6 September 2012 JE failed to attend an appointment with the LA.
  128. 7 September 2012 JS was given a restorative resolution by Kent police for an offence of assault.
  129. 13 September 2012 the police recorded an incident of domestic verbal abuse by JS to JE. No further action taken.
  130. 16 September 2012 the police attended JE's address because IE claimed PD was attempting to remove JHD. PD was shouting that he wanted to remove JHD because drugs were being sold in the house. IE claimed PD had slapped her face, and had been physically abusive to her in the past. She said she had not reported as she was afraid of PD, he had threatened to take JHD from her. IE refused any kind of support and refused to give a statement to the police. PD was arrested for domestic assault and stated at the custody desk that when he was released he would return to take JHD. PD was bailed on condition not to contact IE or attend the address. IE refused to provide a statement for the police and resumed her relationship with PD.
  131. 17 September 2012 the LA received a referral from a female who reported JE had told her she was subjected to domestic abuse from JS. The children were said to have been left playing in the street until 10pm and JE and JS were said to host parties at the weekend where there was violence and the police had to be called. The referrer reported she could hear the children crying during these parties.
  132. 24 September 2012 police were waiting to enter the address of JS and JE they observed MAC walk behind a block of flats where police found 23 individual bags of crystal meth. Search of the address of JS and JE found one small self seal bag of crystal meth, £400 cash, ticklists and scales. Also found 8 mobile phones and various watches, JS arrested for possession with intent to supply. Neither JS or MAC were charged with any offence.
  133. 25 September 2012 JE failed an appointment with the LA.
  134. In late September 2012 IE, PD and JHD moved to bed and breakfast accommodation.
  135. 3 October 2012 the family failed an appointment with the social worker.
  136. 4 October 2012 JS was cautioned for common assault.
  137. 25 October 2012 LA held initial child protection conference regarding JHD. JHD made the subject of a child protection plan under the categories of emotional and physical abuse and neglect.
  138. 13 November 2012 a core assessment was completed by the LA, which decided that since IE and PD had moved out of the home there was no need for concern about LE's welfare.
  139. 3 December 2012 IE told the social worker PD had given her a black eye; she wanted to move back into JE's house. IE moved back to JE's house with JHD and all agreed they would not let PD into the house.
  140. 5 December 2012 following PD being seen at JE's house, IE stated that the black eye had in fact been caused by an English girl. She undertook not to allow PD contact with JHD but JE refused to do so.
  141. 10 December 2012 on a child protection visit to JE's home the social worker noted there were 3 men there with JS, they left immediately. IE said they were JS's friends. IE was adamant that PD had not been to the house, but both JE and JS said he had been daily and both said IE should remain in a relationship with PD, alleging that IE had lied about PD being violent. There were further sightings of PD at the family home in December.
  142. December 2012 NE meets FM
  143. January 2013 VE, SE and LE were made the subject of child protection plans under the category of emotional abuse and neglect due to the concerns relating to the family's lack of honesty, poor attendance at schools, threats and risks posed by IE's boyfriend PD, JE and JS not acting protectively towards IE, JS's reported association with drug dealers and strangers coming in and out of the family home.
  144. 9 January 2013 LA received referral via Kent Police alleging that several windows in a car outside JE's house had been smashed, with a woman with a baby seen running away from the car on one occasion and lots of screaming and shouting. There were also reports of the children playing out late without proper clothing.
  145. 14 January 2013 the LA issued care proceedings in relation to JHD, she was made the subject of an ICO on 23 January and placed with foster carers. The mother was found to lack capacity and from March 2013 was represented in the proceedings through the official solicitor.
  146. 16 January 2013 the social worker visited the home and found VE, SE and LE were not in school. The school stated their attendance was below 85%.
  147. 25 January 2013 JE failed an appointment with the LA.
  148. 22 February 2013 the family's landlord telephoned the LA to inform them the family were being evicted due to £3,000 rent arrears and having police involvement for drugs and prostitution. Family moved to B&B nearby.
  149. March 2013 LA case possibly closed re VE, SE and LE (see reference in core assessment dated 28 April 2014) but appears to be updated core assessment in March 2013 recommending safeguarding plan for the children. Change in social worker from Simon George to Kerry Ramsbotham (KB).
  150. 15 March 2013 home visit by KB. JE and JS said drugs and anti social behaviour associated with PD and IE obsessed with PD, despite the dangers.
  151. 3 April 2013 home visit by KB to VE, SE and LE at the F family address. JE said the address was only temporary.
  152. 16 April 2013 review child protection conference VE, SE and LE should continue to be subject of child protection plan under the category of neglect. The date of the next conference was fixed for 26 September 2013. Around this time family moved to live with NE, at an address in Town A although on 9 May 2013 there is a recording that they were staying at a hotel in Town A.
  153. 17 May 2013 viability assessment of JE and JS as future carers for JHD was negative.
  154. 22 May 2013 family seen at their home address– family presented as together and close.
  155. 5 June 2013 IE had a termination.
  156. 25 July 2013 LF reports to the police JC has been raped by JS.
  157. 26 July 2013 there is a record of a LA home visit by CL where JE and IE were arguing, IE was alleging that her mother and sister had slept with her boyfriend. JE said she could not cope with IE's behaviour as she was always shouting and it was not good for the children.
  158. 31 July 2013 JC police interview regarding alleged rape by JS. She alleges two occasions when she was raped, once in the E family home and once in a car.
  159. 3 September 2013 home visit by CL children described as well, appropriately dressed and well presented.
  160. 17 September 2013 JS police interview regarding rape. JS accepts he has sex with JC, he said it was consensual and took place on 3 occasions.
  161. October 2013 JE gave evidence at the final hearing regarding JHD. She and JS were put forward by PD as future carers for JHD. HHJ Murdoch QC did not consider JE and JS could meet JHD's future needs. HHJ Murdoch QC did not accept JE's evidence when she said she had no recollection of telling the social worker that when JHD was living in the family home with her parents there were many arguments between the couple which included aggression in the form of shouting. She went on say she would not have said this because it was not true. HHJ Murdoch QC concluded that JE was deliberately trying to minimise the extent of the problems between the parents when they were living at the address of JS and JE. HHJ Murdoch QC made a final care order and placement order on 2 October 2013.
  162. 6 November 2013 there is a record of a LA home visit. IE said she had separated from PD and was living with JE. IE looked health, clean and appropriately dressed.
  163. 1 December 2013 IE and JE arrested for theft from an intoxicated man at a kebab shop in Town A. The police report records a police officer recognising IE and JE on CCTV allegedly showing them stealing the man's wallet. IE is arrested at the scene and JE arrested at home. The wallet is recorded to be found in the bin at JE's home. Both IE and JE have been charged with theft. JE states it was IE and she will plead not guilty.
  164. 18 December 2013 LA case on IE closed with recommendation that JE and JS continue to support IE. IE's physical appearance was reported to have improved.
  165. 20 January 2014 DFM born. Child of NE and FM
  166. 5 March 2014 IE was discovered in bed with a known sex offender (RV), JE and JS were not surprised by this but seemed shocked when told about the nature of his convictions. They said they had known him for years. JE and JS agreed to call the LA if IE had any further contact with him and not to allow VE or SE any contact with him.
  167. 7 March 2014 JE text the LA to say IE had been with the male sex offender the previous night and she had contacted the police.
  168. 18 March 2014 the social worker visited VE and SE at school. SE said she spent most nights staying with her sister NKR, VE said he slept at home. They described a recent birthday party at home which they enjoyed.
  169. 21 March 2014 IE seen by KJ and DC Underwood (DCU) after she was found hiding in a cupboard at RV's address. IE denied sexual relationship with RV.
  170. 31 March 2014 at a home visit by CL JE was concerned about IE, said IE stays with her sisters DSF and JC who were supportive. She thought IE was spending time with PF and SS. JE was asked about a recent arrest for theft, JE said it was IE and she was not involved in the theft and would be pleading not guilty. JE said she had resolved issues with her benefits and her money is being backdated. JE said she was pregnant but had arranged a termination the following week.
  171. 2 April 2014 during a visit to the school by CL VE identified his mother as 'I' whereas SE identified her mother as 'J'. Both children were described as polite and engaging.
  172. 11 April 2014 CL home visit JE and JS said they were moving. JE said she was pregnant, was planning a termination but her blood pressure is too high.
  173. On 22 April 2014 JE had a pregnancy terminated.
  174. 28 April 2014 child and family assessment completed by CL. Good attachment observed between JE and children and good relationship between children and JS. CL recommended that the children should be placed in care pending further assessment, mainly due to the risk of sexual exploitation and drugs.
  175. 28 April 2014 JE and JS leave their home address and go and stay at NE's property where she lives with her partner FM and their child DFM.
  176. 30 April 2014 health visitor contacted the LA stating she couldn't contact the family as they had moved. The LA telephoned JE she said they had moved in with NE while work was being done on their new property.
  177. 6 May 2014 CL met the property manager of the flat from which the family had been evicted, who alleged that drug users were continually coming to the flat when the family lived there and that JE and IE would prostitute themselves every Friday night. As the property had been re-let it was not possible to view the property.
  178. JE was arrested on 7 May 2014 on suspicion of child exploitation offences. She has since been charged and remanded in custody. She was arrested at NE's home and VE, SE and LE were taken into police protection and placed with foster carers. They were made the subject of an emergency protection order on 9 May and interim care orders on 14 May.
  179. JE was interviewed by the police on three occasions, once on 7 May 2014 and twice on 8 May 2014. In the first interview she answered questions and in the next two interviews gave no comment answers.
  180. 8 May 2014 IE seen by PC Wong (PCW) and social worker Sarah Bullen when she denied she was taking drugs, having sex with anyone and sleeping anywhere apart from at her mother's home. She said her friends were PF, NE (sister) and SF (cousin). She denied knowledge of the names put to her (RB, RK, A and REB). In relation to AK she said 'no not my friend'.
  181. 9 May 2014 CL visited the children where LE, in particular, was very distressed. The children were noted to be more settled in the placement by 15 May 2014. The children started to have contact with JS and their half siblings, the contact is reported to go well particularly with JS and NE. JS has continued to have contact twice per week. JE has had fortnightly telephone contact since about September.
  182. 14 May 2014 Sarah Bullen visited IE, she asked after her siblings and said JS was a 'good man'. She was asked about people involved in the police investigation but said she did not know them.
  183. 22 May 2014 PCW and Sarah Bullen visited IE she was asked about Z. IE said her mother JE liked Z and Z would go to their birthday parties where she would drink, but no drugs. IE stated Z had stayed at her house overnight and her mum had taken Z, her sister NE and her shopping and to McDonalds on an occasion. She said Z was best friends with her sister NE.
  184. 5 June 2014 JE's first statement denying all charges against her, requested contact and for JS to be assessed to care for the children and put other names forward. She stated she is often known as "I" as that is what her mother wished to call her.
  185. Results of drug testing on JE 8 July 2014 concluded she must, at least, have been regularly present while methamphetamine was being smoked, but more likely took methamphetamine herself during the period from March to May 2014. No other controlled substances found. Nothing was detected after May 2014, although by then JE was in custody. The letter dated 3 October from the drug testing company states the use of co-codamol could account for the codeine detected in the hair.
  186. On 24 July 2014 first statement from JS in which he denied he had attempted to avoid hair strand testing and stated he had never dealt in drugs, had never snorted drugs and knows nothing about drugs and never used methamphetamine. He suggested that he went to a party on 22 June and suggests his drink may have been spiked.
  187. On 4 August 2014 drug testing results for JS concluded he had used methamphetamine in the last six months and could have used amphetamines also, although the latter could have been due to the metabolisation of the methamphetamine. The results between May to July 2014 for amphetamine are described as 'low' and methamphetamine as 'low to medium'.
  188. 20 October 2014 parenting assessment completed by Lisa Heeley (LH). It did not recommend placement with JS.
  189. On 22 October 2014 there was a further drug testing report in relation to JS. That concluded for both amphetamine and methamphetamine the results are described as 'low'.
  190. The second statement from JS dated 4 November 2014 stated he accepted the test results and was using amphetamine when he went out with friends socially about once a fortnight. He said he takes pica and has taken it fortnightly for about 3 years. He said he had lied before as he was worried and afraid about the consequences for his children if he admitted taking drugs. He said he has reduced his drug taking and will not now be using it.
  191. The second statement from JE is dated 14 November 2014. She states she has only seen Z a few times, twice near the kebab place near her house and once on the ground floor when she came to call IE. She has never seen her up close. She states she only use methamphetamine twice relating to helping her with weight loss. Describing her relationship with JC she stated they saw each other regularly until she alleged JS raped her in July 2013 since then she stated 'I did not let her come to our house and I almost completely stopped talking to her. I did not want to have anything in common with her anymore. I used to see her, but I minded my own business'. In relation to AK she said they worked together at a hotel in Town A, outside work she said they met up occasionally. JE said when they lived at an address in Town A she remembered AK going to the apartments next door. In relation to phone contact she said there was one or two days when she contacted her a lot, as she thought JS and AK were having an affair, this was when they were at a previous address. She denied any knowledge of REB (other than in the context of delivering furniture), MC, RB, JDI, RF or RK.
  192. On 24 November 2014 JS filed a statement confirming his position regarding drug use, denying any knowledge of prostitution by JE or rape of JC. In relation to the items found at the property previously he denied any knowledge of drugs, stated the £400 cash was for rent, the ticklist related to money lending and the scales relating to gold from breaking down computers and mobile phones. In relation to Z he said he met her once with IE when IE came home and he was there, he has seen IE and Z outside his home address. He states he knows AK as he met her once at a party and would see her sometimes in town only to say hello, he knows SS, does not know RB, has had limited conversations with MC who he met through MC's brother, he knows one R (does not know the surname) through a furniture store. He knows JDI, they worked together for 6 months to May 2013. They saw each other once every couple of months after that but didn't talk much.
  193. Threshold findings against the E family

  194. The findings sought in relation to JE and JS are that
  195. (1) JS and JE abused illegal drugs, namely methamphetamine
    (2) JS supplied illegal drugs from the children's home whilst they were present and JE permitted this
    (3) JS and JE exposed the children to drugs and drug paraphernalia
    (4) JS has a conviction for sexual intercourse with a person younger than 15 years
    (5) JE caused or permitted the exposure of IE to prostitution and inappropriate and abusive sexual activity.
    (6) JE caused or permitted the exposure of Z to inappropriate and abusive sexual activity.
    (7) JS and JE failed to prevent IE being exposed to a sexual offender RV
    (8) JS and JE permitted the children to see their aunt JC daily who was abusing drugs and engaged in prostitution
    (9) JS exposed the children to domestic abuse in his relationship with JE
    (10) JS raped JC
    (11) JS and JE encouraged and/or permitted IE to continue in a violent relationship
    (12) JS has convictions for other offences eg theft and possession of an offensive weapon
    (13) JS was partly responsible for the family's eviction for anti-social behaviour.
    (14) JE prostitutes herself for sex in exchange for money.
    (15) JS and JE anti social conduct and vandalism of the family home.
    (16) JS and JE had in their possession two electronic devices with indecent images of child like people.
  196. Apart from the previous convictions, the results of the drug tests and possession of the electronic devices the findings are denied by both JS and JE.
  197. The F background

  198. LF is 44 years and JC 38 years. They have four children SF 18 years, LJF 17 years, DF 15 years and JF 7 years.
  199. The family moved to the UK from Slovakia in September 1998, they returned to Slovakia in 2002, LF returned here alone between September 2005 and February 2006 and he returned here again in 2007. In October 2007 LF returned to Slovakia to collect the family and they all came here in early November 2007 and have been here since.
  200. In 2009 SF was excluded from school for assaulting another pupil. In February 2010 SF stole items from other students and in March 2010 SF's attendance was 68% and LJF's 70%.
  201. January 2010 JAC, JC's brother, was sentenced to a one year community order for sexual assault, with an exclusion requirement from Westminster for 12 months and was placed on the sex offenders register for 5 years. LF agreed he lived with them for a period of 12 months even though they knew of the conviction and had concerns about his drinking. He said the children were not left alone with him.
  202. March 2010 social workers visited the F family home where JAC was present. The social worker ascertained that the F parents were aware of JAC's conviction and the concern that raised about his contact with the children.
  203. April 2010 case closed as parents assessed as being protective.
  204. September 2010 the LA received information from SF's school that she and other Eastern European children were alleged to have been taken to Town B for sexual activity with adult males.
  205. 29 September 2010 LA completed an initial assessment which recommended that a child protection strategy discussion be held and the core assessment completed.
  206. 11 February 2011 the LA received information that SF was present when a young asylum seeker was murdered in Town A. There were concerns she was involved in prostitution.
  207. 9 April 2011 SF seen by police after being absent for 3 days. She said she was scared to go home as her parents hit her and she wanted to stay with her boyfriend, MR. She asked this not to be communicated to her parents. In a subsequent discussion she withdrew these allegations and JC stated SF was coming home each evening.
  208. 10 October 2011 LF called the LA to inform them SF was spending several days away from home at her boyfriend MR's home, returning with bruises all over her body, including her face. SF had refused to support police action against him.
  209. 8 November 2011 SF's school sent a referral to the LA because SF had attended school with a large bruise on her face and had run away from home.
  210. 15 December 2011 SF attended hospital with a male who was sort of her cousin. She was badly bruised on her back, thighs, hands, head and face. She blamed three males in a park in Town A the previous day. She left the hospital before receiving treatment. Later that day SF gave a statement to the police against MR.
  211. 30 January 2012 MR was charged and given bail conditions.
  212. 8 March 2012 LA received a referral in respect of SF because the charges against MR had been dropped, there were concerns about SF's welfare, including whether she was involved in prostitution.
  213. 13 April 2012 SF attended at the LA offices with further bruising to her face which she accepted had been caused by MR. The records note that that the police had growing concerns regarding SF being involved in prostitution and that JC and LF still supported the relationship between SF and MR despite the serious assaults on SF.
  214. 12 September 2012 police called to an incident in the street where alleged SF being assaulted by MR. Police attended, injuries noted, SF said caused when she trying to separate MR from being assaulted by other men.
  215. 2 November 2012 JC reported to the police that LF had stolen her cards and money. In the police report there is reference of LF stating he feared she was going to use to the card to buy drugs or alcohol.
  216. 19 February 2013 SF's unborn baby was made the subject of a child protection plan due to level of domestic abuse between SF and MR.
  217. 9 March 2013 LF was arrested by Kent police for a domestic assault on JC. LF was interviewed on 10 March 2013 without a solicitor or an interpreter. He makes reference in that interview to his suspicions about JC using drugs.
  218. 15 March 2013 JMR born child of SF and MR.
  219. 25 July 2013 LF reports to police alleged rape of JC by JS.
  220. 31 July 2013 JC interviewed by the police in relation to the allegation of rape by JS. Alleges she was raped on two occasions, once in the E home and once in a car. JC alleges she gets drugs from JS.
  221. 5 September 2013 Kent Police received information that Eastern European females were engaged in prostitution around a hotel in Town A. The police record notes 'One gave her details as JC …the second female gave her details as Z...I recognised the female as in fact being SF..she could not account for the fact she had lied although she did not appear to be wanted for anything. Whilst talking to the females there were a group of males stood near by and JC was getting phonecalls from 'M'. I believe this to be MR who is SF's boyfriend…the third female was not located..'. The police record is timed at 03.48. A referral was made by the police in respect of DF and JC.
  222. 17 September 2013 JS interviewed regarding the rape allegation. He denied rape and said he and JC had consensual sex on 3 occasions.
  223. 8 October 2013 review child protection conference JMR child protection plan ended and he became the subject of a child in need plan which he remains subject to. SF and MR informed the conference that JC is using amphetamines and turns up at their home at 2 or 3 in the morning knocking on the door demanding to be let in. When they let her in she uses the bathroom and leaves.
  224. 16 October 2013 LA referral due to concerns regarding domestic abuse between JC and LF.
  225. 22 October 2013 LA education service becomes involved as LJF not attending school.
  226. 24 October 2013 LA home visit. JC denied she was in the sex trade but said JC's sister lived in the region of a hotel in Town A. Family home was clean and tidy. Family request assistance in getting place for school for JC.
  227. 29 October 2013 JC was referred to the Children Missing Education Team because of the need to enrol JC in school.
  228. 18 November 2013 LA received information from the police that JC was stealing from people using ATMs in the vicinity of a hotel in Town A.
  229. On 2 December 2013 the LA received a referral concerning a person who is a known sex offender, giving details of possible contact with JC and her children. At a follow up home visit the person was identified as visiting the family, visited about 4 times in last 8 months. JC had met him at nightclub. JC and LF given details regarding his past and agreed they would not allow him to have contact with the children.
  230. 18 December 2013 a GP welfare check showed DF needed immunisations and JC had failed to attend immunisation appointments.
  231. November/December 2013 JC's mother died, she had lived in the family home. The social worker for JMR described seeing JC's mother when she visited the home from October 2012, she described her as sitting cross legged and staring into space she 'appeared to be unoccupied and not really engaged with the world or people around her seemingly in need of care and attention from the parents and grandchildren'.
  232. 10 January 2014 JC accepted a caution for possession of the controlled class F drug amphetamine.
  233. 21 January 2014 further domestic abuse incident between SF and MR. The police had been called as JC had attended their house and been kicking their door accusing MR of not allowing her to see SF.
  234. 31 January 2014 Children and Family assessment completed concluded no further action required regarding family contact with known sex offender. Noted that parents clearly love their children, interaction observed to be positive, trustful and appropriate.
  235. 17 February 2014 JC was cautioned for theft from a person on 11 January. This related to an incident at a hotel in Town A where a man reported a theft, a review of the CCTV cameras at the hotel identified him going to his hotel room with a female who left an hour later and was seen leaving the room with unidentifiable items. The woman was identified as JC. In the police report JC states she went back to the room with the man as she thought she was going to get drugs from him. According to her she asked for drugs, he said nothing and then said sex and proceeded to take all his clothes off and started masturbating. She said she took cigarettes and his mobile phone by mistake.
  236. 25 February 2014 final letter sent to JC and LF regarding JC not being registered at a school.
  237. 20 March 2014 JC arrested for possession of amphetamine.
  238. 2 April 2014 child strategy meeting agreed a section 47 investigation should be completed.
  239. 6 April 2014 JC and JE go back with man to his home in the early hours of the morning. According to the man's report to the police the women took money and jewellery.
  240. 10 April 2014 LA home visit JC, LF, DF and JC present with JAC also there and was intoxicated. There was a welfare visit by the police later that day confirmed JAC had left the property.
  241. 11 April 2014 LA home visit and JC admitted she takes speed and crystal meth every week, but she didn't think she was an addict. JC stated she and JE had been arrested earlier that week for theft. She stated that DF and JC were not aware of her drug use. She alleged JS supplied her with drugs; that he also supplied IE and that IE and others were selling themselves for sex.
  242. 16 April 2014 LA home visit. JC could not speak English and had significant tooth decay. JC gave details regarding her alleged offending and drug use, LF was present but did not give any comments. It is noted in the record of this visit there were no concerns regarding the children's presentations, the concerns centred on JC's poor dental care and lack of schooling. There was a further home visit the next day, 17 April 2014, to discuss JC's lack of schooling.
  243. 20 April 2014 LA's child and family assessment completed concluded that because of JAC's presence in the home, JC not being in school even though 7 years old, JC's drug abuse and allegations against her of child exploitation the children were at risk of significant harm.
  244. 2 May 2014 LA informed DF's school attendance was 56%.
  245. 4 May 2014 LA home visit, JAC was just leaving. JC and LF said he does not stay just visits.
  246. 7 May 2014 JC arrested as part of police operation regarding alleged child exploitation. DF and JC placed in police protection and placed with foster carers. JC was interviewed twice by the police, on the 7 May 2014 she answered questions and on 8 May 2014 made no comment answers.
  247. 8 May 2014 JC was bailed on condition she had no contact with anyone under 18, does not leave the country and she did not contact any witnesses in the criminal proceedings. She went to stay with her sister.
  248. 9 May 2014 DF and JC made the subject of an emergency protection order and an interim care order on 14 May 2014. Social worker Nana Arkhurst (Z) visited DF and JC at the foster carers. DF asking questions and why she can't go home. Further visit on 21 May and 3 June JC noted to be very quiet and upset and DF anxious to understand what being said about her parents.
  249. 22 May 2014 home visit to LF and SF. SF said before she was pregnant Z asked MR if he could sell her as she needed some money.
  250. 6 June 2014 LF's first witness statement in care proceedings, denied family problems with drug use or prostitution and putting himself forward as sole carer for DF and JC if JC found guilty.
  251. 12 June 2014 JC's first witness statement. She is separated from LF and is living with her sister DSF. JC denied being involved in child exploitation, accepted had been using crystal meth since October 2012 but had not used any for two months, she accepted she had tricked some men into giving her money to buy drugs by promising them sex but ran away before giving any sexual favours. JC stated LF did not know about this.
  252. 20 June 2014 hair strand drug report stated no evidence LF had used controlled drug.
  253. 24 June 2014 LF section 9 police statement where he stated he was aware of Z who he thought was between 14 – 15 years old and came to their home on one occasion in April/May 2013 asking to speak to JC and wanted some water and a cigarette. He did not recall her asking for a bath but stated in his oral evidence this statement was taken without an interpreter.
  254. 25 June 2014 hair strand drug test report on JC concluded evidence of decreasing methamphetamine between March to June 2014.
  255. JC and LF had supervised contact with the children once per week for 1.5 hours, which has been increased to twice a week.
  256. 29 July 2014 LA completed parenting assessment of JC and LF which did not support return of the children to their care due to their lack of insight.
  257. 14 August 2014 LF second witness statement stating he had separated from JC, and seeking the children being returned to his care.
  258. In September 2014 JC was informed she was not going to be charged with any offence. She returned to live with LF.
  259. In her second statement JC accepts she went out at night to get drugs and did offer sex to men but ran away once she had been given the money. She said she did this on approximately 4 occasions. She denied prostitution. She admitted using drugs but said she is trying to stop taking them. As far as she knew LF did not discover her drug use.
  260. The foster carer filed a statement on 4 October 2014 detailing information JC had give her. She said during one conversation JC said her mother sometimes takes a straw and cuts it in half, she then demonstrated putting the straw in her nose and sniffing. When asked what she meant she said 'you know the white stuff'. JC said her father never did this. JC then made gestures of injecting her arm, and said her mother sometimes does this, saying 'you know, like when they take blood'. Again JC said her father did not do this.
  261. In LF's third statement he gave more details about Z coming to the family home, he said he had suspicions regarding JC's drug use 'but nothing definite'. He accepted JC went out to nightclubs and acknowledged they had had some arguments. Prior to the rape allegation he agreed they saw a lot of the E family, after July 2013 he said he ceased contact with them. He denied knowing any other the other defendants in the criminal proceedings.
  262. In her third statement JC denies she has ever been known as "I", she states she met Z once in a nightclub when she informed her she sold herself for £5, on the occasion when she came to her home to ask for a shower, twice in town with IE and a final time when she saw her in town with AK, they had an argument about clothes JC Z had taken from her home and she took Z home at her request and spoke to Z's mother. She sets out her contact with AK, JE and JS and denies any knowledge of RB or RF and had some knowledge of MC and REB.
  263. Threshold findings against the F family

  264. The LA seek findings that JC
  265. (1) Abused amphetamine and methamphetamine.
    (2) Offered herself to men for sex for money while her daughter SF and or her niece IE were present.
    (3) Left the children without appropriate supervision at night while she prostituted herself or took drugs.
    (4) Permitted JAC, a registered sex offender, to stay at the family home.
    (5) Knew the child Z was being exploited sexually.
    (6) Permitted the children to have daily contract with JE who she knew was exploiting Z sexually.
    (7) Continued to take the children to JS's home despite him having raped her and continued to collect drugs from him.
    (8) Failed to protect daughter SF from her violent relationship with MR.
  266. The LA seek findings that LF
  267. (1) Failed to protect his children from JC's drug abuse and prostitution which he knew about.
    (2) Permitted JAC, a registered sex offender, to use the family home.
    (3) Knew the child Z was being exploited sexually.
    (4) Permitted the children to have daily contact with JE who he knew was exploiting Z sexually.
    (6) Permitted the children to visit the home of JS despite knowing he had raped JC.
    (7) Exposed the children to domestic abuse when he assaulted JC in front of them on 9.3.13.
    (8) Failed to protect his daughter SF from her violent relationship with MR
  268. JC admits her drug use but otherwise both JC and LF deny the allegations made.
  269. Z

  270. One of the central issues in this case is the reliability of the account given by a young person called Z. Before considering the account she has given affecting the parties in these cases it is necessary to summarise what is known about her background.
  271. She is now 16 years old. Her parents are ZM and ZF. She has six siblings, one of whom is adopted. Her older brother died in early 2014. Her mother has an older child from her first marriage and her husband has two older children from a previous relationship. Her husband and one of her children are disabled.
  272. The family came to England in about September 2012, and moved to Town A on 25 November 2012.
  273. The reason given by ZM for the move was due to Z being raped when she was 13 years old in Slovakia.
  274. In about August 2014 details of proceedings and engagement with social services regarding Z in Slovakia became available. Although not always easy to follow they appear to show the following.
  275. In December 2009 Z first came to the attention of the authorities due to allegations that she had on two occasions demanded money from children at her school with the threat of violence if they did not bring it in. The documentation has records of interviews with the teachers at the school. The records show an investigation into the family's circumstances and ZM promising she would monitor Z's free time activities. From February 2010 until about January 2013 there were 3 monthly plans by social services to monitor the family environment with regular reports being sought from Z's school. The records indicate that Z was being taken to a psychiatric hospital from early 2010 (seeing a doctor but it is not clear from the records when this stops) and was attending school once per week with the agreement of the authorities.
  276. On 1 August 2011 there is a record of a meeting between ZM, Z and JCA (said by ZM to be a social worker). The record is entitled 'Official record – [Z] – running away from home, sexual abuse of the minor'. In the body of the document it reports ZM saying that Z leaves the house after lunch and returns in the early hours of the morning 'She arrives without her underwear; the last time it happened was on Saturday 30/07/11' Z reports having an intimate relationship with TH who is a man said to have a wife and child. Z reports him taking her virginity forcibly with her 11 year old cousin putting her hand over her mouth to prevent her screams. She referred to other occasions when she had sexual intercourse with other men (another T (aka F)). She reports the previous day (31/7.11) she had sexual intercourse with six other people she named, often more than one person on each occasion and it either takes place in the car, in the park or a rundown house. Z also reported being threatened by TH if Z reported him. This record is said to be signed by both Z and ZM. According to ZM when she gave her oral evidence she said Z gave this information in an interview with Z and the social worker without her present. She said she had an argument with the social worker.
  277. This report prompts a criminal investigation. There is a record of a further interview on 21 September 2011 where she refers to BT on 11 September making threats to kill her when he returns from prison. A social services record dated 10 October 2011 refers to Z's behaviour having improved. On 25 October there is a further social services record that states ZM is reporting Z stays out at night returning late in the evening. It reads 'In the company of white boys, age around 30 and she has had a sexual relationship with them. The situation at home is unmanageable that's why they are considering she undergoes a treatment which she has to adhere to without visiting her. Institution of work, social affairs and family requested a hospital treatment with Dr X who objected that the mother abuses the health care and takes her home after a week, hosp 31/03/2011 at 8am. The psychiatric clinic – hospital treatment. If the mother interrupts the treatment, from the health system point of view, she will not be able to have another treatment. The mother has been notified of this.' On 31 October the mother reported that Z will be sent for hospital treatment at the psychiatric department. First visit due in two weeks. As a result the social work intervention was stopped until Z was discharged from hospital.
  278. In early February 2012 it was found ZM had failed to submit the relevant documents. There are reported concerns that Z spends time on the streets and comes home at 10 pm in May 2012. The situation was reported to have improved in early June 2012, but Z was reported missing for three days in July. Z was placed in the children psychiatric department on 18 July and was due to be discharged at the end of August. ZM had informed the social services department their plan was to move to England in September. There is record of a social services visit on 4 September when they were told ZM was in hospital reported to have suffered a stroke and the plans to travel to England had been postponed. When social services visited again in December 2012 they were informed the family had been in England for 2 months. As a result all social work intervention in Slovakia was stopped.
  279. There is a social services file note dated 6 June 2013 which records that Z had been at home in Slovakia since 18 May 2013. She was sent home with her brother and appeared to wandering the streets with no one to care for her. It is reported that the child is in danger.
  280. The documentation regarding the criminal proceedings shows the investigation in 2009 into the allegation of Z demanding money from other pupils. It appears these proceedings were postponed in February 2009 due to Z being under the age of criminal responsibility.
  281. In relation to the sexual assaults on Z in July 2011 criminal proceedings were taken as follows
  282. (1) In September 2011 against PH for having sexual intercourse with Z when she was under 15 years in June and July 2011. The document refers to PH admitting this offence. There was a 'submission to commence a criminal charge' in relation to this on 9 January 2012. Witness evidence in relation to this alleged assault was taken on 27 October 2011. Z is recorded as saying she had sexual intercourse once with him.
    (2) On 12 October 2011 against PB for having sexual intercourse with Z when she was under 15 years in July 2011 which he admits. Witness evidence was taken from Z on 12 October. There is a document entitled 'submissions to act on the agreement of guilt and punishment' dated 29 November.
    (3) In December 2011 criminal proceedings were commenced against TB for sexual intercourse with Z who was under 15 years in July 2011. Witness evidence was taken from Z on 20 October and 15 December 2011 (on the latter date there is a detailed account of the alleged sexual assaults). A document dated 2 November 2012 suspends the criminal proceedings against TB due to the absence of the victim ZM. This was due to the need to further question ZM which was not possible as they had gone to the UK.
    (4) On 15 December 2011 witness evidence was taken from Z alleging a sexual assault on her by Y and Z.
    (5) In March 2012 against IZF for having sexual intercourse with Z who was under the age of 15 years in the summer holiday of 2011. There was a 'submission to commence a criminal charge' on 2 July 2012.
    (6) On 15 December 2012 there is a record from the police investigator stopping criminal proceedings against MH for sexual intercourse with Z in the summer of 2011. This appears to be on the basis that MH was not present at the stated place.
  283. On 28 December 2011 a request was made for an expert psychologists report. A psychological examination was carried out on 12 January 2012 with Z and ZM present when the psychologist notes the history and Z's account of events regarding the alleged sexual assaults. In answer to the specific question she states in her written report dated 17 January 2012 as follows:
  284. '(1) Assess the level of intellectual and memory abilities of Z

    The level of intellectual capabilities ranges in the band of debilitas gradus medius IQ=57

    The level of her memory capabilities is adequate to the intellectual level.

    (2) Assess from the psychological point of view whether Z manifests tendencies to lies and distortion of reality, whether she is able to perceive correctly, keep and reproduce the kept facts.
    On the basis of the give personal characteristics of the victim Z I have to state that she has significant sociability dysfunctions, tendency to very impulsive behaviour, low level of moral maturity, great tendencies to lies and suggestibility. She has tendencies to distort reality so her ability to perceive correctly keep and reproduce the key facts is decreased.

    (3) If she has tendency to confabulation.

    The victim has tendencies to confabulation.

    (4) Whether the circumstances found would have affected the credibility of her statement.

    Decreased level of intellectual capabilities in the band of debility, the personal characteristics of the name significantly affects he credibility of her statement. The general credibility of her statement is therefore decreased.

    (5) States what other circumstances which the expert would consider as necessary, respectively they will be discovered during the examination and are directly connected but are not in the stated questions.

    It is necessary to state that despite the general credibility of the victim's statements is on the basis of the mentioned personal characteristics and the intellectual level being visibly decreased, in relation to the specific level it is clear that it did happen; only the description by the victim is significantly subjective and distorted.'

  285. The psychologist was questioned on 26 January 2012 and the record notes she stated 'I once more inform that by the psychological examination of the minor Z I have discovered that she has tendencies to lies, suggestibility and confabulation, but I must states that in relation to the fact, the minor was able to subjectively describe in adequacy to her mental dysfunction, but the actual event really did happen even if she describes it, after period of time, very subjectively and distorted which does not change the fact that the event did happen. That's all I wanted to state.'
  286. ZM says the family travelled to England at the end of September and stayed with her son TK before moving to Town A on 25 November.
  287. On 4 October Z tells the police she arrived in the UK on that day.
  288. There was a report received of Z wandering around on 21 October and being taken by the person who saw her to a local Slovak family to prevent the Asian male's attention she was attracting. Two days later a taxi driver took Z to the police after she was found upset in the street. The record notes she claimed she was homeless and then later was able to name her family and had run away due to her family threatening to send her back to Slovakia due to her mental problems. She denied having said that her parents are making a whore out of her. The parents are advised if Z does not come back they should contact the police.
  289. 25 November ZM said the family moved to Town A and Z starts at school.
  290. In December 2012 all social work intervention in Slovakia stops as the family were no longer resident there.
  291. On 16 February 2013 Z attends A&E by ambulance complaining of abdominal pain. The doctor considered it seemed to be consistent with dyspepsia, like a severe heartburn affecting the upper part of the abdomen. Z sent home with medication and advised to see her GP for follow up visit. The records indicate the ambulance attended at her home address.
  292. On 22 March 2013 referral from School to the LA. Z had been excluded from school for sexual misconduct; she had exhibited difficult behaviour on her return to school. Z was reported to have said she went out at night with her mum to sell things so that they could keep their house. LA to undertake initial assessment and referral to CAMHS by the school for Z. The referral was made on 26 March and the initial assessment was completed on 27 March. The initial assessments expressed concerns about the ability of Z's parents to provide boundaries, and were clearly traumatised by the fact their daughter was raped in Slovakia.
  293. On 28 March 2013 Z attends Town A heath clinic, complains of abdominal pain. Attended with her mother, interpreter and school nurse. Treated for clinical pelvic inflammatory disease.
  294. On 4 April 2013 Z goes missing and is reported missing on 5 April, she returns later that day. In her CAMHS assessment on 16 April Z said she went to party, had some drink and fell asleep.
  295. On 16 April 2013 CAMHS undertook an initial assessment of Z. Her parents are present and Z is described as presenting as an articulate and well kempt girl. No risks identified at that stage and follow up appointment made for 8 May 2013.
  296. On 24 April 2013 Z appeared at school with large bruise on her right cheek, complaining of pain behind her ear.
  297. 25 April 2013 Z is involved in a fight with a girl at school. She was excluded for 2 weeks. On the same day JA (Assistant Head at School) notifies the LA of her concerns regarding reports of Z having sex in Town B during the time she was missing.
  298. Z goes missing again on 1 May. This is reported by the social worker on 2 May. ZM is said to be scared and distrustful of the police and, according to JK, ZM attended their home in an upset state, Z had run away from home and she was worried about her. ZM attends Town B police station to report she has not seen her daughter for at least 24 hours, she attends the police station with JK acting as interpreter for ZM.
  299. 5 May 2013 Z returns home. JK attends at request of ZM to assist with translation with the police. Z was dropped off home. In her section 9 statement ZM described her as looking 'dishevelled, extremely tired, dehydrated, hungry and was very upset. She was holding her abdomen area with her two hands and she told me it was painful.' ZM said she believed she had been raped because she had the same facial expressions as when she was raped in Slovakia. JK described in her statement Z 'looked terrible. I could see she was physically shaking. She looked very tired and she could hardly speak'. She describes seeing marks on her body 'what I took to be at least three or four needle marks on her on her hip and one certainly on her hand. Z was having trouble standing'. JK states she remembers ZM being very upset about Z.
  300. On 8 May 2013 Z had assessment sessions with the clinical psychologist at CAMHS. They concluded there was no sign of mental illness and the file was closed. Letter dated 18 June 2013 sent to the school.
  301. 9 May 2013 Z had gone missing again. ZM reports this to the school on 10 May 2013. This occasion probably relates to the time ZM describes in her statement when Z goes out with her brother to visit AK. She said he returned later distressed stating he had witnessed black and Pakistani males approach Z in AK's house, he reported they backed off when he said he was her brother but he later saw Z put into a car and taken away. Police timeline highlights Z seen in the lobby of a hotel in Town B at 9am on 10 May 2013 which is an address she later states was a place where she was sold. AK in her police interview accepts there was an occasion when Z and her brother came to her home. AK said this was because Z wanted AK to give her names of people to have sex with.
  302. 12 May 2013 ZM attends school very distressed. Z had sent her a facebook message the day before wishing her a happy birthday.
  303. 13 May 2013 JA sends an email to the police at 15.29 with details of a conversation she had with LJ whereby he said Z came to their home the previous day and had a bath and change of clothes. He said she was staying at a hotel in Town A, she is hanging around with the girl JCH and she is going to Town B with Czech boys.
  304. 13 May 2013 Z located and returned home. ZM describes her coming back in a very bad state. She saw several stab marks on her forearms and hips. Z refused to talk and she saw fear in her eyes. ZM reported that the phone calls received by Z became more frequent; they caused her to get dressed up and go out. JK states that ZM was scared to report Z missing because of social services. JK reports a conversation she had with Z where she said she had been to Manchester and earned £2,000 but didn't say how. JK reported Z had new clothes.
  305. 14 May 2013 clinical meeting at CAMHS, conclusion Z does not have mental health problem. Letter to be written and case closed.
  306. 14 May 2013 Z attended school looking very dishevelled, she started to shake and behave in a bizarre manner. Z said she had taken cocaine. Ambulance attended but would not take Z. Appointment made with local medical centre. ZM attended. GP appointment made. Z spoken to by the police. She said she had not been sexually assaulted. She was complaining of stomach pains and headache.
  307. 15 May 2013 LA strategy discussion. Z had said she had been picked up by a man and taken to Town B and drugs injected into her back and had used cocaine. Z said she is very unhappy in this country and wants to go back to Slovakia. Decided to convene a child protection conference.
  308. In Z's medical records there is a note of the GP having a 'chat' with Z and her brother on 17 May 2013 (it is unclear whether they attend the surgery). Z had not attended a GP appointment the previous day. The records state 'she feels well now, back to her usual self. Social services had been to see the family yesterday and they are arranging therapy for the family. Z smokes cigarettes regularly and cannabis when she is offered. She is going back to Slovakia today. Her brother will look after her there, he tells me they will enrol her in a school etc.'
  309. Enquires via the Slovakian authorities confirmed Z returned to Slovakia on 18 May 2013. She was accompanied by SH age 23 years.
  310. On 6 June 2013 Child in Need meeting. ZM is present and confirms Z back in Slovakia. This meeting took place as a child in need meeting rather than the planned child protection conference as Z had returned to Slovakia.
  311. On 6 June 2013 report to social services in Slovakia by the Mayor of the village. Z has returned and there is no one looking after her as her parents remain in the UK. She is in danger.
  312. On 10 June 2013 LA close their case regarding Z.
  313. 13 June 2013 there is a social services file note that refers to threats to the family, advised to report it to the police.
  314. On 25 June 2013 LA informed Z has returned to England.
  315. 2 July 2013 LA strategy discussion. Need to establish if Z has returned. She has been seen back in Town A with dyed hair and what appeared to be a large tattoo.
  316. 3 July 2013 LA visit Z, she states she has been back in England for about 3 weeks. Z is described as apprehensive when asked about older men she had been having sex with and potential drug use.
  317. On 2 August 2013 there is a s 47 referral.
  318. 7 August 2013 ZM reports Z missing. Reported to have said going to see her boyfriend. ZM notices money missing from her purse.
  319. 9 August 2013 the police speak to SS. Z had contacted her whilst she was missing. SS said she does not really know Z and did not know how Z had her number. SS's partner is RV, who has previous convictions for sexual offences and must not have contact with children under the age of 15. The police considered SS was not giving a full account. SS's partner said she is addicted crystal meth and there were syringes on the table.
  320. On 11 August 2013 ZM informed police she had heard from Z who said she was with a named male and will be home in 2 weeks.
  321. On 12 August 2013 Z returned home. She said she had been staying with her boyfriend who is much older than her and she met on facebook. Z said her boyfriend is RK.
  322. 12 August 2013 LA Strategy Discussion. Z showed little respect for her parents and she wore revealing clothing. There was concern from the police about the different information being given by the family which may suggest they are colluding with the group of men who take Z. Concern that ZM will not relocate in the UK as it would affect her benefits even though she claims to be anxious about the perpetrators. Decision to progress to a child protection conference.
  323. 22 August 2013 initial child protection conference. Family had decided that Z should return to Slovakia with her father. Z denied previous suggestions made via the referral from the school on 22 March 2013 that she and her mother went out at night to sell things saying that the teachers at school do not like her. Z says she is friends with SS who is a drug user. Even though it is the family's plan for Z to return to Slovakia Z is placed under a child protection plan under the category of risk of sexual abuse.
  324. 30 August 2013 Z arrested for theft of items from supermarket.
  325. 2 September 2013 police stop check; Z seen with MR 20 years (SF's partner).
  326. 6 September 2013 Z goes missing. ZM reports this to the core group and LA report to police. Z's mother said she had a letter from Z indicating she would be back on Saturday.
  327. 11 September 2013 Z back home, she would not tell the social worker where she had been but said she wanted to go back to Slovakia.
  328. 29 September 2013 Z returns to Slovakia with her father.
  329. 24 October 2013 ZM and the rest of the family return to Slovakia.
  330. 14 November 2013 Review child protection meeting. Family had returned to Slovakia, last seen on 22 October 2013 when father collected one of the children from the nursery.
  331. 27 November 2013 LA strategy discussion. Decision made to undertake a s 47 investigation.
  332. November 2013 Z's brother assaulted with a knife in Slovakia he is seriously injured.
  333. December 2013 notification that ZM had made application for special education needs in another part of the UK. LA received confirmation on 4 December 2013 that is where the family are living.
  334. 1 January 2014 Z's brother dies in Slovakia from his injuries from knife assault.
  335. 7 January 2014 LA hold follow up strategy discussion, agreed to continue section 47 enquires.
  336. 13 February 2014 first joint visit by DC Kirsty Verier (DCV) and Kayleigh Jones (KJ) social worker. Z makes a number of allegations regarding sexual abuse of her by a number of men. States 'I' and her daughter IE sell pika and other drugs, prostitute themselves and con others into doing so.
  337. 20 February 2014 second joint visit to Z by KV and KJ. Z identified various properties and locations using google earth.
  338. 21 February 2014 KV and KJ visit ZM to take statement from ZMZM, not able to finish as one of her children involved in car accident.
  339. 24 February 2014 follow up strategy discussion. ABE to be undertaken.
  340. 1 March 2014 Z is contacted by man known as MB inviting her to be a mistress to a man known as J. She refuses. MB is JC's nephew.
  341. 5 March 2014 Z drive around with police whereby Z identifies various locations within Town C, Town B and Town A. Whilst en route between Town B and Town C Z shown image which she identifies as IE, Z went on to say IE's mother 'I' is like that (finger cross gesture) with AK. DCV notes continue 'her mum wanted me and IE to go out and make money. We went to a place on Town A, she sent us there, where there were 15 men. They had sex with me but not her. She was a decent girl but not now. She took all the money for me and she gave it to AK and her mum. 2 weeks later I found her outside Town A. I was in hospital for 2 weeks because of the abdominal pain I was in from the sex. I have beaten her up for causing the pain for me she did…'I' was giving Pika and weed to everyone who went there. SS was there too…£10, £20, £30 was charged by 'I'. RB selling IE in London. 'I' knew RB first and then I knew him and the rest of them, RK, E, MC, JDI. IE has had sex with many men, they used to pick her up.'
  342. 6 March 2014 Z first ABE interview. Total time 2 ½ hours.
  343. 6 March 2014 Z goes missing overnight.
  344. 7 March 2014 Z returns to her family home. Her father physically assaults her by hitting her with a chair leg and is arrested for assault. Z reported missing again from 5pm. Z withdraws allegation against her father on 10 March. According to ZM (in oral evidence) this allegation was made as they refused to let Z go out to a disco.
  345. 7 March 2014 ZM signs a section 9 police statement. She refers to difficulties with Z in 2013 and her concerns about Z's contact with SS. She said when Z started to vanish she received phone calls and would drop everything and leave. At first she would go missing for a few days and then it was for longer periods.
  346. 26 March 2014 joint visit to Z by DCV and KJ, she gives details regarding CC (16 year old daughter of KC who was arrested on 7 May but not charged), identifies KD, is asked about MR who she was stopped with on 2 September 2013 and she was unsure who LJF was. Z was asked about whether she feels safe at home she states that 'if she were to tell us what her mother and father have done to her in the past and what went on in Kent concerning her parents we would (she shrugged her shoulders as if to say we would be very concerned).' Z looked extremely sad and refused to answer whether her parents had ever received money for her.
  347. 28 March 2014 joint visit by DCV and KJ to inform ZM that an individual would not be permitted to stay with her. Z spoken to about options for her including going into foster care. There was concern about how she had referred to/alluded to her parents' involvement in her abuse.
  348. 28 March 2014 and 10 April 2014 follow up strategy discussions regarding Z.
  349. 14 April 2014 Z states she is a victim of an unprovoked physical assault on her by a group of girls and several adult women.
  350. 15 April 2014 joint visit by DCV and KJ, Z attends a medical. Z recognised DF in a picture and that her mother JC goes by the name 'I'. JC prostitutes herself, this was not the 'I' involved in the abuse that was IE's mother. Z identified SF, PF and SE. She identified SE as the girl that was with her in Town A when RB first picked her up in his car.
  351. 16 April 2014 second ABE interview of Z, I hour.
  352. 1 May 2014 joint visit to Z by DCV and KJ. Z wanted to be left alone and did not want to discuss the abuse further. Z said if she was given £20 she would do what DCV and KJ wanted her to.
  353. 2 May 2014 joint visit to CC by DC Brightman (DCB) and Jen Herbert (JH).
  354. 7 May 2014 arrests of suspects in relation to allegations made by Z. Joint visit to CC by DCB and JH. Joint visit by DCV and KJ to Z for purposes of section 9 statement. Noted that Z said to her mother 'you remember that time when I came home from doing stuff and PF has taken the money that was meant to be for me'. ZM reported to become instantly defensive and embarrassed about the comment and walked out of the room.
  355. 8 May 2014 Joint visit to CC by DCB and JH who denied being sold for sex. Said AK had visited her mother for coffee, CC knows JC she thinks she is a bit crazy as she is always out, staring at the floor and asking her for cigarettes. She thinks she is under the influence of drugs.
  356. 8 May 2014 SS ABE interview.
  357. 8 May 2014 identity procedure Z identifies JE.
  358. 12 May 2014 joint visit to CC by DCB and JH to discuss information downloaded from her phone which suggested she had knowledge of the defendants. She denied she had sex and said she was encouraged to receive messages from someone called V for money. She knows IE's mother as 'I'.
  359. 14 May 2014 joint visit to PF who knows IE and JE said they are good people. Denies any involvement in selling Z.
  360. 15 May 2014 joint visit to IE where she says her mother is 'good, no drugs'. LA strategy discussion regarding Z.
  361. 16 and 30 May 2014 joint visits to CC by DCB and JH and JH visits on 21 May 2014. In visit on 30 May 2014 CC describes incident when she was taken to London by JDI.
  362. 3 June 2014 record of section 47 enquiries in relation to Z completed.
  363. 20 June 2014 joint visit to CC by DCB and JH ABE interview where she describes Z being sold for sex on three occasions. The first at an Indian shop in Town B, the second a Kebab shop in Town A and the third was when Z went in a van. CC considered ZM may have knowledge of what is happening as they picked Z from her home on one occasion. Refers to Z being friends with JC (who has children called DF and LFJ) and 'I' whose oldest daughter is NE.
  364. 24 June 2014 LF police statement describing how he has seen Z on two occasions. One occasion she attended their home and asked for water and cigarette and another time in the street.
  365. 26 June 2014 Z section 9 statement references to threats she and her mother received.
  366. 3 July 2014 Z section 9 statement where she gives details about IE, how they met and IE introduced her to regarding drugs and sex. She said IE's mother was prostituting herself and often took her children with her and 'I' sold her daughter NE for sex.
  367. 8 July 2014 joint visit by DCB and JH to CC. ABE interview. CC identifies on google earth three locations she had previously spoken about where Z had been sold for sex, CC said this was asked for by Z because her family had no food and money. Z referred to a time when she was injected in her neck and leg. Initially she could not remember by whom, then said it was by her father when she was small then said she did not know. CC said Z was under the influence of drugs. CC wanted to make it clear she was not involved in selling Z.
  368. 23 July 2014 joint visit to CC by DCB and JH. ABE interview CC identified FF as JDI and talked about text message on her phone which said 'we have a job, don't fuck him of' alleged to be from male cousin MC and gave further clarification from previous interview.
  369. 30 July 2014 Registered Intermediary AC's Report and Recommendations on Special Measures for Z.
  370. 28 August 2014 Z made further statement regarding RC in relation to an allegation of rape.
  371. 9 September 2014 CC joint visit with DCB and JH primarily to use google earth to identify locations.
  372. Early October 2014 Z was seen by DCV about the possibility of giving evidence in the family proceedings. Her response was 'No way I'm not. That means I would have to go two times and remembering about them makes me sick'.
  373. 6 October 2014 Z seen for psychological assessment with Susan Hope-Boreland, regarding Z giving oral evidence in criminal and family proceedings and what steps may be required to support that.
  374. 10 October 2014 third ABE interview with Z, but Z late so was ineffective. Time used as what has been described as a victim impact statement. Interview time 47 minutes.
  375. 14 October 2014 ABE interview CC by DCB and JH.
  376. 24 October 2014 fourth ABE interview with Z (over 3 hours with some breaks). Re-cap format using visual aids with the intention of trying to establish the chronology of events. This interview started at 14.06 and concludes at 16.02 (Z appears to be out of the interview room for about 15 minutes at about 3 (see pages 4027 – 4033)); started again 16.41 and concluded at 17.51 (it could have been 16.17 to 17.27).
  377. ZM

  378. Z's mother, ZM, has provided two statements to the police, dated 7 March 2014 and 4 July 2014. She has been present at some of the times Z has been seen by DCV and KJ, although on many of the occasions Z was take to a neutral location to discuss matters with the police office and social worker.
  379. In her first statement she said the reason why they moved here was because Z had been raped, she said she was raped by several adult men one of whom Z knew. She described soon after they came to Town A Z would go missing, sometimes for days at a time and would return in a dishevelled and distressed state. She described a time when Z went out with her son to go and see AK. He returned sometime afterwards to say that Z had been taken by black and Pakistani males from AK's house.
  380. ZM initially gave oral evidence via video link in this hearing. There were technical difficulties with the link and it was agreed it would be better if she could give evidence in person. She attended court the next day. She was asked on behalf of AK about some of the records from the Slovak authorities, in particular the record of the meeting with her, Z and the social worker on 1 August 2011.
  381. The parents' written and interview evidence


  382. In addition to her two police interviews at the time of her arrest she has signed two statements within these proceedings, the first dated 5 June 2014 and the second 14 November 2014.
  383. In her first police interview on 7 May 2014 she gave details about the difficulties she had had with IE, in particular concerning IE's relationship with PD and subsequently a person called RV. She describes a friend of IE's called N and gives a description of a girl with red/orange hair and strong make up that IE knew in the summer 2013. She said apart from her daughter it was the only N she knew. She did not know Z's surname and her seen her two or three times. She said she would see her come to the kebab shop opposite her address to buy chips, IE would be with Z and she only saw her 'from far'. She said she was 'unable to say' whether this Z had been to her flat when she was there, she may have been when JE was out. She described her sister JC's family. JE said she was also known as 'I' which is how she is known at home whereas for paperwork she uses her name J. She denied knowing anything about children being involved in drugs or prostitution. In her second interview, with a solicitor present, she made no comment answers to the questions.
  384. In her first statement she denies her children are at risk of sexual harm or that she has been involved in child exploitation. In relation to the allegation that JS was taking part in producing and dealing in a drug pika, based on what JC said that she was getting drugs from JS and he was giving them to IE. JE stated 'I cannot comment whether J had or has something to do with drugs. But I can say that I have never seen him sell or produce any drug. I do not know why JC made such allegations against me but I think she did it because she had an affair with J and he did not leave me for her.' She said she could not comment on JS's previous convictions or the allegations that he failed to protect IE as 'it relates to J'. As regards her children having contact with known sex offenders she said 'I disagree that people came to my house other than my family; I never know that these peoples were so called alleged sex offenders'. As regards the allegation of domestic abuse between her and JS she said 'I accept that J and I have sometimes had disputes like other couples but he never attacked me physically or hurt me in any way. I remember once calling the police but not because I was afraid of him but because I was angry with him. Problems we had all relate to IE.'
  385. She refutes the suggestion that JS is not the father of her children. She said she married in Slovakia but had an affair with JS and he is the father of her younger children. If she was not able to care for the children she wanted them to be cared for by JS or her sister DSF. She confirmed in her statement that she is known as 'I'.
  386. In her second statement she states she only saw Z a 'few times – twice near the kebab place near my house and once on the ground floor when she came to call IE. I've never seen her up close, but I think the girl I saw is the same person that made these allegations, although I cannot be one hundred percent sure.' The first time she described seeing her was from the hallway outside her front door Z was near the Fish Shop, she described Z's clothes and she had shoulder length orange hair. Z was there with IE, JE said she watched them for about 10 minutes. She said they brought chips and talked, she thought it was in the summer, but not during the summer school holidays.
  387. The second time was near the kebab place. JE was in the hallway outside her front door. She described the orange hair and Z was there with a man age between 20 – 30 years and both smoked. She said they were there for about 10-15 minutes and it was before the summer holidays.
  388. The last time she described in her statement seeing Z was when she came to JE's home looking for IE. She said their flat is on the first floor and Z was shouting for IE from the ground floor. JE said when she looked out of the window she saw a girl with black hair who she thought was the same girl she had seen previously with orange hair. JE said she yelled at Z to go away, she stated she did not want IE to go out with Z as she was dressed very provocatively. She said at the time IE was stealing money and mobiles from her and she suspected Z was involved with that. She said Z was 'soon gone' and she did not recall seeing her or speaking to her ever again. She denies that she wanted Z and IE to go out and earn money.
  389. In relation to drug use she stated she accepts the drug tests but states she had a termination on 24 April and believes the medication she was prescribed may effect the results. Regarding the use of methamphetamine she said the result showed a very low dose 'I accept that I had used methamphetamine in two cases' She describes meeting a woman outside a shop who she started talking to and this woman suggested to JE that using methamphetamines would help her lose weight. She stated 'She gave me two small bags of drugs. I was fully aware that she gave me the drugs. They looked like salt crystals. I want to make it clear that I did not buy any drugs because she gave them to me for free. She told me that if I needed more, I should let her know.' She said she went a purchased a spoon and energy drink, she took some of the crystals and felt the effect which gave her a lot of energy. She said she told JS when she got home that she took drugs to lose weight 'he started yelling at me.' She said this was mid march when she was pregnant.
  390. The second time she took amphetamine was about two weeks later and she had bad side effects as her heart beat faster, her head was spinning and she felt sick. She took the drug in the hallway outside her house. The children were inside and JS was caring for them. She told JS she took the drugs, she said he shouted at her and made her promise not to take the drugs again. She said she did not take methamphetamine again. She said the reason why she did not mention it before was because she was ashamed she had to go to these lengths to lose weight.
  391. She said she is surprised by JS's confessions to drug use. She denies seeing him under the influence of drugs. She denies any suggestion by JC that she saw her take drugs in her house or saw her under the influence of drugs. She said 'I know JS would go to JC's house quite often'.
  392. Turning to JC she states in her second statement before she found out about her affair with JS she would come with the children to JE's home 'quite often. I usually cooked a big lunch once a week'. Once she discovered their affair she did not let JC come to the house and 'almost' completely stopped talking to her. She said prior to finding out about the affair LF used to come to their house about once a month. This stopped after they discovered the affair.
  393. In relation to AK she said she first met her when she came to work at a hotel in Town A. JE had been working there for a year. She said AK told her she was in a relationship with someone who was married. Outside of work she said 'we met up occasionally with AK and her children. We greeted each other and then went our separate ways'. She recalls when she lived at her home address she saw AK going to the flat next door, she said the person was her 'kin'. She said she 'contacted her several times over the phone and through text messages, as I was told she was sleeping with JS and I wanted to find out the truth. I sent her several text messages in which I called her different names, and I asked her if it was true. I also called her several times. I remember that for one or two days I phoned her many times because JC told me about the love affair while we lived at an address in Town A, JS told me this was not true. I contacted AK using mine and JS's phone. Later I heard how people in Town A talked about JS and SS's love affair, so I contacted AK whether this was true. I also asked SS and she told me this was not true. Unfortunately AK never answered me. The court has to know that at present I am sharing a prison cell with her, which I do not have any control over'.
  394. She denies knowing any of the male defendants in the criminal proceedings save for REB in the context of delivering some furniture.
  395. In relation to mobile phones she said IE took a number of her phones (pink Samsung flip phone and two black phones). She said the last phone she had was a black Samsung with a phone number ending in 29. She said when she did not have access to a phone she used JS's or 'someone else's'. She denies contacting Z by phone. In relation to the phone records regarding her contact with Z she said on each of those days she was giving evidence in the JHD proceedings. She said the last time she used facebook was in March 2013.
  396. JS

  397. He has signed 3 statements, one on 24 July 2014, the second 4 November 2014 and the third on 24 November 2014.
  398. In his first statement he denies any dealing or use of drugs, denies convictions for assault here and states the police were called by JE due to verbal arguments between them. He agrees he was cautioned for an assault on a neighbour. He states he has convictions for theft in Slovakia and there was an allegation of rape which, he says, was dismissed in about 2004. He denies being told anything about what was going on between IE and her partner, she would come with blue eyes and would say she has been fighting with girls We were not aware there was any domestic violence'.
  399. In relation to Z he states 'I do not know who she is personally, but I know that once she came to visit IE because they were friends and they went out'.
  400. In relation to his denial of drug use he refers to an occasion on 22 June when he thinks his drink may have been spiked.
  401. He denies the allegation of rape made by JC and states he thinks LF has pushed to make the allegations to avoid any shame on him.
  402. In relation to the concerns regarding IE he states 'we did not know what was happening with IE when she was involved with the local authority. We did not know her partner beats her. When somebody is telling you and giving you plausible reasons for them having bruises it is difficult to look behind that.'
  403. In relation to the items found in the home when JE was arrested he said 'I accept that some brown capsules and brown powder was found during the search. I say that was creatine powder which is a protein cocktail which I use regularly in relation to weight training. I should have said to the tester that I use this. I do not believe it contains anything that might affect the test, however it was important information that I have missed out. I do not understand why the police said at first glance that it looked like drugs. I hope they have tested the substance and given I have not been arrested I presume that they found it to be creatine'.
  404. In his second statement he accepts the drug tests are correct and show positive result for amphetamine and methamphetamine over the two months that were able to be tested. He states he accepts using methamphetamine when out with friends socially, about every fortnight. He says he takes one or two doses and takes it by snorting and he 'gets in through a friend'. He denies he is addicted and has taken it like this for about 3 years. He says he lied in his first statement because 'I was worried and afraid. I was worried about the consequences for my children if I agreed that I had taken methamphetamine'. He states since then he has reduced his intake of pica and states 'I now will not be using and I am willing not to take it any more so that I can have care of my children'.
  405. In his third statement he denies making or selling pica and denies any knowledge of JE having prostituted herself. He denies rape of JC and states they had consensual sexual intercourse three times. He said prior to this allegation JC would visit the home daily, but denies it was to buy drugs. He said JC told LF after he had told JE about the relationship. He denies sending any text messages to JC that were sexual in nature.
  406. He accepts methamphetamine was found in the house in September 2012 but says he is not clear if it was found in his bedroom as there were other adults in the home at that time. He denies any knowledge that it was on top of the wardrobe. He accepts there was £400 cash but says that was for paying the rent. He sates he was saving to pay off rent arrears. He said he gave the police the pin to get into the safe. As regards the ticklists he said they related to notes as to who he had lent money to. In relation to the two sets of scales he said those were because he broke down computers, memory cards and mobile phones for the gold in them. He states that is why there were a number of mobile phones.
  407. Regarding Z he states 'I am aware of the girl Z. I met her when she was friends with IE on one occasions. IE came home and Z came with her… have seen IE and Z outside of my home address.'
  408. In relation to the other defendants he states he knows AK having met her a few years ago at a party, he has seen her a 'handful of times. I would say hello to her when we met but no more than that'. Apart from RB he has some knowledge of the others which he gives details of in his statement.
  409. JC

  410. Following her arrest in May 2014 she was interviewed on two occasions. In her first interview (without a solicitor present) she said she knew Z as she had met Z's mother when they were looking for her, she described her as working on the street; she went into cars for the money. She said she met her at the disco '3 times'. JC said she was at the discos with JE. She said Z was taken back to Slovakia by her mother 'about a year ago'. She said she had not seen Z get in the car for money, but this is what Z told her. She denied having been stopped by the police with Z or with her daughter.
  411. She was asked about the time on 5 September when she was stopped by the police outside a hotel in Town A at 3am and she was with a girl who gave her name as Z, she denied remembering this event and specifically denied that she was with SF who the police officer recognised. She accepts she did go to the hotel '..often, but not any more'. She said she went there 'Was to take drugs. And I want help to stop with that.' She said she used to take crystal meth 'When I used to go there [hotel] to take drugs, by erm taking drugs I can't be at home, I can't sleep, I need to go out, everybody will find like some like work or job to do, when they, when they doing it I need to be out when taking drugs and I used to stay out until the morning cos I can't sleep'. She said she saw IE and Z together, 'they were always together those girls'. She said she didn't have concerns about this. She said she was not known as 'I'. She said JS would supply her with pica but it was nothing to do with JE. She said she paid for those drugs. She said she was also supplied by someone called DR. She said she used to pay her, sometimes using her mother's money. She describes MR as beating SF since they have been dating. She said SF and MR have a baby boy.
  412. The second interview, where she has a solicitor present, was largely a no comment interview although she did answer some questions about the 5 September whether she had been with Z or SF when she was stopped by police, she said 'I don't remember who it was, if it was my daughter'.
  413. She had previously been the subject of a police interview in July 2013 regarding allegations of rape she had made against JS. In that interview she alleged she had been raped twice, once at JS's home when JE had gone for a bath. This was in the context of her having gone round to the home to take drugs and then a second time in the car when JS took her home. JS denied the allegations and the police decided not to press charges.
  414. In these proceedings she has filed a response document dated 12 June, and two statements.
  415. In her response she denied any allegations that she was a prostitute or that she had done anything to harm her or any other children. She disagreed that any problems they had with SF means they would have similar problems with DF and JC. JC states they tried to encourage LJF and DF to go to school, tried to get JC into school and for her to have dental treatment. In relation to allegations regarding taking drugs she stated 'I started using drugs about 1 year 9 months ago. I took drugs for the first time when I was at my sister's home. I took crystal meth but have not taken any drugs whatsoever for nearly two months. I feel a lot better physically. I managed to stop without getting any help from anybody else or any organisation. I did not take any drugs in the home. I did not take any drugs in front of the children. I used to go out in the night time after they had gone to bed. My mother lived with us until she died in December 2013 and she was there to look after the children. I used to just walk around the streets. I tricked some men out of money by pretending that I would give them sex if they gave me money to buy drugs. I asked for the money first and as soon as they gave me the money I ran off…I did not give any sexual favours in return for money or drugs. My partner LF knew that I was taking drugs, but he did not know I had tricked anyone to get money for drugs.'
  416. In her first statement she denies being involved in prostitution and states 'On a few occasions, I did pretend to offer sex to men, in order to obtain money for my drug use, but I would take the money first and then run away….this happened on approximately 4 occasions. I understand my sister has also been arrested for similar offences and I have no knowledge as to whether she is involved in that type of activity.' In relation to drug taking she states her drug use has dropped and she has not taken any since the start of these proceedings. She says LF was not aware of her drug use. If she had drugs left over she would hide them away from the house. She does not accept her drug use affected the children. She said LF started working nights in 2011 so he was not aware she was going out at night. She said she used to attend the home of JE and JS to take drugs. She went there daily and got the drugs initially from JS for free, he then started to charge and they fell out. She then went out to take drugs outside and obtained them from someone else. She said she limited her use to Wednesday to Saturday evenings. When she went out she said the children were either left in the care of her mother or LF when his shift pattern changed. JC accepts she allowed her brother to stay in the home, but denied he was left alone with the children. After 2 days she asked him to leave on 10 April 2014.
  417. JC denies that she would visit SF and her partner at 2 or 3 in the morning and ask to be let in to sue the bathroom. JC said she does visit as she is concerned about SF due to the historical domestic abuse in the relationship.
  418. In her second statement she denies ever being known as 'I'. She says her brother lived with them for about a year in 2010 until she and LF asked him to leave because of his drinking. She denies him every being left alone with the children. JC said she did not use the home computer very much. In relation to drugs she said JS kept offering drugs to her which she would refuse; she then gave in and started taking them in 2012. He gave them to her free for the first five or six months and then started to charge. JC said they went into the children's bedroom to take the drugs. This happened '2 or 3 times in their bedroom and as far as I remember once when we were in the dining room, and another time in my sister's bedroom. My sister was aware this happened and she was present in the house, although not necessarily in the same room….the children played outside and if JC came with me, she joined her cousins to play in the park so she did not see anything. This happened when the family was at an address in Town A.' If she took any drugs away she would hide them near her home. She said JE was not with her when she took drugs in her home, even though she might have been present in the house. JC states 'I did not know how often she took drugs. I do not know how often JS took drugs'. She thought LF had suspicions she took drugs but she did not admit it until a while before these proceedings. She denies using drugs at SF's home.
  419. She said she met Z at a bar and started talking to her. She thinks this was September 2013 and Z told her she was selling herself for £5.00. When JC asked why Z laughed, JC said Z seemed happy. On one occasion she described Z coming to their home, she said she surprised to see Z and Z asked to have a shower. She said other people had told her where JC lived. JC allowed her in to have a shower. Z said the car was broken and she could not go home to Leeds, where JC thought she was living. JC said she did not hear her ask for a cigarette or water. JC thinks Z stole her boots. JC said she saw Z twice after that in town with IE.
  420. JC said the last time she saw Z was about 7 or 8 months ago 'It was at night, at about 1 or 2 am. I was under the influence of drugs and I was walking through the town. I went somewhere around and saw Z with AK. I asked Z about my boots which she took from my home. I do not know why but Z asked me if I could take her home. She told me she 'didn't want to do that anymore' and had a tummy pain. I do not know what it was she was talking about. AK did not say anything when we walked away. Z was upset but not crying and as we walked her mood improved and she seemed much happier. I did not know where Z lived and she guided me to her home….I asked Z what she was doing outside so late and she told me she was seeing her friend…her mother let us in'. She said she had a cup of coffee with her mother and her mother was worried when Z went out. JC denies being seen with Z near a kebab house and did not hit Z. JC said she had met Z's mother since when she was looking for Z.
  421. JC states she met AK through her sister JE. JC said she sometimes visited AK in her house, at night usually before midnight 'sometimes it would be in the early hours, about 4 or 5am'. We would have a coffee together, have a chat, and then I would leave. I used to visit her to see if she knew anyone who could supply me with drugs or loan me some money for me to buy drugs'. She said AK only visited her once.
  422. As regards her relationship with JE she states she used to see her every other day or two to three times a week. 'This was the situation before we both started taking drugs. We saw each other less frequently after I started taking drugs and I do not know when 'I' started taking drugs'. They stopped meeting after she JC accused JS of raping her but she said 'we met up together later, but only out of her house'. JC said she asked JE why she and JS kept drugs in the house, she said JE was upset that JC had asked that question. JC said she did not know anything about Z knowing JE.
  423. JC said she met JS in Slovakia through her sister JE. JC said about 5 months after she first took drugs JS raped her. JC said she did tell her sister DSF and niece LSF about having sex with JS, JC agrees she did not tell them it was rape and denies telling LSF she was in love with JS. JC said after the rapes she tried to deal with it on her own and did not want to upset JE or LF, JC said she was ashamed and embarrassed. JC denies showing DF any text messages from JS. JC said she told her partner what happened in July 2013 and he said he would help JC talk to the police.
  424. JC agrees she has had verbal disagreements with LF. She agrees there was an occasions on 9 March 2013 when LF grabbed her hand, the police were called by neighbours and they took LF away. JC said she did not press charges. JC agrees there was another argument over a bank card LF was not letting her use as he feared she would spend it on alcohol or drugs. JC said the third occasion when the police were called involved SF and her partner MR. JC thinks MR hates her and has forced SF to say some of the things she has said about JC.
  425. Of the other criminal defendants JC states she does not know RB, she does know MS as she met him at JE's home and JC asked him if he could sell her drugs. JC said she would se him 3 or 4 times a week.
  426. LF

  427. He has signed four statements on 6 June 2014, 14 August 2014, 11 and 20 November 2014.
  428. He said he married in 1993 in Slovakia and had one son M. He separated from his wife in 1995 and in the same year met JC.
  429. He was interviewed by the police on 10 March 2013 in relation to an allegation of assault by JC. In that interview he set out his suspicions regarding JC's drug taking, although in his oral evidence in this hearing he said those were lies as he was 'nervous'.
  430. He states he was aware JC was arrested in April 2014 but he knew nothing about it 'JC has told me that she has taken crystal meth, but she never seemed to have a real drug problem.' He broadly accepts the difficulties withJF's teeth. He seeks to explain the difficulties in registering JF for a school and DF's difficulties in attending school.
  431. In his second statement regarding the allegations that JC was a prostitute 'I was certainly not in any way suspicious that my partner was working as a prostitute'.
  432. In his third statement he said the first he knew about JC's drug usage was when the police came to their flat in March 2014 and said JC and been stopped in the street and was carrying drugs. LF said before that he had some suspicions. He said if JC went out it must have been after he returned from his shift either at 10 pm or midnight. He sets out his knowledge of Z referring to the incident when she came to the home and asked for a bath or shower and states any discrepancy with his statement to the police in June is because he didn't have an interpreter then.
  433. He describes his knowledge of the other parents he denies any knowledge of AK, JD or KD. In relation to JE and JS he agreed they saw them regularly until the allegation of rape, since then he has ceased all relationship with them. He denies any knowledge of the defendants in the criminal proceedings.
  434. In his most recent statements he sets out a detailed response to the findings sought by the LA.
  435. AK

  436. AK was interviewed twice following her arrest. The first interview (without a solicitor present) she said initially the name Z did not ring a bell. A little later when she was told Z's age she replies 'So thirteen to fifteen. So perhaps I may know who that is. You should have told me that earlier when I was at home. You could have gone next door and knock on the next door neighbours house, a black man who lives there and you could of just said the name Z and he would have talked. He would have even danced in front of you.' Following identifying Z from a photograph AK asks why the police are not prosecuting Z's mother. She states she has nothing to do with Z 'You should have gone next door and knocked on the next door neighbours house and you should have gone and spoke to all the people from the kebab place…'. AK then gives details of Z having run away from home and having problems at school. She describes Z asking her for people AK could refer her to and AK would tell her to go home to sort herself out. She said the reason why Z came to her is because commands some respect in the various communities that live in the area. Having established that Z was selling herself as a prostitute AK then said, without any prompting question, 'There was one occasion when all men together slept with her and did it with her. Do you understand?...She took, she drunk herself, she got totally drunk, she then came home being all dirty and just turned up at home and her mother didn't say anything…I remember one occasion that her mother was threatening that she would report everybody including me for allegedly selling her so that she would just cover herself. And she used to threaten like that, she used to say that. You could even speak to my daughter, before my daughter, you could ask her this and she would tell you this stuff that I just told you…And she would actually pass messages through some strangers and pass messages to me saying she would go and report me.' A little later she was asked about the time AK referred to when Z sold herself to lots of men at the same time AK responded ' She didn't sell herself, she just did it like that because they provided her with cannabis and some other stuff'. When asked about how she knew about this event she said 'I don't know, it's only just now that other people started talking about it and her mother started making a hoo hah about the whole thing saying that they went to a disco in Town B and there were some men. And that's why her mother must have reported me..' AK said Z had confirmed to her that everybody had slept with her and she had something injected into her back, meaning drugs. At the end of her interview AK states 'Do you actually know that this girl is supposed to be perhaps mentally unstable, that she has some, disabled in some way, that she has some medical confirmations certificates about that.'
  437. In the second interview the following day she gave no comment answers.
  438. AK signed statements on 28 May, 16 October and 17 November.
  439. In her first statement she confirmed she knew Z after seeing a photograph of her, she said she 'had had limited contact with her'. She said about a year to 18 months previously Z came to her home with her brother and Z asked whether AK knew of any men who would pay for sex. She said she was shocked to be asked about this and asked Z to leave. AK said she had heard Z was having sex for money and said she would see her go into my next door neighbours and understood she was having sex in return for drugs, she also visited the man opposite in order to have sex for money.
  440. AK also recalls a time when she went to the local kebab house about a year ago. As she approached the kebab house JC and Z were together and walking towards her. They 'were clearly arguing and started to shout at one another. I then saw JC hit Z. I intervened and stopped JC hitting Z. I was able to make out that they were arguing about Z stealing clothes from JC, which included some of her son's clothes. The police attended but I had separated them by this time so it did not seem like there was a problem. After the police left, JC and Z left together.'
  441. She confirms that she sometimes uses drugs but denies being a drug dealer. She has used cocaine in the previous six months and takes pica occasionally when she has spare money to but it.
  442. In her second statement she states her daughter AD got married in the spring of 2013, to a man she had known for 4 – 5 months who lived in London. AK states that AD brought his passport back one day as she feared he used it to buy alcohol. They separated and AD wished to destroy the passport, AK decided it should be kept. AK can't recall his name as he was referred to in derogatory terms. AK states she married DH on 6 January 2012, but they separated at the end of 2013. KD did not get on with him so he didn't move in full time.
  443. AK said she kept her drug taking to the night time after KD had gone to bed.
  444. AK describes the history of her relationship with JD initially in the Country A. and following their move to the UK in 2010. JD went to Portsmouth to work and eventually they separated. JD moved back to the Country A about two years ago where he still lives.
  445. In her third statement she confirms she was aware of Z's behaviour as there is a small Slovak/Romany community in Town A and she was 'not in contact with Z'. AK does not recall having any telephone communication with Z and she would let AD and KD use her phone if she didn't have any credit and also let friends do so if they did not have credit.
  446. As egards the male defendants AK states she only knows REB through his second hand furniture business and knows MC and JDI through their delivery of furniture.
  447. JD

  448. He has filed one statement in these proceedings. He confirms he has been in the Country A for the last 2 years and had not had contact with AK.
  449. Discussion and Findings

    Allegations made by Z

  450. The credibility of the account given by Z is one of the critical aspects of this case. Some of the allegations made by her are of the most serious kind. In relation to the parties in this case the LA allege that AK and JE were involved in causing or permitting the sexual exploitation of her and JC was aware of JE's involvement in this. In their schedule of findings the LA seek findings that
  451. AK
    (1) AK caused or permitted the exposure of a child known as Z to inappropriate abusive sexual activity. In particular, on an occasion in 2013 Z attended the home of AK and was drugged by her and slapped approximately 3 times on her face; on the same occasions in 2013 AK detained Z at her home against her will; knowing that Z was under the influence of illegal drugs, AK caused or permitted the child Z to be taken by a group of males by car knowing or believing that Z would be subject to sexual activity by those males and/or others when this occasion took place KD was in the home.
    (2) Whether for financial gain or otherwise AK caused or permitted the exposure of the child known as Z to inappropriate and abusive sexual activity. In particular, on a different occasion in 2013 AK drugged the child Z with piko (methamphetamine) in her bottom at her home prior to taking or arranging for the child to be taken to a kebab shop in Town A; the purpose of taking the child to the kebab shop was to bring her into contact with males who wanted sexual contact with the child; knowing the child was under the influence of illegal drugs the mother caused or permitted the child to have sexual intercourse with an unknown man from Pakistan who worked at a kebab shop in Town A.
    (3) AK knew or ought to have known Z was a child and failed to protect her and in doing so exposed KD to the risk of significant sexual, physical harm and emotional abuse by her activities within the home. The child KD knew Z was a teenager.
    (4) JE caused or permitted the exposure of a child known as Z, then aged 15 years, to inappropriate and abusive sexual activity. In particular, on one occasions in 2013 she facilitated the penetrative sexual assault of Z by 15 men in Town A.
    (5) JC knew of the sexual exploitation of a child known as Z exploited for financial gain or otherwise by the children's maternal aunt, JE whom the children saw daily.
    (6) LF knew of the sexual exploitation of a child known as Z who was exploited for financial gain or otherwise by the children's maternal aunt, JE, whom the children saw daily.

  452. One of the critical factors in considering Z's evidence is that I must exercise great caution when considering what she says. She has not been cross examined and I must also carefully consider the criticisms that have been made of the process by which her evidence has been obtained.
  453. I have watched all the recorded interviews in this case I have been asked to view. In particular of AK (about 3 hours), JE (about 2 hours), JC (rape allegation and child trafficking about 4 hours), JS (rape allegation (about 2 hours), SS (about 1 hour), CC (about 4 hours), Z (about 6 hours).
  454. The parties have agreed a direction that I should give myself when I am considering her evidence. I am content to endorse it and set it out as follows.
  455. In circumstances where the court as here has decided that a child who makes allegations against respondent parents, should not be the subject of cross examination, the Court in undertaking its ultimate evidential balancing exercise must approach the allegations with great caution and remind itself (1) that the allegations have not been subject to a forensic cross examination in the way that the denials to those allegations by the Respondent parents have been and therefore the court has to consider whether it is possible to reach a conclusion on those allegations at all; (2) the Court has been informed that a decision was taken by the police not to challenge the account of the child during the investigation process to date; (3) the allegations extend to five other criminal defendants who refute them, who have played no part in these family proceedings and the court has not heard the substance of what the other criminal defendants say; (4) the child makes allegations concerning the behaviour and conduct of other young females and those other young females deny the allegations.
  456. I bear all those considerations very much in mind, at each stage of my evaluation of the evidence.
  457. There can be little doubt that Z is a very emotionally damaged young person. On any view she has been greatly let down by the adults around her. On the information I have seen there appears to be a core of truth to some of the allegations of rape made by her in Slovakia, there are admissions and finding against one of the men involved, PB. Although it is right to note that no finding is made against MH, as it was concluded he was not there. A schedule of inconsistencies in the accounts given by Z has been provided by Mr Larizadeh and Ms Gartland on behalf of JE, although Z's age and the surrounding circumstances would need to be considered as well.
  458. Although on the documents from Slovakia ZM is recorded as being present when Z made the allegations in 2011 when she gave evidence during this hearing she had remarkably little memory of it, other than in very general terms. She suggested that Z was actually spoken to by the social worker on her own for some of the time. In her oral evidence she displayed a somewhat puzzling blank emotional response to the allegations Z had made, and Z's behaviour around that time. It was very difficult to tell whether this was due to the effects of her previous ill health, the fact that she was seeing Slovakian documents for the first time giving details of serious allegations made by her daughter, the fact that everything was being translated and she was somewhat overwhelmed about coming to court. The suggestion is made in the papers, and by the submissions made on behalf of AK and JE, that I cannot rule out that she and/or her husband may be implicated in some way in what has happened to Z. She denied that in the witness box. There are a number of references in the papers to occasions when Z has alluded to her parents' involvement in her abuse. For example, the reference in October 2012 to them whoring her which she then denied, what she said to DCV and KJ on their visit on 26 March 2014, CC reference to Z's parents knowing what she was doing as Z was picked up from home. This evidence would need to be balanced with the references to Z's parents being traumatised about what happened in Slovakia to Z, ZM's reports to the police when Z went missing and the evidence of JK about ZM's distress when Z returned from periods when she had been missing. There was a somewhat defeatist tone to some of her answers, for example when asked about Z stealing from her purse she replied 'Yes, she did it more than once, when she got the opportunity she took. I didn't want to argue with her I just wanted her to be around the house'.
  459. On any view Z has been seriously let down by ZM. Some of her actions are simply inexplicable, such as sending Z back to Slovakia in the company of her brother who did not appear to look after her. Not making time to speak to Z when she wanted to talk to her, instead carrying on with her preparations to return to this country. However, as has been pointed out by the LA ZM has co-operated with these proceedings. If she was in any way implicated in Z's abuse she may have been more reluctant to attend to give evidence.
  460. As has been made clear in a number of cases the ABE guidelines are important and should be followed. I have been referred to the relevant extracts and have those parts very much in mind. It is quite apparent the Guidelines have not been followed in this case in a number of important respects, in particular:
  461. (1) Pre interview meetings being properly recorded (ABE Guidelines paragraph 2.6)
    (2) Avoiding leading questions (ABE Guidelines paragraph 3.61)
    (3) The importance of remaining neutral (ABE Guidelines paragraph 2.229)
    (4) Repeated interviews (ABE Guidelines paragraph 3.130)

  462. The breach of these guidelines are serious, they have the effect of undermining the reliability of the account being given which I must carefully balance in my assessment of the evidence. This has made my task in this already complex case particularly difficult in the context where I have not heard Z give oral evidence.
  463. The criticisms made can be summarised as follows:
  464. (1) The failure to have an accurate record of the two pre-interview meetings on 13 and 20 February 2014. The point is made that in the light of the way the recorded interviews were carried out, in particular the interview on 24 October, there is an iZerent risk that the material recorded in the notes came about through leading questions or in a way that is not a free narrative. The oral evidence from DCV was that during the visit on 13 February it was Z doing most of the talking, although she agreed it was highly likely she would have asked some questions. She thought that meeting lasted about 1 ½ hours. In relation to the second meeting on 20 February she said the main objective was to try and find the locations using google earth in case other children were at risk.
    (2) The drive round on 5 March was video recorded, but there was a part in the middle of day that was not. It was during this part that Z was shown a photograph of IE who she identified and the notes record her referring to JE. In her oral evidence DCV said she thought it was still being recorded, and effectively conceded it should have been. Although there is no consistent note of the questions DCV denied any suggestion she had asked about the 15 men referred to by Z. KJ in her oral evidence was taken through the differences in hers and DCV's notes on that day.
    (3) The focus of the criticism of leading questions was on the last ABE interview on 24 October. Mr Larizadeh very effectively pointed out in cross examination of DCV the dangers when DCV was correcting Z (as DCV considered she was making mistakes) and of not stopping the interview when Z was clearly tired. When the leading questions were put to DCV when she gave evidence she did not accept they were leading, as she considered Z had already given the information in earlier interviews. She described this as're-capping', but effectively she was putting a series of leading questions to Z in relation to information she had given some months previously. On occasion this was done in a quite insistent way. On any view that must have iZerent risks in undermining the value of the evidence. The most graphic example was when the intermediary considers Z has had enough, but DCV continues with a series of leading questions about the occasion when there were 15 men and corrects an answer given by Z relating to PF. After that Z appears to be getting very confused 'How do you mean? I don't understand now'. Another example, is earlier in the 24 October interview when DCV suggests 'Do you mean IE's mum?' rather than asking it in a more neutral way 'Who do you mean?'. In oral evidence DCV responded that she was giving Z a 'frame of reference' but she could see the dangers. She also saw the dangers that in helping to clarify matters, as she did in the part of the interview where she introduced '.. 'I' being IE's mother' she risked contaminating the evidence. It is right to record that Mr Storey Q.C. has made criticism of the leading questions, in particular in the second part of the first ABE interview and the second interview on 16 April.
    (4) In cross examination of DCV Mr Storey Q.C. drew out the dangers of confabulation. In the first part of the 6 March ABE interview Z alleges that when she went to AK's address it was RB who was there and he assaulted her, whereas in the second interview because DCV in her question suggested (inaccurately re-capping) it was AK who assaulted her, Z agreed and the questions continued on that basis. This was arguably a false basis which had been introduced by DCV. He also refers to the different account given in the interview on 24 October about the first time she had met AK JDI had taken her there whereupon AK went out to get some pika and injected it into her. He submits Z has given three versions about how she first met AK and they are completely irreconcilable with each other.
    (5) DCV was asked why Z was not challenged about any inconsistencies. DCV said the decision had been taken not to do so. So Z was not asked about the stay in hospital for 2 weeks (which there is no corroborative evidence) or the number of men (15 or 20).
    (6) The number and length of the interviews. The first interview was 90 minutes; the second 64 minutes; the third interview 45 minutes; and the final one just over 3 hours (although there were some breaks). The length of time between the interviews is also relevant. The ABE on 24 October was 7 months after the first one.
    (7) The lack of neutrality. DCV accepted her view was Z was telling the truth. She was asked about the dangers of giving the child the impression you believe what she says, DCV said she was only praising her for her effort, not what she was telling them. Various parts of the interview were put to her, for example Z: You know me very well Kirsty what I said err and what I knew I did tell you the truth; DCV: I know, I, I, I know you have. DCV said it was a difficult balance due to Z's volatility and if she had prefaced any question with 'you say', Z would respond that DCV didn't believe her.
    (8) Those conducting the ABE interviews did not have the important material from Slovakia as to her Z's psychological functioning. Whilst that is correct and DCV fairly and realistically conceded in questions put to her by Mr Storey Q.C. that if they had known confabulation is an issue they would probably not have undertaken a re-capping type interview on 24 October. However, it is an issue raised in Ms Hope-Borland's report at paragraph 3.2 (aLFeit on a wrong factual basis). Whilst the 2012 psychological report is important, it has to be seen in the context that (save in the case of Mr H) it did not prevent criminal proceedings being pursued and in one case admissions being made, Z was 13 years old at the time of the assessment, it expresses an opinion as to credibility and whether the allegations are made out. It is of note that Ms Hope-Borland referred in her report (paragraph 3.2) to the issue of confabulation in the context of events that Z had told her that she questioned their accuracy (her brother dying and being pregnant). It is clear from the papers that are now available that Z's brother did die in January this year and there are references in the papers to Z being pregnant. Ms Hope-Borland suggests ways are found of managing Z giving evidence in a way that avoids stress and distress. Finally, the Slovak report needs to be seen in the context of the recent CAMHS assessment that Z presented as articulate and well kempt and they did not see any signs of mental health problems.
  465. A further criticism of the evidence gathering from Z was the process used for the section 9 statements signed by Z. The focus was on the statement dated 7 May 2014. It was suggested to DCV that because of the similarity between her notes of what she recorded on the 5 March regarding JE's involvement with the 15 men the 7 May statement read as if DCV 'had fed her the lines', she denied that. She denied she prompted her. She said the statement was first written down in Slovak, it was then read through to her and Z made any corrections and then signed it. That statement was then translated into English. The time recordings were put to her on that day. Her statement records that she took the statement between 12.30 to 2.06 pm yet the handwritten notes record her arrival at 10.10, she said she couldn't recall what happened between 10.10 to 12.30 pm.
  466. It is also necessary for the court to factor in that Z's memory may be distorted by the drugs she has taken. There is little dispute that she has taken drugs and they are likely to have had an impact on her ability to recall matters. I also need to take into account Z's general level of dishonesty; she is someone who in a range of circumstances has lied. The false allegation of assault against her father is but one example. The other matter relied on, in part, by AK and JE is that there is evidence that she was able to sell herself. The references to Birmingham and Manchester in the papers are relied upon, as is her behaviour outside the school on the 14 May when she was thrusting herself provocatively to passing cars and a schedule is produced on behalf of JE of evidential references. Z was a child at the relevant time and was not capable of consenting. There is a considerable body of evidence that she was being sold for sex by others.
  467. Against these considerations it is important to consider the other evidence that may support what Z says.The fact that Z was missing during the three periods, once in early April and twice in May and may be the victim of sexual exploitation is supported by what was being reported by others. From her school by JA, in the descriptions given of her condition when she returned by ZM in her statement dated 7 March and JK in her statement dated 28 March 2014 and what she told PC Kerr on 5 May. On each occasion in May she is reported to be deeply distressed, dishevelled, and traumatised and to have evidence of injection marks on her body. These contemporaneous and subsequent third party accounts lend weight to Z's account that she provides to the police in her ABE interviews. These descriptions of her presentation and behaviour are entirely consistent with a young girl who has been subjected to rape and sexual abuse, who has been drugged and injected and who has been taken away by others to do so.
  468. Whilst there has been criticism of ZM about her failings as a parent of Z which, on the face of the information the court has seen, would appear unanswerable her descriptions of the condition Z was in when she returned from these periods when she was mising is independently supported by others and can be relied upon. JK in her statement described ZM's distress at Z's condition.
  469. The court also needs to consider other evidence that may support or undermine Z's account.
  470. The fact that Z was sold for sex is supported in a number of respects. In her ABE interview on 20 June 2014 CC gives a detailed and coherent account of how she witnessed Z being sold for sex on 3 separate occasions by JDI. On one occasion to a house in Town B, on another occasion in a kebab shop in Town A and a third time to Indian people who came in a car. She describes Z having money and being distressed. CC has not been cross examined, her evidence has been available and no party made any application to do so. The LA rely on what she says. It is clear having seen the DVDs of these interviews that there is concern that she too may have been sold for sex, which she denies, although she does give accounts of being given money by men for them to be able to talk to her. SS in her ABE interview on 8 May 2014 describes Z selling her body and going with guys for money. She was required for cross examination but the LA have been unable to locate her. In a visit to JC on 11 April KJ records JC referring to a 14 year old girl called N hanging around with IE who were selling themselves for sex. SF is also recorded as giving a similar view about Z on 12 May 2014.
  471. Z was able to identify a number of key addresses where (unknown to her) there was police intelligence about drug use and prostitution. She was able to identify both AK's address and JE's address which bearing in mind the passage of time supports her having been at those addresses on more than one occasion. In relation to JE's she not only identified the building but was able to pick out the actual flat. At the joint visit on 20 February she identified JE's address as where she and others went to buy pika. She identified where 'E' lived and she alleged she was taken there and they injected her with crystal meth. In his police interview RB confirms that is where his nephew RVB lives. Z is unlikely to have known that without personal experience. RVB's id card was in JS's wallet in September 2013 when he was arrested in connection with the allegation of rape by JC. A hotel in Town B was identified by Z as one of the places where she was sold, Z is recorded as having been seen there on 10 May 2013 during a period she was missing. Z identifies the kebab shops she was sold at in Town C, Town B and Town A. The account given by CC on 20 June 2014 supports Z being sold in a kebab shop.
  472. It is also important to consider the significance of Z referring to two 'I's. Z identifies there are two 'I's. She is clear that one is IE's mother (see joint visit 15 April 2014 in the context of being shown SF's photograph) and JE in her statement agrees she is known as 'I'. However it becomes apparent that there are two women known as 'I'. In the joint visit on 13 February 2014 the 'I' referred to is linked to being IE's mother, although she is referred to as being Albanian. During the drive round on 5 March 2014 Z points out a woman named 'I' 'who sells herself child sells her daughter', KJ identified this woman as JC. During the joint visit on 15 April when Z identifies a picture of SF she is clear 'her mother is JC (who she said also goes by the name of 'I')….Z was asked whether this 'I' is the 'I' she has disclosed about previously as being involved in her abuse, to which she said no and explained that the 'I' she has disclosed about previously is IE's mother'. I agree with the analysis relied upon by Mr Larizadeh in his closing submissions that there is some significance that it is J 'I' who Z places with herself and IE in the street who she claims was standing there while Z was being taken away by MC, JDI, RB and RK. In cross examination of DCV he questioned why JC had not been included in an identity parade. JC denies she has ever been known as 'I' although in her oral evidence she said she is also known as Sophie/Sophia. I reject JC's evidence on this and consider it more likely than not that she does use the name 'I'. This is supported by what KD said on 3 July 2014 and JE confirmed in her oral evidence that PF had told her JC went by the name 'I'. JC's denial is a lie to seek to distance herself from Z.
  473. One of the critical matters in issue is the extent to which Z was known to AK, JE and JC. Z in her discussions with DCV and KJ, her ABE interviews and section 9 statements gives the following details about these individuals.
  474. JE

  475. She first identifies JE during the first joint visit by DCV and KJ on 13 February 2014 as an Albanian woman by the name of 'I' describing her daughter as 'IE' who sell drugs, prostitute themselves and con others into doing the same. At the meeting on 20 February when they used google earth to identify addresses Z recognised the address of 'I' and IE (possibly Romanian/Albanian)' and specifically identified with the cursor the flat, saying this is where they went to buy pika.
  476. On the drive round on 5 March Z is shown a picture of IE who she identifies and says her mother is 'I' and is very close to AK. It is in this context that Z alleges she and IE were sent to a place in Town A where there were 15 men who had sex with Z but not IE. Z says IE took the money and gave it to JE and AK. Z refers to being in hospital for 2 weeks as a result of this assault (this account is largely repeated in the section 9 statement from Z dated 7 May 2014). There was criticism of both KJ and DCV in their oral evidence of their failure to keep a proper record of these two meetings including, importantly, a note of the questions and the stopping of the recording on 5 March.
  477. In the second part of the ABE interview on 6 March Z gives an account of 'I' being IE's mother and gives a description of JE's children. This is in the context of distinguishing her from the person she identified walking in the road on the drive round on 5 March. On 15 April during a joint visit by DCV and KJ Z identified a photograph of SE as IE's sister and that this was the SE that was in the car when RB first picked her up in his car.
  478. Z identified JE from a photo identity parade on 8 May. In her section 9 statement dated 3 July 2014 she alleges IE's mother 'I' was prostituting herself and often took her children with her, she sold her daughter NE for sex but NE moved to London to escape that lifestyle.
  479. In the 10 October 2014 ABE interview there is only a passing reference to JE but in the context of a leading question suggesting she is IE's mother.
  480. In the final ABE interview on 24 October JE is referred to but only after her name is introduced by DCV, and this follows some confusion as to whether the 'I' Z refers to is JE or JC.
  481. AK

  482. In relation to AK Z first identifies her as being involved in what took place with her on the drive round on 5 March. It was after she identified IE from a photograph and was in the context of AK and JE being close friends. She described AK and JE sharing the money received from Z having sex with men. In the drive round she identified AK's address.
  483. In the ABE interview on 6 March Z makes a number of references to AK. First in the context of going to AK's house as they are friends 'we constantly called each other' and RB being there without Z knowing. She alleges RB beat her up and AK stated they were going to keep her there as they wanted to sell her, she called some friends over and they took her to Leysand (Town C?). Later in the interview she alleges she met AK in Asda, she describes AK and gives more details about being kept at AK's house. Z describes, in the context of where AK lives, a black man living next door, who Z alleges AK sends her daughter to every night.
  484. In the ABE interview on 16 April AK is introduced by DCV in the context of AK assaulting Z when she went to her property and RB was there. Z agreed this and went on to say that RB stopped AK slapping her. Z referred to AK having paid money for her, then a little later said RB gave her money for Z. Z said AK had been violent to her on other occasions. She went on to describe AK being involved in Z being sold at a kebab shop, giving her drugs.
  485. In the 7 May section 9 statement Z refers to AK in the context of sharing with JE money received from Z having sex. This repeats much of what was said on 5 March.
  486. In the ABE interview on 24 October Z states AK introduced her to 'I', JDI took Z to AK 'when he wanted to sell me to her', she refers to AK's black neighbour who AK was sending her daughter to, AK giving her pica in the context of having sex with the man at the kebab house. She describes AK sending her younger daughter upstairs when she arrived at the house. In the context of timing she said she met AK before IE.
  487. JC

  488. It is suggested by the LA that the person pointed out by Z on 5 March 2014 was JC.
  489. She is referred to in passing in the ABE interview on 6 March (p 47) although there is some doubt as to who she describes immediately afterwards (JE or JC).
  490. There is then no mention by Z of JC until her name is introduced by DCV for the first time in the ABE interview on 24 October 2014. Then a little later in the interview, after DCV has suggested JC's name, Z refers to her again but when asked for some clarification Z is silent. JC is introduced again by DCV, Z is silent and then can give no detail about how they first met. JC is introduced by DCV on two more occasions but Z gives no further details.
  491. I shall now turn to consider the accounts given by the parents in this case about their knowledge of each other and Z.
  492. AK, JE and JC have each given accounts about how they knew Z and how they know each other. In his detailed cross examination of AK, JE and JC Mr Feehan Q.C., on behalf of the LA, was able to effectively draw out the inconsistencies in the accounts given by each of them.
  493. AK

  494. In her initial police interview on 7 May AK was keen to point out how small their community was, her standing in the community, and how they are all from one area and she describes knowing JE and JC '100%'. She describes socialising with them over coffee, going out together and going to their houses. This is a very different from the picture AK sought to portray in the statements filed in these proceedings, where she states that she only knew them to say hello in the street. That was how her case was clearly put in cross examination by Mr Storey Q.C. However under cross examination from Mr Feehan she (eventually) conceded JC came to visit her twice a week in the evening and into the early hours of the morning, she initially sought to suggest that it was to offer her some clothes and she tried to rely on the cultural considerations, that it was impolite not to ask someone to your house for coffee. It was very clear to me that her relationship with JC was more likely to be as JC described in that she visited AK twice a week. AK reluctantly accepted she took drugs with JC on these occasions (although JC said it was only to ask about drugs and lending of money to buy drugs), they saw each other regularly and knew each other well in the context of them both living near each other in a relatively small community.
  495. In her police interview AK described occasionally seeing Z in the street and the only conversation was when Z attended her property (with out any apparent notice) with her brother in the context of asking AK for names of men who would pay for sex. She was asked about the relatively detailed description given by KD to KJ on 3 July 2014 when she was able to give a description of Z, in particular referring to the whirls on her face. KD is also recorded as saying 'Z was a teenager who came round her house and that her mum would take her out but she did not know where' AK said this was KD describing seeing Z in the street or when Z went to see the black man next door. AK said 'I don't believe KD is saying that…it must have been said to her to say'. She was asked about the description given by KD on the same day of AK's relationship with JE, AK had maintained in her statements they only knew each other in passing when JE was on her way to visit her sister. KD described them as 'good friends', AK said in evidence they were not very good friends. AK sought to explain KD's detailed knowledge about JE's children as being through a common friend who she could not name. KD is recorded as saying JE knew Z, was introduced to Z by AK and Z did not like JE but didn't know why. AK's response was KD had been made to say these things. KD's account is supported by the fact that at the police station AK told the interviewing officer she knew it was JE's birthday, more consistent with being close friend than a passing acquaintance. KJ was not challenged about this discussion with KD when she gave oral evidence. Mr Storey Q.C. took great issue with this; he questioned how he could challenge that account when his client had not been present. That had not prevented him cross examining witnesses who had spoken to Z. I have carefully taken into account that KD has not given oral evidence, that this information was not obtained through an ABE interview and is second hand hearsay.
  496. When AK was pressed about the passport found in her freezer, the three bank cards and a document purporting to give details for a fake marriage found at her address when she was arrested she gave what I considered to be wholly unconvincing answers which put simply were outright lies. They amounted to her suggesting she had been left three bank cards by someone who she could give little or no details about, who had visited her only once (in connection with mending a computer) and when she contacted him did not seem to want them back. The explanation in relation to the passport was equally implausible, she sought to suggest she was keeping it for AD's husband who had never lived there and who she disliked so much she didn't even know his name. She admitted a document also found at her house with details on it relating to a fake marriage was a document for that purpose. She denied that she had arranged a fake marriage for her daughter, but seemed unable to give any further explanation for this document. There can be no other rational explanation for this document other than it contained details of a fake marriage which AK had some involvement in, possibly relating to either her husband or her daughter's marriage. It is of note, in passing, that a phone number written on it is a phone number used by JE and JS. AK was asked about the police intelligence reports, all prior to the police speaking to Z, regarding AK's involvement in prostitution, her address being used to prepare and sell drugs and her involvement with stolen property, she suggested that these reports were due to people being paid by the police to give information. She accepted she knew the individual named in one of the police reports, that she was having a relationship with him and the details regarding his wife and children were correct. I am rightly reminded by both Mr Storey Q.C. and Mr Samuels Q.C. that unattributed police intelligence reports are not reliable evidence, by their nature they are little more than suspicion even if they have some information in them that may be correct.
  497. When AK was pressed about the details she gave about Z in her police interview regarding her schooling, the suggestion she had sex with a number of people and had been injected with drugs AK sought to suggest that Z had given this information during the one visit when she was seeking names of people from AK who would pay for sex. It was notable that when she was asked about this there was a very long pause whilst she thought what to say. It was very apparent she was struggling to think what the best answer to give was and could only fall back on the one visit she had referred to. When it was pointed out that this information was in a different part of the police interview, she then said she had heard this and asked Z if it was true as they were walking up the stairs to her flat, on her case this was the first time she had met her. On AK's account that discussion is highly unlikely to have taken place then, it is more likely to support Z's account of her being a friend. Whilst I take on board the point made by Mr Storey Q.C. about the lack of any phone records to support Z's assertion that they constantly called each other in my judgment it is much more likely AK had gained this information through a much closer involvement and relationship with Z than she has sought to portray.
  498. I have considered this account in the context of Z's account of her relationship with AK. Whilst I consider many of the criticisms of the ABE interviews made by Mr Storey Q.C. have some foundation no criticism is made of the first part of the 6 March ABE interview where Z gives an account of AK not tainted by leading questions. I have to consider whether that account is fatally undermined by her subsequent inconsistent accounts and the wider canvas of her unreliability. I don't consider it is as those later accounts were caused, in part, by a mistake of the interviewer and a series of leading questions. I have to consider Z's account in the context of the wider canvas of her lies and inconsistencies and the fact that she has not been cross examined, but also the material that is available to support the core credibility of her account that she was being sold for sex. Whilst I have considered the lack of any phone records to support what Z says about she and AK constantly calling each other I do consider it is of note, in the context where on AK's version of events they only ever met once (apart from passing in the stret when JC and Z were arguing) that there are records of phone communication between AK and Z around the time she was going missing.
  499. As well as the iinherent reliability or unreliability of what she says I also have to consider whether there is any motive for Z to make up these allegations. None has been suggested.
  500. .

  501. Having considered her evidence I am satisfied that is it is more likely than not AK's involvement with Z was more extensive than she has revealed, she was very familiar with the difficulties Z had (school, injections etc) and is someone who is no stranger to telling untruths in other contexts (the passport, the bank cards and the fake marriage document).
  502. This view is supported by the unconvincing explanation she gave for her contact with JDI and MC who had been named by others, including Z and CC, in connection with selling girls for sex. I reject the suggestion by her that she only knew them in the context of being put in touch with someone about furniture. Both Z and SS connect these men with selling women for sex. AK accepts SS is a friend of hers who would visit regularly to take drugs with her. Her regular visits are confirmed by KD as she describes the closeness of AK's relationship with SS. It is iZerently improbable in these circumstances that AK would not know about them in that context. In that context the evidence of telephone contact with them on a phone that is attributed to her some at times when Z is reported missing is support for her involvement in what was happening to Z at the time. All she could say when pressed about these calls was that she was lending her phone, but gave no details of who she had lent it to, when and in what circumstances. She could give no explanation why the phone records show communication between her and Z. For example, the table at P7874 shows the following from Z's phone to AKs on 14 May 2014: texts at 00.58 and 01.48; voicecalls at 13.46 (lasting 35 seconds) and at 20.18 (lasting 1min 34 seconds); texts at 22.36 and 23.15. This was the day after Z came back from a period when she had been missing for 5 days. This telephone contact is wholly at odds with AK's case. The significance of that is supported by the evidence from the school about AK's phone number on Z's phone as 'A'.
  503. Finally, this view is supported by Z identifying her address during the drive round. If she had only been there once, as AK suggests, it is much less likely she would have been so readily able to identify it. This also applies to the fact she identified KD, who on AK's account she had only met once some 10 months previously. I have carefully considered whether this knowledge and communication could be explicable by the fact that they are all in a small community, that they may be communicating for other reasons as set out in Mr Storey's written closing submissions but having considered all the evidence it is more likely to be knowledge that was acquired by direct contact between Z and AK rather than general knowledge when on AK's case they had no other dealings. On AK's case there is no rational explanation as to why Z would have her phone details on her phone and why she would be contacting her.
  504. JE

  505. JE was also pressed about the differing accounts she has given about her relationship with AK and JC and her contact with Z.
  506. In relation to AK the picture JE sought to portray in her statements in these proceedings was that even though she and AK had worked together at a hotel in Town A that stopped in 2011. Since then they occasionally met up or would say hello in the street or she would see AK to say hello when she visited an Uncle in a neighbouring flat. However, at the police station when they were arrested AK gave a different account of significantly more contact which JE was asked about; JE's response in her oral evidence was to say she 'hated' AK, which she had not said before. JE was pressed about the significant amount of telephone/text contact shown on the records between JE and AK from April 2013, she could not account for that other than to say either JS or IE used her phones too. This was in the context of JS having what has been described as a flirty relationship with AK and IE being a regular user of their phones if her credit ran out. That has to be looked at in the context that JE said she spoke to AK about her suspicions when they lived at a previous address, which they left in February 2013, some months before the records show a significant amount of telephone contact.
  507. JE denied being involved in prostitution, but seemed unable to give any credible explanation as to why she went with her sister in the early hours of the morning in April this year to a man's flat she did not know. This has to be viewed in the context, according to JC, of them having less contact due to the allegations she made about JS. It also has to be considered in the light of what SS has said about seeing JE and JC rob people using the modus of pretending they want to go with them, and then taking things off them. Mirroring what the victim told the police about what occurred in April.
  508. JE's credibility became tested to the extreme when she sought to suggest that she had no idea JS took drugs (even though he had a positive drugs test); that she had no idea someone who had lived with them for two years had been arrested by the police in connection with 23 packets of drugs being left near their home; that she had no idea JC was on drugs even though on JC's own account she was in a desperate states wandering the streets all night on many nights of the week and, finally, that she did not realise her daughter IE may be in a sexual relationship with her boyfriend when she had not been living at home for a month, she thought they were 'just dating'.
  509. It was quite clear the reality of the position was that she was close to AK and had remained in regular contact with her since their time working together at a hotel in Town A. She had also remained in regular contact with JC, even after the alleged rape in July 2013, and they still operated together, as was demonstrated by the events in early April this year. Until she gave her oral evidence she had denied being with her sister in April when they were reported as going to a man's flat in the early hours of the morning. In her oral evidence she agreed she had been there. When pressed she could give no explanation as to why she went with her sister to a man's home who she did not know in the early hours of the morning. The only credible explanation is that she was operating with her sister, as it was very likely she had done so before, whereby they would take money from men. This was precisely the complaint made by the man when he reported the matter to the police. This behaviour by the sisters had been observed by others. In this context it is also very difficult to accept JE's evidence that she had no knowledge of JC's drug use bearing in mind the frequency they were in contact (certainly up until July 2013) and JC's own admissions as to how she was during that period.
  510. Turning to her contact with Z in her police interview she said she had seen her 2 or 3 times and she may have been to her flat. In her statement in these proceedings, she said she had only seen her twice out of the window, one of those when she came for IE. She was referred to what Z, CC and KD had each said independently about AK and JE being friends, and that Z and KD each said AK had introduced Z to JE. All JE could say was it was not like this. She was pressed about her knowledge of RVB, whose identity card was found on JS when he was arrested in relation to the rape allegation in September 2013; she denied any knowledge of him. The only explanation she could give for the phone records for her phones having regular phone and text messages with JDI and MC, both of whom had been named by Z, SS, CC as being involved in selling people for sex, were that the phones were also used by JS and IE. The only explanation she could give for Z identifying her flat, including the precise number, was that Z was friends with IE. She could give no explanation as to why Z would recognise a photograph of SE. It became increasingly clear, that whilst there may be an alternative explanation for some of these matters (for example the possibility of someone else using the phones) when looked at all together it was more likely than not that JE's knowledge of Z was significantly more than she was revealing and that this was due to more direct contact she had with Z that she was saying.
  511. There are a number of independent sources of evidence that support that conclusion being reached. I have considered the fact that these sources of evidence are hearsay, both first and second hand hearsay, and have not been subject to cross examination. In relation to Z, SS, CC and KD I have been able to view the ABE interviews and whilst the information given by KD on 3 July was not video recorded it is detailed and specific.
  512. JC

  513. JC stated she was taking drugs, almost daily, from about September 2012 until May 2014. The picture she painted during that period was that she was out walking the streets all the night on many nights of the week; she could not sleep and was in a desperate state trying to secure further drugs. She accepts she approached men as if to offer them sex and then took money from them before running away. She admits she did this and there is police evidence that supports her doing that, even as recently as January and early April this year. It became a recurring feature of her oral evidence that when she was pressed for more detail she responded with 'I do not remember' or 'I don't remember', even to relatively simple questions about when she alleges she was still being supplied drugs by JS. It is clear JC was a regular visitor to AK's home; she would go there late at night or in the early hours to take drugs 2 to 3 times a week. That is now accepted by AK, although AK's case as put to JC was that they were not friends and JC only knew AK to say a passing hello to. It is also clear that prior to July 2013 she saw JE regularly; their relationship was described by each of them as close. It is also clear that whilst there may have been a period around July 2013, at the time she made the allegation of rape against JS, when she did not see as much of her sister JE, it is very likely that their relationship resumed and they saw each other regularly again; for example in early April 2014 they were together in the early hours of the morning and it was not suggested by either of them this was an unusual or one off occasion.
  514. As regards her knowledge of Z one striking feature of the report of JC's activites on 5 September outside a hotel in Town A is that police record that notes the person who was with her gave Z's date of birth. The record from the police officer is he recognised the other person as being SF, which is supported by the record that her partner was nearby. But the inference that can be drawn from the date of birth given is that Z was more involved with JC than she has revealed to date.
  515. The enmeshed nature of the relationship between these three women is further supported by the fact that it is accepted IE was a regular visitor to JC's home during 2013, they were close. It is also accepted that IE and SS were close; SS was a regular visitor to AK's home to take drugs. The lives of all these women were, on the evidence, intimately entwined in their day to day lives during the relevant period and in those circumstances it becomes increasingly improbable to accept their explanations that they had no significant knowledge of each other or of Z who was also reported to be close to both IE and SS.
  516. JC's account of her dealings with Z were that she met her once in a disco when Z told her she was selling herself for £5, and the following day when Z turned up unannounced at her home asking for a shower. JC sought to maintain that culturally it was impolite to not ask someone in if they asked politely. Even making all due allowance for cultural considerations it seems iZerently improbable that this is a credible explanation that JC, who denied being involved in prostitution, would allow someone who she did not know and who had confessed to being involved in prostitution the night before into her home for a shower. It is much more likely that Z went there as she had been there before and her relationship with JC was much closer than JC has sought to suggest. JC's version of events becomes increasingly improbable when considered in the light of what she says was a subsequent chance encounter with Z when she challenged Z about her taking some belonging of JC's when she had come in for a shower. According to JC this ended up with her being asked by Z to take her home, which JC did. According to JC she went in to Z's home and spoke to her mother ZM. All of this is inconsistent with her suggestion that Z had stolen items from her, they had had an argument and she didn't know her. If these were the only 3 occasions JC has seen Z it is unusual that Z would seek help from JC unless she knew her better than JC has said or that JC would feel inclined to offer it. JC denied she was, on occasion, referred to as 'I', as described by Z and KD, she said she called herself a different name, Sophie/Sophia. Although she accepts she saw IE regularly she denied informing the social worker who undertook an assessment in April 2014 that IE and her friend are sold to men for sex. She denied that she knew or suspected Z was under the age of 17 years even though LF stated he thought Z was between 14 – 15 years and she is recorded as informing the social worker, during a visit on 11 April 2014, that she had concerns about IE and a 14 year old girl called Z and they were selling themselves for sex. I have no hesitation in accepting the LA records of their discussions with JC; they are detailed and specific, two social workers were present as well as an interpreter. She could not explain why CC would say that she knows Z.
  517. Having stood back and considered JC's evidence in the context of the other material available to the court, it is quite clear that it is more likely than not that her relationship and knowledge of Z was far more than she has said. That would explain why she let Z come and use the shower; that is consistent with her having a close relationship with IE who she saw regularly; it is consistent with Z seeking her help to take her home; it is consistent with what she said to the social worker about IE and Z being sold for sex; it is consistent with Z's date of birth being give on 5 September. It is possible there were occasions when JC and Z sought to sell themselves for sex together and that one of the people with JC on 5 September was possibly Z. She was fully aware what was going on with Z, she operated within that world most nights and she was closely involved with JE and AK who also knew what was going on with Z.
  518. I have carefully reviewed my conclusions at each stage to see whether the accounts given by each of these women could be explicable any other way and have carefully considered the source of the evidence and its reliability. Whilst some of the matters may be capable of an alternative explanation (for example JE and JS's phones being used by someone else, possibly IE) but when looked at in the wider context of the other evidence available the gravitational force of all the evidence together, and the inferences that can reasonably be drawn from them, pulls the court back towards the conclusion that these women during the relevant time were closely and intimately connected with each other, were in regular contact with each other, they were each closely connected with IE and SS and this was all within a relatively small community. This is supported by the accounts given independently by KD, CC, SS and IE. I am also clear that as a result of the close connection between them AK, JE and JC were also in regular contact with Z and were fully aware of what was happening to her, namely that she was being sold by others for sex and that, at the very least, JDI and MC were involved in that. The phone records show phones attributed to JDI and MC are in regular contact with mobile phones used by AK and JE and others in their household at a time when Z is missing. With each piece of the jigsaw the accounts given by AK, JE and JC become iZerently more improbable and the only inference that can be drawn is that they were each involved to some extent in what was happening to Z in terms of her being sold for sex.
  519. The precise extent is difficult to say, other than they each knew she was being sold for sex, that she was under 16 years old, and were probably, at the very least, complicit in the arrangements that were being made by others for her. Any other conclusion is against the weight of the evidence.
  520. I have considered the evidence connected to the specific allegations made by Z relating to AK and JE.
  521. I consider the specific allegation by Z in the first half of the 6 March interview in relation to AK is established. It is more likely than not AK was involved in some of the arrangements for Z being sold for sex. The subsequent accounts give by her on 16 Aptil and 24 October of her involvement with AK is undermined by the way the questions were asked by DCV.
  522. In reaching that conclusion I have carefully weighed in the balance all the points made by Mr Storey Q.C. and Mr Chippeck.
  523. I accept his submissions about the inherent unreliability in the second ABE interview in relation to AK as a result of DCV's mistaken question means I cannot find that AK assaulted her in the way she describes, but I do accept Z's general account in the first interview that she was kept in AK's flat. He submits none of the papers in the criminal case provide a connection between AK and RB; that none of the defendants implicate AK as being involved with them in any arrangements relating to selling Z for sex and the telephone records do not support AK constantly calling Z. It is also right that some of the allegations that Z makes about others (such as IE, SF and CC) are not accepted by them. But that has to be balanced with the information they give that is broadly supportive of the truthfulness of Z's account of being sold for sex. It is important to consider the wider evidential canvas.
  524. DCV accepted in cross examination by Mr Storey QC, on behalf of AK, she made a mistake in the second ABE interview when she suggested to Z that AK had assaulted her when in fact in the first ABE interview Z alleged that she was assaulted by RB. That mistake, in my judgment, fatally undermines the foundation for that specific finding that AK assaulted Z but does not undermine the general finding as to AK being complicit in the arrangements for Z. It is clear in the detailed answer Z gave in the early stage of her first ABE interview that AK was involved; she gives a clear unprompted account of AK's involvement on page 6 of the interview, a description of AK on pages 27 – 30 and 32 (including details regarding AK's children).
  525. The allegation that AK arranged for Z to go with a Pakistani man via the Kebab house and took drugs at her home in my judgment cannot be established to the required standard for the following reasons.
  526. The account she gives at page 8 of the second ABE interview although a relatively coherent, free flowing account with some contextual detail it is tainted by the mistaken question two pages earlier and the leading questions that follow. In those circumstances it creates real difficulties in being satisfied to the required standard that this specific allegation is established.
  527. Turning to the specific allegation made against JE that she facilitated the penetrative sexual assault by 15 men in Town A I do not regard that specific allegation has been proved to the required standard for the following reasons.
  528. It was first made during the drive round when the tape had been switched off and there is some inconsistency in the notes kept by DCV and KJ. Whilst on its own this may not be fatal to the finding, as I accept DCV's account that this was an unprompted account by Z. However, when it is considered with the fact that Z has not been consistent about the number of men who were there (15 or 20); has not identified where this event took place; how JE was to have arranged it; has not identified who the men were; has said in response to leading questions from DCV on 24 October that it was not JE but someone else (PF) and changes an earlier account that IE took the money when she says it was PF; she did not identify JE in the interview on 24 October; and there is no account from IE about this allegation.
  529. All of these matters, in the context of this case, mean that I cannot be satisfied to the required standard that this finding is established by the LA.
  530. LF's knowledge of sexual exploitation of Z

  531. Turning to consider the position of the knowledge of LF. I am satisfied on the evidence that the LA have established to the required standard that he knew of the sexual exploitation of Z by individuals however I am not satisfied to the required standard that this knowledge includes JE.
  532. I have reached that conclusion for the following reasons.
  533. It is quite clear from the differing versions LF has given about the occasion that Z came to their home and asked for a shower that he has not given a full account of what took place and the circumstances. I have already found in relation to JC that that event is indicative of a much closer involvement between JC and Z than she has sought to suggest. It is inconceivable that LF did not ask any further information about why Z came that day, why JC let her in and the circumstances of their relationship.
  534. That conclusion is supported by the account given by LJF to the school in relation to the occasion that Z visited and asked for a shower.
  535. Having stood back and considered the evidence as a whole,I am satisfied that it is more likely than not AK, JE and JC were in regular contact with each other during 2013 and 2014. They have deliberately sought to portray a different picture with the intention of distancing themselves from the allegations made by Z. I am also quite satisfied that it is more likely than not they were all in much more regular contact with each other and Z than they have given details of, that conclusion is supported by evidence from a number of different sources. They were each in my judgment complicit in causing or permitting the exposure of Z to inappropriate and abusive sexual activity. The involvement of AK is more specific in the context of the allegations made by Z. In relation to JE it is less specific but I am satisfied she had a closer relationship with Z than she has stated, that she was fully aware that Z was being sold for sex by others as Z clearly had a more detailed knowledge of her than is consistent with only been seen at a distance on two or three occasions leading to the clear inference that she was complicit in Z's sexual exploitation. In relation to JC again I am satisfied she that she too had a closer relationship with Z than she has stated leading to the clear inference that she was complicit in Z's sexual exploitation.
  536. Other threshold findings:

  537. Turning to the other matters raised in the schedule of findings I will deal each topic under separate headings.
  538. Drugs – F and E household

  539. JC accepts she was addicted to drugs between September 2012 and May 2014. She agreed she was in a desperate state and her addiction caused her to go out most nights in a search to feed her drug habit from whatever source she could find. There is an evidential dispute as to whether she was introduced to these drugs by JS. He denies that. He agrees he takes drugs but seeks to suggest that is only in a social context when he goes out and denies taking drugs within the family home. His denials are supported by JE, she did not know he took drugs, denies any drugs were in the family home and states she only took crystal meth twice in the context of trying to lose weight. JE's account of her knowledge regarding drugs becomes less credible when she denies any knowledge of someone living in their home being arrested on suspicion of drugs, any knowledge of IE taking drugs when there is a wealth of evidence suggesting otherwise, denial of any knowledge of JC taking drugs in the context of her regular contact with JC and JC's own description of her desperate state and it being the reason why she said they went to the man's home in April 2014.
  540. The LA submits JS's account need to be considered in the light of the repeated reports to the police of drug dealing from the E household. It has been rightly pointed out that this information should be treated with great caution as by its nature it is unattributable. The information from the police includes the person who had been living in the E household being observed walking behind a block of flats near the E household where police later found 23 bags of crystal meth, and drugs and property associated with drug dealing being found in the E property. JS's explanation for the scales and tick list being related to breaking down mobile phones and computers is not supported by any other evidence, whereas the drug dealing is. Z identifies the E property on the drive round as being the place where she went to get drugs.
  541. In my judgment JS's use of drugs was far greater than he has sought to suggest, whilst his initial denial of any drug taking in his response to threshold and his first statement were absolute and have to be looked at in the context of him being fearful about what was happening to his children what it does show is he is willing to lie. I consider he has greatly underplayed his drug taking and the circumstances in which he gets drugs. He came across as a confident person, a person who would know what was going on around him and I consider it is more likely than not that he introduced JC to, and supplied her with, drugs from his home address. The way he sought to back track in his oral evidence from what he said in his interview in September 2013 (pages 20 – 21 of the interview) about JC having crystals after they first had sex ('What I saw it was after sex she took') is supportive of his knowledge and involvement with drugs with JC is far greater than he has said. Equally I don't accept JE's denial of taking drugs. She is clearly not telling the truth when she denies any knowledge of someone who was living with her being arrested for drugs and not knowing JC was taking drugs. She was seeking to distance herself from any connection with drugs, which were clearly all around her. It is more likely than not, that she was aware of JS taking drugs. That conclusion is supported by her being involved in the incident in April 2014 with JC which, according to JC, was because the man they went back with had some drugs. The evidence does point to JE's drug use being less than others.
  542. I am entirely satisfied that LF knew about JC's drug use but chose to turn a blind eye. That is clear from what he said to the police when he was arrested in March 2013 and that the argument he had had with JC was about him preventing her from using the bank card as he feared she would use it for drugs. I simply don't accept the account in his oral evidence that he lied on both those occasions because he was nervous. His description about the straws chimes with what their daughter has told the foster carer. She has also told her foster carer about her mother injecting drugs.
  543. All of this points to the following conclusions on the balance of probabilities:
  544. (1) JC was taking and addicted to methamphetamine from about October 2012 until May 2014. On occasion she took those drugs in the family home when she had the care of the children. She frequently went out all night in search of drugs or because she could not sleep due to the effect of drugs and left the children inadequately supervised. The evidence from the social worker Ms Monaghan about the health difficulties JC's mother had has not been challenged.
    (2) LF was aware of this from about March 2013 and failed to protect the children by doing anything about it.
    (3) JS abused methamphetamine at the time the proceedings were commenced. It is more likely than not he introduced JC to drugs in September/October 2012 and supplied her with drugs from his home address.
    (4) JE took methamphetamine whilst she had the care of the children at the time the proceedings were commenced.

    Drugs D household

  545. AK accepts she was taking drugs most days. In her oral and written evidence she seeks to play it down and denies it impacted on her ability to be able to care for KD.
  546. JC visited AK regularly in order to get drugs or to find out about people who could lend her money for drugs. AK accepted the regular visits in her oral evidence but denied she was a contact for people to lend money for drugs.
  547. It was very clear from AK's oral evidence she was underplaying the involvement she had with drug taking. Her rather theatrical long pauses before she named people who she took drugs with (JC and SS) and who she told the police she was scared of (that Z's family were selling her for their own financial gain) did not make sense. AK came across just as she described herself in her police interview, she was well known and people went to her to sort things out. She is strong willed and opinionated and has a high opinion of herself. That chimed with what JC said.
  548. I am satisfied AK was a regular drug user; she took them in her own home most nights with other people including (at least) JC and SS. The drug paraphernalia was kept in the home and put KD at risk of finding them and the fact that she is taking these drugs puts KD at risk of significant harm.
  549. The effects of this drug have not been in dispute, they would impact on the ability to be able to safely care for any child in your care. The fact that AK does not consider it would do so is perhaps illustrative of how she regards herself.
  550. Prostitution – JC and JE

  551. The finding sought is JC offered herself to men for money in return for sex. JC accepts she did this; there are a number of reports of her doing so (5 September, 11 January and 6 April). The driving force for her was in order to obtain money for drugs. I am satisfied she did this on more occasions than there are contemporaneous records for and is likely to have been doing this since at least early 2013 in order to fund her drug addiction. It is very likely on occasions she did this with others, in particular JE. This conclusion is supported by JE's involvement on 6 April and the fact when JC was arrested on 5 September others were present and Z's date of birth was given.
  552. In her oral evidence JE accepted she had been present with JC on 6 April when they went back to the home of the man she didn't know in the early hours of the morning. The only credible explanation for that was that she was part of plan to take money from him. That is what the man alleged took place and JE could give no other explanation for why she went there. It is very likely this is not an isolated occasion and that she has probably done this before with JC. This has been observed by others, for example SS.
  553. I am satisfied that LF was aware of JC's prostitution. His professed ignorance of her regular disappearances from the family home for most of the night simply do not ring true. Even in his oral evidence he expressed no real understanding of the impact of this on his ability to protect the children from the risk of significant harm in the future
  554. JE prostituted IE

  555. This finding is based, in large part, on what Z is reported to have said on 5 March during the drive round. There is some evidence to support the conclusion that IE was being sold for sex. This was reported by JC and Z. I do not propose to make any findings in relation to this.
  556. Rape of JC by JS

  557. JC made this allegation in July 2013, initially to LF and then to the police. I have read the transcripts of both JC and LF's interviews and viewed the video of both their interviews.
  558. Having considered the evidence I have reached the conclusion that I cannot be satisfied to the required standard that JS did rape JC. I have reached that conclusion for the following reasons.
  559. It is agreed that in the weeks preceding the first rape there was kissing and touching between them. There is a dispute as to whether this was wanted by JC. If it was not wanted by JC it is inconsistent with her getting herself in situations when she visited the E family home or JS visited their home where it could happen without her objecting either to her sister or LF. Whilst she may have been embarrassed to alert them to this behaviour if it was really unwanted she could have taken steps to avoid being in that situation.
  560. The evidence about LF seeing them walking close to each other possibly holding hands in late 2012 lends support to their intimate behaviour at that time being consensual.
  561. Her allegations have to be considered in the light of the position regarding drug taking between JC and JS. I consider it more likely than not that he did introduce her to taking drug taking in 2012 and in doing did provide her with free drugs for a period of time.
  562. A close analysis of the circumstances of the alleged first rape do not support it being non consensual. In particular, JE being in the home at the time, JS wanting to leave the door open of the room they went into the other room where they had sex, no one hearing the screams/shouts JC alleges she made and the fact that JE did not notice anything untoward when she came back down the stairs. Nor was it suggested to JE that she noticed any noticeable change in frequency of JC visiting the E home afterwards. Their sexual relationship is more likely to be bound up with JC's increasing dependency on drugs and the fact that they are more likely than not to have taken drugs together. That is supported in part by what JS said in his police interview that JC took drugs after they had sex.
  563. The alleged second rape also does not stand up to close analysis. This is said to have taken place in the early hours of the morning when JC was visiting the E household, leaving at a time JE said she had gone to bed. This was at a time when JC said she mainly saw JE out of the E home. JC is said to have taken drugs outside the home and accepted a lift home with JS. She said she only did so as there was another person in the car. It is difficult to see how that made any difference as it is not suggested she knew whether that person would be present in the car for the journey home, or even checked that was so. As she got in the back of the car, the other person got out and for some inexplicable reason she failed to get out of the car as well. She said the doors were locked. If what she had said about the first rape was true it is difficult to see how she allowed herself to get into the situation she found herself in. It is more consistent with her having a consensual sexual relationship.
  564. JC's suggestion that these occasions were non consensual are further undermined by two further matters. First, the information she gave in her police interview about further visits to the E home after they moved to their home address in May 2013 when JS is alleged to have sexually assaulted her. This is inconsistent with her position that she only met JE out of the E family home after the second rape in late January early February 2013. Second, what LF said in his oral evidence about his position when he was told about this by JC. It appears she initially asked him by text what he would think if she had had sex with another person, he admitted there was an argument between them and his ultimatum was clear; either she had to report the matter to the police (as rape) or he would leave. It was in those circumstances she reported the rape. This ultimatum by LF is referred to in her police interview.
  565. JS's position is supported by the police enquiries made immediately after he was interviewed in September. The police officer saw JC's sister and niece who confirmed they were told by JC of the relationship with JS but denied being told it was forceful or without her consent, as JC stated. Whilst I can't rule out the possibility that JS may have spoken to them before he was interviewed, there is no motive given for them to protect him and give an untruthful account against their sister. JC has been staying with her sister for a number of months and did not suggest this, so the likelihood is their accounts were correct.
  566. JE and JS failure to protect IE

  567. In considering this aspect of the case I am very conscious that IE has not been represented within these proceedings and on the information available to the court she is someone who currently has mental health difficulties.
  568. What is abundantly clear from the evidence is that JE and JS have clearly failed to protect IE in the past and in their oral evidence displayed little insight into to how that came about and what effective steps they would take to prevent it occurring again in the future. There was an air of indifference by JS when he was answering questions about this issue by Mr Feehan Q.C., there was no sign that he understood the historical concerns about his and JE's failure to protect IE. Both he and JE seemed fixed on the fact that as IE had not admitted she had a sexual relationship with PD there was nothing they could do about it. When it was put to them that the fact that she had been away from their home for a month when only 15 years of age may suggest she was more than dating her boyfriend, they both fell back on the response that she had not admitted a sexual relationship with her boyfriend, thereby effectively absolving them of any responsibility to take any steps. JE denied that she had told the social workers who had visited that she feared IE was in a sexual relationship with her boyfriend and may be taking drugs.
  569. Whilst I accept there were some times when JE and JS helped protect IE the history demonstrates they were not consistent in doing that and she was subjected to serious physical assaults by PD. This is perhaps best illustrated by JE's evidence to Judge Murdoch QC when she disputed her previous reports about IE and PD arguing when they spent time in the family home. The historical evidence clearly points to a different conclusion.
  570. Therefore, I do find that both of them failed in the past to protect IE from a violent relationship with an adult when she was a child.
  571. JC and LF failure to protect SF

  572. In their oral evidence neither JC nor LF displayed any real understanding of the historical difficulties with SF.
  573. LF sought to deny he had seen any bruising on SF, when the evidence clearly demonstrated he had. The evidence clearly demonstrates that SF suffered significant physical injuries in the past through her relationship with MR. The obvious risk for the children who may be in JC and LF's care is that without the ability to take effective steps to protect the children they may end up in a similar position to SF.
  574. Known sexual offenders in the F household

  575. The position in the F household is that in the past JC's brother stayed with them for about a year in 2010/2011 and more recently has been a frequent visitor to the home. Whilst both JC and LF have said he does not spend time alone with the children it is more likely than not that he has. That inference is supported by a number of pieces of evidence. JC's reference to the smelly men (one of which is JC's brother), the social work records of him being there on a number of occasions when the social worker has visited (most recently on 10 April when he was seen at the family home drunk and staggering), LF working during the day, JC not being at school and JC often being out.
  576. JE and JS associated with known sex offenders

  577. This is based on JS's association with RV and IE's relationship with him. Whilst it is right that the evidence described their apparent shock at learning of his convictions it is of concern that they were not aware of them before if he was a longstanding friend.
  578. There is no evidence that once they were aware of his convictions they associated with him. The only evidence of any further contact with him is IE being found in the wardrobe in RV's home. There is no suggestion JE or JS had any part in that.
  579. In the circumstances this finding is not established.
  580. JS and JE exposed their children to JC

  581. There was no evidence that at the time the proceedings were commenced this was the factual situation. The evidence points to JC and JE being in regular contact but not the children.
  582. In the circumstances this finding is not established.
  583. Indecent images in the E household

  584. The description of these images is accepted as set out in the schedule prepared by DC Brightman.
  585. AK permitting unidentified people to live in her home

  586. This is not established to the required standard.
  587. JE and IE charged with theft

  588. This is accepted and relates to the incident on 1 December 2013 when the man in the kebab shop had his wallet stolen.
  589. Domestic Abuse – F household

  590. There are records of arguments between JC and LF when the police were called in November 2012 and March 2013. These need to be considered in the context of JC's increasing drug dependency and LF's increasing knowledge about that. I am satisfied that JC's drug problem and LF's increasing awareness of it were the root cause of these incidents, at least one of which was witnessed by the children. I accept that LF has been verbally abusive to JC on both these occasions and grabbed her arm during the incident in March 2013.
  591. Domestic Abuse – E household

  592. It is accepted that JS received a caution for slapping JE and that they had arguments that resulted in the police being called. The police records record these incidents happening. Those records have not been the subject of any significant challenge during this hearing and the most recent is October 2012.
  593. Previous convictions – JS

  594. JS accepts his previous convictions in the UK and Slovakia for theft and possession of an offensive weapon.
  595. In relation to his conviction in Slovakia for sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of 15 years, it is not necessary for me to make a finding as to whether there is a conviction in light of JS's admission that he had sex with a girl aged 14 when he was aged 19. It was revealing in his oral evidence about this matter that whilst he considered RV as a paedophile for his convictions for sexual offences in relation to a child he did not regard his conviction for a similar offence as being in the same category. This attitude chimes with his answers to questions relating to the indecent images of child like people as itemised in the schedule prepared by DC Brightman. In terms of protecting his children from the risk of future significant harm this is a matter that will require further investigation to assess JS's ability to protect in the future.
  596. Previous convictions of JC

  597. JC accepts her previous convictions and caution for drug related offences.
  598. Anti social conduct of JS and JE and vandalism of the family home

  599. I do not regard these matters as being sufficiently particularised by the LA. The position in relation to drug dealing and prostitution has been dealt with above. The basis upon which possession of a previous address was obtained is far from clear. The suggestion of rent arrears is disputed. I have not seen any documents relating to the possession proceedings or any findings made by the court. There is an issue about the reliability of 'W' who has been reluctant to come to court to give evidence. In the context of the other findings the court has already made I do not consider sufficient evidence has been made available to establish this findings to the required standard.
  600. Chaotic living conditions – AK

  601. The LA rely on the history of AK being evicted for over crowding and the documentation found in AK's home when she was arrested. AK accepts they were evicted for over crowding in 2011 but denies KD was subjected to chaotic living arrangements at the relevant date.
  602. It is clear AK has been involved in arranging marriages in the past. She accepted in her evidence the document found in her home supported this, although she stated in her response to threshold that it had been prepared by AD's husband's mother. In relation to the three bank cards found in her home in the name of others she gave an account in her oral evidence that she had not given before relating to a man whose name she did not know who had come once to mend her computer, who she had not seen again and who for some inexplicable reason had left these bank cards with her. When she contacted him he did not want them and had returned to the Country A. That account is simply not credible, she had not given it before and it is unsupported by any other material. It is quite clear these were bank cards that were not hers and she has failed to give any proper account as to why they are there. After AD's separation from her husband AK's rationale for keeping the man's passport in her freezer does not stand up to any kind of close scrutiny. She could give no reason why it had not been returned to him and in the light of her conduct in relation to the arranged marriage and bank cards one is left with the inevitable conclusion that this passport had been kept by her for other reasons unrelated to the owner of the passport. What these matters show is that AK was participating in criminal behaviour that was very likely to put KD at risk of significant harm either from the people who AK was associating with or that she would be likely to be arrested and be the subject of a criminal investigation.
  603. Conclusion

  604. The parties will need to draw up a schedule of findings based on my conclusions above. Now that this stage of the proceedings is completed I hope the focus can now turn to the welfare needs of each of the children.
  605. One of the features of these cases is that there is no evidence that the basic day to day care needs of the children, in terms of food and accommodation, were not being met. The day to day care concerns centred on schooling and dental care. Looking forward the focus of any assessments will need to be on the ability of any of these parents to protect the children from the risk of future significant harm, in particular sexual harm.
  606. Requests for clarification

  607. Following the circulation of the draft judgment and prior to the judgment being handed down requests for clarification were received from the parties. Although I am anxious not to add to this already long judgment I have, unusually, set out the requests below with my response for ease of reference.
  608. From the LA:

  609. Whether the finding that 'JE permits and/or facilitates the supply of illegal drugs from the family home' is proven or not.
  610. Response: It is proved limited to the extent of drugs being supplied to JC.
  611. Whether the finding that 'JS and JE exposed the children to drugs and paraphernalia including: On 24 September 2012, methamphetamine was found in the family home, in the bedroom shared by the mother and father at their then home. It was found in a small self-seal bag together with £400 in cash, tick lists and a set of scales.'
  612. Response: It is not proved on the basis that although the items specified were found in the family home on that one occasion, there is no evidence the children were exposed to this material.

    From AK:

  613. Seven points of clarification were sought:
  614. (1) While explanation has been provided as to why suspicions were established linking AK to the findings made against her, what is the Re A compatible analysis that leads to the conclusion that those suspicions amounted to a finding of fact on the balance of probabilities?
    Response: These matters are covered the judgment, in particular paragraphs 463 - 468, 481 and 485
    (2) On what basis was it decided that the discussion between the 3 women, MC and JDI was not about their own prostitution given the evidence that JC and JE were both prostitutes and the several intelligence reports that AK was a prostitute?
    Response: This was not something that was ever suggested, other than in very general terms at paragraph 68 j) of AK's closing submissions.
    (3) How was the conclusion reached that the discussions were about selling Z rather than the at least 20 other possibilities set out in paragraphs 67 and 68 of AK's closing submissions?
    Response: The closing submissions were carefully considered. AK's oral evidence was clear; she had only ever had communication with these men in connection with furniture, with further detail given by her in oral evidence about when she needed furniture for her home.
    (4) How was it that the first few pages of Z's first interview were found to be reliable and truthful when it contains the palpable falsehood that she had been in frequent telephone contact with AK prior to the first incident, an assertion that was entirely unsupported on the evidence of the telephone schedule?
    Response: That was considered in paragraphs 463 and 464.
    (5) How was it that the conclusion was reached that Z is impressive and to be believed in her first interview when;
    a) She never gave the information to her mother.
    b) She specifically denied being exploited at school in May 2014.
    c) She was prepared to make false allegations against her father simply by reason of not being allowed to go to a discotheque.
    d) She has previous convictions for extortion and blackmail.
    e) Her mother said she was the sort of person who would frame an innocent person of a sex crime.
    f) In circumstances where it was suggested that a claim for compensation was going to be made?
    Response: Z's background of dishonesty was considered, in particular at paragraph 436.
    (6) The judgment seems to suggest that Z confabulates when being asked leading questions but the evidence is that she confabulates and has a tendency to tell lies generally. How is it that her tendency to confabulate and lie has been dismissed and that the answers in the first interview have been believed, when she has the burden of proof?
    Response: The assessment of Z is considered, in particular, at paragraphs 434 – 444 and 484 – 489.
    (7) Please can you deal with our detailed credit points made in our closing submissions and in our submissions in response and why they are not accepted?
    Response: The credit points were considered and some of the matters specifically recorded in the judgment, for example improvement in KD's school attendance, KD's appearance and what she said about home life in her ABE interviews (see paragraphs 77, 79, 80 and 86).

    From JE:

  615. Further clarification was sought concerning the findings regarding JE and prostitution.
  616. Response: The finding is that JE was, like JC, pretending to sell herself to rob people. This is based on what took place on 6 April, the inferences that can be drawn from the court's conclusions about the nature of the relationship between JC and JE and the observations made by others, in particular SS. No finding is made against IE.
  617. Further clarification was sought regarding what the court meant when it states JE was 'complicit' in the arrangements that were being made for others for her.
  618. Response: Paragraphs 481, 482 and 497 set out the extent of the court's findings in relation to JE. This is based on inferences drawn from the conclusions reached about JE's credibility as a whole in the factual matrix of the case. Whilst the phone conversations could be explained by discussions about other activities, but when looked at in the context of the other evidence the fact that there was contact between the relevant phones during each of the periods Z was missing provides support for the finding.
  619. At paragraph 435 (6) confirmation is sought that consideration was being given to further interviews of Z.
  620. Response: DCV did say in her oral evidence that they were considering interviewing Z again, this was a 'real possibility' but it was a decision that would be made by others.
  621. At paragraph 435 a finding is sought that the statement dated 7 May was unreliable.
  622. Response: The criticisms about the procedure used to obtain this statement and the lack of a recorded note to account for all the time DCV was there are set out. This process together with the lack of a complete record affected the weight that could be given to this statement.
  623. Paragraphs 448 and 449 the request is made to specifically refer to the fact that during the 24 October interview Z specifically named those she said who were selling her for sex and that she did not name JE as one of the persons selling her for sex and Z did not ask for JE's photo to be put up on the memory board.
  624. Response: This was the oral evidence given by DCV and supports the lack of weight that can be given to what is said in that interview regarding JE's role in relation to Z.

    From JS:

  625. In relation to the rape allegation (paragraphs 513 to 521) does the court make a positive finding that the relationship between JC and JS was consensual and that JC fabracated her allegation of rape?
  626. Response: The findings, as sought, was whether the allegation of rape was established or not. It was not established to the required standard.
  627. Whether the court meant to find that JS was addicted to drugs (paragraph 503 (3)) and whether the extent of the dealing/supply of drugs is limited to JC.
  628. Response: The finding sought was JS had abused illegal drugs; that is the extent of the finding made. The finding in relation to dealing/supply of drugs by JS is limited to JC.
  629. Whether the court wishes make any further observations about the status of JS's conviction in Slovakia for sexual assault of a girl under the age of 15 years in the light of the matters raised at paragraphs 56 – 60 in JS's closing submissions:
  630. Response: No, bearing in mind JS admits he had sex with a girl aged 14 when he was 19 years old.

    From JC:

  631. Clarification is sought regarding the finding in paragraph 480 that it is more likely than not there were occasions when JC and Z sought to sell themselves for sex together and that one of the people with JC on 5 September was more likely than not to be Z.
  632. Response: The basis for this finding is set out at paragraphs 477 – 480.
  633. The reference to 'women' in paragraph 481 should be amended to ÁK and JE' due to the lack of phone evidence linking JDI and MC to JC.
  634. Response: That revision has been made to the main judgment.

  635. Paragraph 482 - clarification is sought as to the evidence that establishes that JC was complicit in the arrangements being made by others for Z and what form this is said to have taken.
  636. Response: The basis for this is set out at paragraphs 477 – 481.
  637. Is the finding at paragraph 509 limited to JC offering sex to men for money and then stealing their money which did not involve her participating in any sexual act?
  638. Response: Yes
  639. The extent of the finding in relation to the incidents of domestic abuse in November 2012 and March 2013.
  640. Response: The findings are limited to a verbal disagreement in November 2012 and a verbal disagreement and LF grabbing JC's arm in March 2013. Both incidents resulted in the police being called. Paragraph 537 has been amended to reflect this.

    From LF:

  641. Paragraph 493 - clarification is sought as to who is being referred to when it is said that LF knew of the sexual exploitation of Z 'by individuals'.
  642. Response: This is based on the inference that this was well known within the community and he is likely to have discussed the reasons why Z was allowed into his home for a shower and would have received this information from JC.
  643. Paragraphs 526 – 7 – clarification is sought as to whether any finding has been made against LF and/or JC in relation to the failure to protect SF.
  644. Response: The finding is there was a failure to protect SF evidenced by SF's age when she was in a relationship with MR and being seriously physically assaulted by him. In their oral evidence neither JC nor LF displayed any real understanding of these historical difficulties with SF.

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