CONFIDENTIAL details of a report into the murder of a South Yorkshire teenager stabbed to death and dumped in a canal have been leaked - and reveal concerns were raised about her being at risk of sexual exploitation six years before she died.
The findings of a serious case review into 17-year-old Laura Wilson’s death were edited when they were made public last week, with authorities claiming huge chunks had been ‘redacted’ to protect the teenager’s family.
But following intervention from Education Secretary Michael Gove, who accused Rotherham’s Safeguarding Children Board of ‘withholding relevant and important material’, Rotherham Council dropped its application for a High Court injunction to prevent the disclosure of all the findings.
Safeguarding Children Board chairman Alan Hazel had said Laura’s death was the result of a failed relationship. But the report found she had been referred to a specialist child exploitation project three months before her 11th birthday.
It also found the authorities knew Laura had been ‘taken to a car by men who encouraged her to drink’.
When Laura was 13, she and a friend ‘were given alcohol by men at a local takeaway and were asked what they were going to give them in return’.
The report also said ‘at the centre’ of Laura’s case was the ‘issue of her potential involvement in sexual exploitation’ and concluded many of the indicators suggesting a child was being groomed for sex ‘were apparent’ in Laura’s case.
The report revealed 15 agencies had dealings with Laura in the years leading up to her death and identified ‘numerous missed opportunities’ to protect her.
It referred to Laura, of Holmes, Rotherham, as being ‘almost invisible’ to the agencies dealing with her.
She was killed by 18-year-old Ashtiaq Asghar, of Holmes Lane, Rotherham, in October 20120.