Sheffield Council has pledged to ‘learn from’ the child prostitution court case.
Female pimp Amanda Spencer, 23, whose teenage years were spent in Sheffield foster care, hostels, or social services addresses, befriended young, vulnerable girls – most in the council care system themselves – to suck them into a seedy life of sex for money.
Two of the girls Spencer forced into prostitution between 2005 and 2010 were living in council children’s homes, and one she met through a council-run project offering help to homeless youngsters.
A fourth girl had been ‘cut adrift’ from her family by the age of 13, and although the fifth lived at home and believed she had a ‘proper upbringing’ she suffered regular beatings from her stepfather.
Jayne Ludlam, of the Sheffield Safeguarding Children Board, said: “We will learn from this case. We are continually striving to improve, and services in Sheffield are already very different today from when this abuse took place.
“Work will continue with partner agencies, parents, carers and young people to work to prevent sexual exploitation against children and young people.”
Fiona Richards, NSPCC regional head for Yorkshire, said: “Child sexual exploitation remains, to a large extent, a hidden problem. Children, and particularly looked-after children, who repeatedly go missing should be a warning sign to all agencies.”