Foster carer jailed for child sex crime

A MAJOR inquiry has been launched after a Suffolk foster carer was jailed for sexually assaulting a child.Suffolk County Council pledged last night to “learn lessons” from the case of Edward Slaney, who was yesterday handed a two-and-a-half year sentence for the indecent assault.

A MAJOR inquiry has been launched after a Suffolk foster carer was jailed for sexually assaulting a child.

Suffolk County Council pledged last night to “learn lessons” from the case of Edward Slaney, who was yesterday handed a two-and-a-half year sentence for the indecent assault.

The 67-year-old, who is believed to have fostered around 40 children since the mid 1970s, committed the offence at a Suffolk swimming pool, Ipswich Crown Court heard yesterday.

Slaney, of Yarmouth Road, Corton, near Lowestoft, admitted taking part in sexual activity with a child.


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Last night, a spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council, said: “Staff are carrying out a full review of all the circumstances to ensure that we learn any lessons for the future.

“We are also reviewing our dealings with the foster care agency that employed Mr Slaney. It is their responsibility to see that foster carers are thoroughly checked and regularly monitored, before allowing them to look after children."

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As well as being jailed, Slaney was made the subject of an extended licence period of three years to enable him to attend a sex offenders' treatment programme.

Sentencing, Judge John Holt said: “This is the first time you have offended. I have read references and have heard evidence of your previous positive good character. However, you must go to prison and for some time”.

Slaney was ordered to sign on the sex offenders' register and was made the subject of a sexual offences prevention order banning him from working with children or having any unsupervised conduct with children under 16.

Ian Pells, prosecuting, said that during a visit to a swimming pool, Slaney had touched the child under swimwear and had simulated sexual intercourse against the wall of the swimming pool.

After his arrest, Slaney initially denied the allegations but three days later had made full admissions.

Andrew Thompson, for Slaney, said although he had initially denied the offences he had very quickly admitted what he had done.

“He fully realises custody is inevitable,” said Mr Thompson.

He told the court that Slaney had led an exemplary life until the commission of the offences.

He said his client was not sexually attracted to very young children and had not demonstrated any such attraction or behaviour in the past.

Slaney had been married for a number of years and the couple had eight grandchildren.

He said Slaney's wife had been rocked by what he had done. There had been some local reaction since the matters came to light and this would cause problems for Mrs Slaney while her husband was in prison.

Ivor Fullerlove, a retired probation officer, told the court that he had got to know Slaney through the local Methodist church and had been very surprised when he heard about the offences.

He had spoken to Slaney about what he had done and described him as being devastated at the affect of his offending on his family.

The county council spokeswoman added: “This is a very disturbing case and we have taken immediate action to secure the victim's safety and future wellbeing.

“Our sympathy and concern is with the young person who suffered this abuse and their family.”

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