Trigger warning: This post deals with child sexual assault and may be triggering for some readers.
Three years ago, every parent’s fear became reality for one family — and they’re still waiting for justice to be served.
In August 2011, a five-year-old girl was beckoned into a bedroom by the 12-year-old son of a family friend, the Daily Mail reports.
He pulled the curtains, showed the little girl porn on his laptop, then raped her.
The girl reported the horrifying incident to her mum the next day, and her parents immediately reported the attack. But while the culprit subsequently admitted the rape, the little girl and her family are still waiting for a conviction.
As the Daily Mail reports, the handling of the case involved a string of apparent mistakes and alleged cover-ups on the part of authorities — beginning with a “rude and unhelpful” officer who received the girl’s parent’s initial report.
Six weeks after making that report, the family learned via an answerphone message that the case had been concluded — and that the perpetrator had merely been cautioned.
Officers also neglected to take fingerprints, DNA samples or photographs and ignored opportunities to instigate a child protection joint investigation with Social Care, the Daily Mail reports.
Disturbingly, a police officer dealing with the case allegedly told the perpetrator: “Do it with someone your own age next time.”
The Child Abuse Unit officers also failed to place the offender on the Sex Offenders’ Register as they should have.
“All of those who should have protected our daughter at such a vulnerable age have let her down,” the girl’s mother Sara* told The Daily Mail. “These people should be held to account.
“How can we ever have confidence in the police again? They dealt leniently with the rapist yet relentlessly pursued us.”