Man cleared of abuse wins complaints against council

Paul Townsend

Paul Townsend

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Abingdon and Wantage, South Oxford and Kennington. Call me on 01865 425431

AN ABINGDON man cleared of 20 sexual abuse charges has had a series of complaints about his treatment by social services upheld.

Paul Townsend, 29, was charged with 13 counts of sexual activity with a child, three of sexual assault and four of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity in March last year.

Following a three-week trial in November, it took the jury six-and-a-half hours to find him not guilty of all of them.

Oxfordshire County Council was required by law to take action to safeguard his then four-year-old daughter, Esme, who was not involved, when the allegations first arose. That involved questioning her about her relationship with her father, sometimes with him present and sometimes not.

Mr Townsend made 55 complaints to the council regarding his and his daughter’s treatment while the council assessed her safety.

The county council has now upheld “several” of those complaints and said it is planning to implement recommendations from the process.

The council last night was unable to tell the Oxford Mail which of the 55 complaints had been upheld. However, Mr Townsend said it had agreed it should not have used the world “victim” to describe the four girls in the case but “alleged victim”. He also said the council admitted it should not have referred to him as an “offender”.

Mr Townsend said: “We were treated terribly. It felt like I was ‘guilty until proven innocent’.”

He said the council agreed with his complaint that opinion should not have been used in any report.

He also claimed the council also admitted positive comments from family members were deliberately left out of a report.

Council spokesman Marcus Mabberley said: “A small number of the complaints made by Mr Townsend were upheld. The recommendations resulting from this process are now being implemented.”

Top News

  • Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone's contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.

Send your Letter to the Editor

11:20am Monday 28th July 2014

What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.


Our top stories

Update: Pensioner killed in crash with Ford Focus on A4183 near Abingdon

Oxford Mail:

5:32pm Wednesday 26th November 2014

A PENSIONER died last night after a crash in Abingdon.

Oxford-born author PD James dies aged 94

Oxford Mail:

1:46pm Thursday 27th November 2014

PD James, the acclaimed author famous for her series of detective novels, has died aged 94.

Care home residents are going animal crackers

Oxford Mail:

5:40pm Thursday 27th November 2014

CARE home residents could hardly believe their eyes when their home was invaded by farmyard animals.

Emerald Isle’s Riverdance rolls in for twentieth anniversary gig

Oxford Mail:

5:40pm Thursday 27th November 2014

IRELAND’S famous Riverdance show is in Oxford to celebrate its 20th anniversary.

Police performance rated good on new website

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

5:30pm Thursday 27th November 2014

THAMES Valley Police has been rated “good” for effectiveness and efficiency on a new website the public can inspect.

Baby was ‘at home with dad when he stopped breathing’

Oxford Mail:

5:00pm Thursday 27th November 2014

AN 11-week-old baby whose death police are treating as suspicious has been named as Jayden Saxton.

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree