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.”
- 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.
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
9:30am Friday 31st October 2014
NATIONAL treasure Stephen Fry met fans in the Bodleian Library for a “hackathon”.
8:40am Friday 31st October 2014
A MAN left with a £631 phone bill after a relationship with a woman he met on a dating website is warning others to be wary.
8:30am Friday 31st October 2014
DANCE group Body Politic took Oxford’s Pegasus Theatre by storm as it rolled into town as part of its UK tour.
8:30am Friday 31st October 2014
A MOTHER who lost her 15-year-old daughter after she took Ecstasy urged MPs to review drug laws yesterday.
8:00am Friday 31st October 2014
DEVELOPERS behind the planned Botley regeneration have revealed they will fund £10m towards community benefits if the controversial scheme goes ahead.
7:00am Friday 31st October 2014
UNIVERSITY bosses have put forward plans to screen a student flats development by Port Meadow with trees but ruled out reducing its height.