SOCIAL services have defended a decision not to remove children from families who allowed them to have regular contact with a sex offender who subjected them to a catalogue of abuse.
There was nothing that could be done to stop Karl Hole from seeing children because he was no longer on the sex offenders’ register, Devon County Council says.
Hole is now serving a 16-year prison sentence after the 43-year-old admitted five counts of raping one girl between 2008 and 2012 and two of sexual activity with another in 2011.
Hole, from Lowman Green, Tiverton, was already a known risk to children and had been on the sex offenders’ register when the gained access to the two victims by befriending their families.
He had been convicted of an indecent assault in 2000 and was sent on a treatment course as part of a three-year order.
The families were warned about Hole’s previous convictions, which led to him having treatment at the Langdon Hospital, Dawlish, but chose to still allow Hole to have contact with the children he later abused.
He paid the children £10 or £15 a time to buy their silence and carried out repeated assaults on a girl aged eight to 12 which escalated to rape.
He was caught by accident when police raided a house he was visiting in an unconnected inquiry.They searched him and found he was carrying six prints of naked photos he had taken of one of the girls.
He admitted four charges of making and one of taking indecent images of children including six videos showing sexual activity at level four, showing an adult forcing a child to have sex.A Devon County Council spokesman said social services could not have prevented Hole from having contact with the children.
“He was the subject of a hospital order and probation order but these ended in 2004 after which he was not subject to any legal restrictions,” the spokesman said.“Agencies became aware of his presence with the families in 2008.
They were immediately informed about his offending history.“After an assessment it was considered that there was no evidence to support direct intervention from the authorities, particularly with regard to removing the children at that stage, but steps were taken so the families could ensure that children were appropriately protected.”
The Gazette understands that the matter may become the subject of a serious case review, where an independent panel examine steps taken and ask whether more could have been done to protect child victims.Hole will now remain on the sex offenders’ register for life and will be subject of a sexual offences prevention order banning him from unsupervised contact with children.
A convicted sex offender has admitted raping a girl and sexually assaulting another.
Karl Hole, 43, admitted five counts of raping one girl between 2008 and 2012 and two of sexual activity with another in 2011.
Hole, of Lowman Green, Tiverton, was on the sex offenders register at the time of the attacks after indecently assaulting another young girl in 2000.
Exeter Crown Court heard he filmed himself attacking the girls.Sexual offending treatment
Hole admitted four charges of making and one of taking indecent images of children, including six videos showing sexual activity.He also admitted five child pornography offences.
Judge Francis Gilbert said the filming of the abuse was an aggravating feature.After the offence in 2000, Hole was sent to the Langdon Hospital in Dawlish for 12 months to address his sexual offending, the court heard.The case was adjourned for reports.