Council placed four-year-old in foster care of suspected paedophile then spent £23,000 trying to keep blunders a secret
Bristol City Council left girl with family despite suspicions the father had accessed child pornography
Despite child’s identity being protected, council said all details of the case should be kept from newspapers
Its expensive bid to hush the scandal up cost thousands and was overturned at the High Court
A council spent £23,000 of taxpayers’ money trying to gag reporting of a case where it had placed a four-year-old in foster care with a suspected paedophile.
Bristol City Council tried and failed to obtain a High Court injunction which would prevent embarrassing details of the case being made public.
Social services took nearly three weeks to remove the girl from a foster family, despite the father being under suspicion of possessing indecent images of children.
He later killed himself after police took a laptop away from the property which contained a cache of child abuse images.
Despite the little girl and the children of the suspected paedophile being automatically granted media anonymity, the council still tried to obtain a blanket gagging order.
On the final day of the two-week hearing in October last year, the council’s barrister Jo Lucas went to the civil court to get an injunction banning any reporting of the case.
Temporary restrictions were then put in place to prevent publication of Bristol City Council, or the names of the social service workers who failed to protect the little girl.
But these were overturned in London’s High Court in January following a costly three-month legal wrangle.