Betrayed by the police

A boy, aged 4, was raped by a convicted paedophile neighbour who had two previous convictions for sex offences against children. Police knew he lived there but hadn’t told the family


A BOY of four was raped by a convicted paedophile — after police IGNORED signs the beast was still a high risk, a damning report has revealed.

Evil George Cameron duped cops into thinking he was no longer a danger — then lured the tragic youngster into his home.

The serial abuser was jailed for life last year, but now a Significant Case Review has found officers failed to check for vulnerable children living near his flat, trusted him to tell the truth about his activities and were lacking vital training.

Click here for: ‘Unrepentant’ paedophile claimed four-year-old boy asked to be raped

The 68-year-old, who has two previous convictions for sex offences against children, admitted raping the boy at his flat in the south side of Glasgow.

Months before the calculating fiend struck last March, Strathclyde Police chiefs promised to learn lessons from a report into the horrific 2009 murders of ten-year-old Holly Fallon and her mum Diane and — which highlighted the exactly the SAME failings.

Now critics are demanding to know why top brass at the force, who still refuse to apologise for the horrendous blunder, allowed history to repeat itself.

Campaigner Margaret Ann Cummings, whose son Mark, eight was killed by paedo Stuart Leggate in 2004 — said: “This is a scandal. We keep hearing changes are being made, but the same mistakes are happening over and over again.

“Who in their right mind allows sex offenders to be taken at their word? Who allows vulnerable young families to live next door to someone like that?

“It’s heartbreaking yet another child has suffered because officials are not doing their jobs properly.

“Ministers have to change the law, put sex offenders’ human rights second and let families know who is in their community.”

Cameron had two convictions for crimes against young boys, stretching back to 1969, and was jailed for five years in 1994.

In 2001, he was housed in high-rise flats in Toryglen, Glasgow, where he was monitored by police and — until 2010 — social workers.

The 69-year-old’s risk was upgraded to high in 2005 but gradually reduced back to low — despite an assessment warning he was still a danger.

In 2009, the victim and his family were placed in a neighbouring flat but not told of Cameron’s past as he began grooming the youngster.

The High Court in Glasgow heard the child even referred to him as ‘Papa George’.

But in March 2012, Cameron lured the boy to his flat where he raped him, then calmly sent him home with a biscuit, a packet of sweets and a carton of yoghurt.

Police were called when the tot told his mum what had happened.

Cameron was jailed on an Order of Lifelong Restriction which means, even when he’s released, he will have to be subjected to intense supervision.

But his crime has uncanny parallels with the murders of Diane Fallon and daughter Holly in Ayrshire — part of the Strathclyde force area — three years earlier.

They lived in a flat next to their killer, Thomas Smith but were unaware the ex-soldier had been jailed for a sex assault on a ten-year-old girl.

But now a withering report into the Cameron case has found Strathclyde Police guilty of making the same errors all over again.

The Glasgow Community Justice Authority review states: “Strathclyde Police had not undertaken either an initial scan or an annual scan of the accommodation occupied by George Cameron.

“Had an environmental scan been undertaken, the police may have identified the presence of the victim’s family near Cameron.

“At no time when questioned did Cameron volunteer information about his contact with the victim or his family.

“In 2010, police and social workers assessed Cameron at a low risk of re-offending. There is no explicit decision-making recorded why.”

And despite a recommendation in the Smith Significant Case Review, “no specific formal training course has been developed for supervisory officers in offender management”. Strathclyde Police — now part of Police Scotland — have refused to apologise for the mistakes and won’t say if any officer has been held to account for the failings.

Russell Dunn, below, a former Strathclyde assistant chief constable, said: “Changes to procedures were made prior to the publication of the Thomas Smith SCR in November 2011, but not completed until April 2012.

“Regrettably, George Cameron re-offended in March 2012 while the new processes were being introduced.

“We have fully discussed the findings and recommendations made in the Cameron SCR with the victim’s family and are in the process of actioning all the recommendations.” But a spokesman for Glasgow City Council — whose social workers monitored Cameron — admitted: “We agreed a review was required to ensure a full understanding of the way Cameron was managed in the community.

“We accept the report’s conclusions and will take the necessary action to address its recommendations.”

The shocking failure of authorties to protect the tragic four-year-old from monster Cameron has outraged politicians and victims’ groups.

Sandra Brown, right — of the Moira Anderson Foundation which supports child abuse survivors — said: “Sex offenders have to be monitored to the Nth degree. The regime cannot be relaxed under any circumstances.

“But that’s exactly what happened — here not once, but twice. I’m horrified these failures were not being picked up.”

Slamming Strathclyde Police, Labour justice spokesman Lewis Macdonald blasted: “This is the same force displaying the same failings, and that’s just not good enough.”

Tory chief whip John Lamont added: “Cases like this damage public confidence in authorities.”

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill, below, last night admitted the boy and his family were let down by the system and vowed measures would be taken to avoid a repeat of the failings.

He said: “I first want to express my extreme sympathy for the young victim and his family.

“It is disappointing to note that guidance requiring an annual review of the suitability of the offender’s accommodation was not followed. The breakdown in information-sharing is also of concern.

“An action plan is being drafted by the local agencies responsible to ensure the recommendations in this case are taken forward as soon as possible.

“The Scottish Government will also ensure any lessons from this case are shared more widely in other parts of the country.”