Checks failed to show Huntley's past

An inquiry has been launched into why police checks failed to reveal Ian Huntley's disturbing history after he applied to be site manager at Soham Village College.

Huntley had faced a rape charge, allegations of indecently assaulting an 11-year-old girl and also having sex with a string of underage schoolgirls.

He had been brought to the attention of Humberside Police 10 times and North East Lincolnshire Social Services on five occasions. And yet the checks designed to prevent such people being employed in schools raised no alarms.

The headteacher who employed Huntley said he felt "physically sick" when he discovered his disturbing history.

Soham Village College principal Howard Gilbert told PA News: "Everything we had to do we did. It's a police check form. A straightforward form. One we look at many times a year.

"When I learned of his background I was angry. I was dismayed. To be honest, I felt sick. Physically sick. To think he had been walking around school.

"The police checks are set up to stop somebody like Huntley getting near a school.

"In this case they failed and the reasons need to be looked at to find out why they didn't work. There needs to be some sort of review."

The failure of police checking procedures also hampered the Soham murder inquiry as detectives were not told of the allegations of sexual offences made against Huntley when they first checked him following the disappearance of Holly and Jessica.

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