Sexual predator who targeted girls

Ian Huntley was a sexual predator obsessed with young girls. The Old Bailey jury knew he had been charged with raping a teenager - a charge that was later dropped.

What they did not know is that he was also accused of indecently assaulting an 11-year-old and having sex with a string of other schoolgirls. In total, he came to the attention of Humberside Police on 10 occasions.

These comprised the rape allegation, an arrest for not appearing at court and eight other offences allegedly committed by Huntley. In addition, between August 1995 and July 1998 he was reported to North East Lincolnshire Social Services on five separate occasions - once for the alleged indecent assault and four times for underage sex with girls. Three of the girls involved were aged 15 and one was 13. Each time social workers began investigating Huntley would move on and pick up another girl. Incredibly, no link was made between the cases because each was dealt with by different social workers and they kept no record of alleged offenders.

Three of the underage sex allegations cases were passed on, independently of each other, to Humberside Police. The first allegation of sex with a schoolgirl was made by her family in August 1995 when Huntley was 21. In April 1996 social services became aware of another girl involved with Huntley whose family reported their concerns to her school.

The girl refused to speak to social workers and avoided them. She was eventually seen by her GP who decided there was no further need for social workers to be involved.

There were two further allegations to social services from the families of other girls, both in May 1996, before the indecent assault was reported in July 1998.

The alleged indecent assault victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was 12 at the time the allegation was made but 11 when the assault was alleged to have happened in 1997.

Humberside Police investigated the allegation but never sent a file to the Crown Prosecution Service for lawyers to consider criminal action against Huntley.

The allegation came a month after Huntley had appeared in court in Grimsby charged with raping another girl, a petite 18-year-old. That case was dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service.

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