by Callum Fraser
The assault dates back to the 1970s when the teenager was in an Islington children’s home
A FORMER police officer who raped a girl from an Islington children’s home has been sentenced to more than 17 years in prison.
Paul Lamb, 73, was convicted and sentenced at Hull Crown Court this week after he was found guilty of sexually assaulting girls under the age of 16 from children’s homes in Yorkshire and Islington in the 1970s and 1980s.
But the case has infuriated the Islington Survivors Network (ISN), which supports people who were abused in council-run homes over a 40-year period, as they say the Met Police allegedly failed to pursue Lamb years ago.
While the ISN was told Lamb could not be traced, he was found when the group typed his name into a web search and discovered he was living in Yorkshire.
Former Islington council social worker Dr Liz Davies, who founded ISN after blowing the whistle on the “vile abuse” in children’s homes, said: “We are relieved that Paul Lamb can no longer harm children. He had access to an Islington children’s home where the children should have been safe.
“At that time paedophiles had taken over the Islington homes in a systematic way and hundreds of children suffered the horrors of sexual and physical abuse and neglect.”
Among other convictions, Lamb was found guilty of two counts of indecent assault and one count of raping a girl under the age of 16 between 1970 and 72 in Islington.
The girl, who was in her early teens when she met Lamb, lived in the Sheringham Road children’s home in Highbury.
He was a serving Met officer and it is understood that he lived in police accommodation nearby at the time.
He later left London with his family and moved to Yorkshire and then became a manager of the Brook Cottage children’s home in Driffield where he abused more girls in the 1980s, the court was told.
In 2017, the ISN facilitated an interview between the Met and one of his victims as part of operation Winter Key, an investigation into historic child sexual abuse cases.
Dr Davies says she heard nothing back for months and then followed up with an email in 2018.
She added: “In March 2018 they [the Met] told us that their intel couldn’t find Lamb but we then gave them his address which we had found online.
“We asked whether the information had been shared with Islington and Yorkshire Local Authority Designated Officers responsible for the Children’s Workforce in order to assess the risk if he was still in contact with children.
“We heard no more until Humberside Police contacted us last year.”
The ISN intends to submit a formal complaint to the Met. Lamb was sentenced on Friday to 17-and-a-half years in prison after being found guilty of 19 non-recent sexual offences.
Islington Council has set up a payment scheme which could see people who suffered abuse in its care between 1966 and 1995 receive up to £8,000.
Dr Davies said: “Islington Survivors Network is delighted that at last this serial abuser [Lamb] has been brought to justice, and glad to have helped police in their investigations, both in London and Hull.
“We are however deeply angry that Lamb was only able to abuse children across Britain for so long because in Islington, where he abused children long before Hull, council and social services covered up the vile abuse in its children’s homes.
“For decades it protected the many paedophiles who ran or worked in its homes, or, like Lamb, were allowed freely to visit them and prey on the children there.”
The Tribune put all of Dr Davies’ accusations to the police.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “At this stage, we are currently unable to say if this information was acted upon by officers from the Met.”
A Humberside Police spokeswoman said: “A non-recent allegation of sexual assault was made to Humberside Police during an investigation leading to the arrest of Paul Kenneth Lamb in 2019. Details of the Met Police Service investigation were received via Operation Hydrant, and contact with the victim in London was made.”
Islington Council leader Richard Watts said: “Abuse of children in Islington’s care homes was the worst chapter in the council’s history, and we are deeply sorry for the council’s past failure to protect vulnerable children.
“We strongly believe any new allegations or evidence of crime relating to non-recent child abuse should be reported to the police, so prosecutions can be successfully brought.” He added: “The council today is a very different organisation from in the 1960s-1990s, and today protecting children from harm is its top priority.”