Social worker 'failed to safeguard victims' in Rochdale

Deborah MacQueen, who worked for the Rochdale council, is accused of failing to safeguard young victims who were groomed by the Rochdale child sex abuse gang

Deborah MacQueen, who worked for the Rochdale council, is accused of failing to safeguard young victims who were groomed by the Rochdale child sex abuse gang

A social worker is accused of failing to safeguard young victims who were groomed by the Rochdale child sex abuse gang.

Deborah MacQueen, who worked for the Rochdale council, is also alleged to have closed their cases prematurely.

Nine Asian men from Rochdale and Oldham were convicted and jailed for a total of 70 years in 2012 for a string of offences including rape and conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child.

Between 2005 and 2008, the group plied victims, who were as young as 13, with drink and drugs before they were 'passed around' for sex.

Of the nine men convicted over the scandal in 2012, only Shabir Ahmed, 64, who was caged for 22 years, and Mohammed Sajid, 40, who was jailed for 12 years, remain behind bars.  

Police believe there could have been as many as 47 victims. 

A subsequent investigation was carried out by the council to determine whether proper procedures had been followed.

Ms MacQueen was a manager in the council's social work team, the panel heard.

She admitted deciding that 'child one' was not at risk of continuing harm without considering her learning disability or her mother's ability to protect her due to her alcohol problem.

She also admitted allowing the case to be closed without making sure specialist intervention was in place for the vulnerable girl. 

Ms MacQueen also admitted allowing the cases of three other children, known as 'child two', 'five' and 'eight', to be closed despite information that they were at risk of harm or sexual exploitation. 

The social worker acknowledged she failed to undertake or organise an assessment of the risk posed by another child's uncle and his son, whom the youngster was living with.

She denied allegations of misconduct or incompetence relating to seven other victims.

She further denies her fitness to practice is impaired by reason of

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