My adoptive dad abused me for years but social workers ignored my complaints because he’s gay
- Andy Cannon, 23, was sexually abused by his gay adoptive parents
- Wakefield social services failed to act despite his repeated complaints
- Branded him an ‘unruly child’ and father David Cannon a ‘very caring parent’
- David and partner John Scarfe eventually jailed for child sex abuse in 2006
- Report slams authority for ‘folly and gross misjudgement’
Redeana Hammill) was sexually abused by his adoptive gay parents but his
complaints to social workers were ignored
A boy sexually abused by his adoptive father and his gay partner was labelled an ‘unruly child’ by social workers who ignored his complaints for years, a damning report has revealed.
sent Andy Cannon, now 23, back to the couple’s home despite his
protests of abuse, praising the gay man who adopted him as a ‘very
accuses Wakefield social services, in Yorkshire, of ‘folly and gross
misjudgment’. Mr Cannon, who was wrongly diagnosed with mental disorders
and prescribed anti-psychotic drugs, believes he would have been
listened to sooner if his adoptive father wasn’t gay.
case ended last year, after half a decade of legal wrangling, when a
court ordered a £25,000 compensation payment to Mr Cannon.
Mr Cannon, who now has two children with girlfriend Redeana Hammill, was adopted by David Cannon in 1997.
and his mother, Elaine Moss, repeatedly complained to social workers
about the abuse. In 2004, he was returned to Cannon’s care nine days
after running away and making a complaint about him.
54, and his 31-year-old partner John Scarfe were each jailed for 30
months in May 2006 for inciting sexual activity with a child.
Cannon said: ‘I believe if my adoptive dad was in a heterosexual
relationship then my complaints would have been listened to earlier.
‘It seems the council didn’t want to
be seen as victimising gay people – they would rather look politically
correct and let them get away with it to avoid any repercussions.
‘The council should have been
there to prevent this from happening but they would rather just sweep it
under the carpet.’ The report, conducted for Dewsbury County Court by a
child welfare specialist, detailed how Cannon was allowed to adopt the
boy, despite his mother accusing him of abuse at the time.
social worker failed to report the allegations to a family court and
instead called Cannon ‘a very caring parent who considered his
Cannon, who has waived his right to anonymity, said: ‘When I told social
workers they didn’t believe me. When I got home from school, if my dad
was wound up by something I would pay for it with a beating. Then later
on he would sexually abuse me.
never really had nightmares because I completely switched off from it
all – although I get nightmares now. I let it happen and thought that
one of two things would happen. Either I’d manage to get away or they’d
has apologised to Mr Cannon. A spokesman said: ‘We are working with
Andy to make sure that in making this apology we deal with all the
concerns he has raised.
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