Pembrokeshire paedophile apology call for whistleblower

Pembrokeshire paedophile apology call for whistleblower

Michael John Smith, aka Mik SmithImage copyrightDYFED-POWYS POLICE
Image captionMichael “Mik” Smith was jailed for six years in 2014 after being convicted of child sexual offences

A whistleblower who was sacked after raising concerns about a youth worker who was later jailed for child sex abuse should be given an apology, a council report has said.

Pembrokeshire council sacked Mik Smith in 2012 but he went on to abuse a boy two years later and was jailed in 2014.

Sue Thomas raised concerns about Smith in 2005 and was later sacked.

report to cabinet recommends offering her an unreserved apology as well as a payment by the council.

It also asked it to consider whether the legacy of her contribution to whistleblowing and the protection of children should be marked.

Another recommendation suggested making the one-off payment, but legal advice given to the cabinet said the council did not have the power to do that.

Smith, from Haverfordwest, was employed as a youth worker between 2001 and 2012 and was dismissed for gross misconduct on an unrelated matter.

He was jailed for six years after admitting sexually assaulting a child under the age of 13, inciting the child to engage in sexual activity and taking indecent photographs of a child.

He also admitted possessing 1,136 indecent images of children.

Sue Thomas
Image captionSue Thomas raised concerns about paedophile Smith nine years before he was jailed

Ms Thomas raised the alarm about Smith – her line manager – in April 2005.

She invoked the council’s whistleblowing policy, citing several concerns and those also raised by “other named youth workers” about his inappropriate conduct towards young boys.

However, following a disciplinary meeting, Smith continued in his role.

A report to the council in 2014 examining its actions found “the disciplinary sanction and actions were wholly inappropriate to the findings” even though there were no direct allegations of sexual abuse.

Ms Thomas later emailed the chief executive and the director of education in November 2005 about her complaint.

The new report said the reply was “dismissive” and taken to be “one of a personal nature about her relationships with others in her team”.

The report added: “The mischaracterisation of her complaint culminated in her dismissal as ‘being incapable of undertaking the duties of her post’, however, our view is that having done the right thing as a whistle blower, she was forced out of the authority whilst Mik Smith continued in his role.”

A report published in 2015 showed Smith was almost approved to become a foster carer in 2010 after his line manager failed to highlight concerns relating to his employment.

All ten recommendations of the report are due to be discussed by Pembrokeshire’s cabinet on Monday.

More on this story

  • Inquiry into child abuse ex Pembrokeshire youth worker to start
    14 May 2018
  • Report on child-abuse ex-youth worker to be published
    12 June 2017
  • Fears over paedophile Mik Smith date back 10 years
    15 July 2014
  • Video Mik Smith report in public interest, says councillor
    12 June 2017
  • Former youth worker Michael Smith jailed for abuse
    1 July 2014
  • Video Children’s commissioner to look at Pembrokeshire abuser case
    15 July 2014

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