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Waterhouse – Anniversary of an injustice

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Saturday will therefore mark the third anniversary of the Waterhouse Report “Lost in Care”. It is an anniversary whose significance needs to be pondered on. The appearance of the report was the occasion for massive press coverage, with nearly all national newspapers giving the story most of their front page and many inside pages as well. The bleak one-word headline of the Daily Mail’s front page on 16 February 2000 was BETRAYAL. Over a photograph of four very young children, the newspaper printed the following ‘strap’: ‘These four brothers were horrifically abused in care. Two were to die in torment. Yesterday an inquiry concluded that, in all, 650 children – appallingly let down by social workers – were victims of Britain’s worst-ever paedophile scandal … and that 40 of the monsters are still at large.’

Richard Webster