Secrecy bid over case review of murdered mother, 17, scrapped

Rotherham Canal, where items belonging to Laura Wilson were found.
Rotherham Canal, where items belonging to Laura Wilson were found.
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MORE details have emerged of dealings by authorities with a murdered teenage mother they suspected was at serious risk of being groomed and used for sex.

A serious case review identified a series of missed chances to help Laura Wilson who was 17 when she was stabbed by her Asian lover in Rotherham in 2010.

Laura Wilson (below) was murdered by boyfriend Ashtiaq Asghar, 17

Laura Wilson (below) was murdered by boyfriend Ashtiaq Asghar, 17

Full details of the review have been revealed after Rotherham’s safeguarding children board abandoned High Court action against The Times, which had sought to publish parts of the review which had been withheld.

The climbdown came after Education Secretary Michael Gove intervened, accusing the safeguarding board of withholding “relevant and important material”.

New details include the fact Laura was mentioned during a 2009 police inquiry which led to the conviction of five Asian men for sex offences against three girls aged 13 to 16. Further information was also given about care professionals’ involvement with Laura from the age of 11 to 15.

The review, which made 37 recommendations, said Laura was involved with 15 different services in her life but her “needs were never fully met”. As early as 2007, there were fears she was “potentially putting herself at risk of sexual exploitation from older males”.

Laura Wilson

Laura Wilson

Yesterday Children’s Minister Tim Loughton said safeguarding reviews “should be published so the full facts are known and lessons can be learned to prevent mistakes being repeated and to stop similar tragedies in future”. “Nothing is gained from shying away from cultural issues in dealing with child sexual exploitation,” he added.

Alan Hazell, chairman of Rotherham’s safeguarding board, said it rejected “in the strongest possible terms” any suggestion information was withheld “for any reason other than to protect the privacy and welfare of Laura’s daughter and immediate family”.