Call for release of rape attack report by Shipley MP

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Stephen Ayre Stephen Ayre

An MP lobbying the Justice Secretary hopes to get an update this week on whether a full report into a “barbaric” attack on a young boy will be made public.

Shipley MP Philip Davies met Chris Grayling at the end of last year to discuss the case of Stephen Ayre – a convicted murderer who raped a ten-year-old boy in 2006.

Ayre had been released from jail ten months earlier after serving 20 years of a 25-year sentence for murdering a woman in 1984.

In such cases a Serious Further Offence Review (SFO) is carried out by the Probation Service so lessons can be learned – though they are not routinely disclosed.

A summary of the report was shown to the boy’s family in 2008, but the father of the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said not seeing the full SFO Review felt “like a cover-up.”

He and Mr Davies have been pushing to get the review published in full.

The Conservative MP raised the issue with Mr Grayling in the House of Commons in November and the two later met to discuss it. He said: “I did meet with Chris Grayling. He was very sympathetic to the case I made and has gone away to discuss it with his officials. He told me that he would get back to me in the New Year.”

Mr Davies added that he would “chase up” Mr Grayling when Parliament reconvenes this week.

A month before the attack on the boy, Ayre, of Bingley Road, Shipley, could have been sent back to prison for being drunk and disorderly, but was instead given a conditional discharge. He said he attacked the boy because he wanted to be back to jail.

In November, the director of operations for the West Yorkshire Probation Trust said revealing the report without redaction “could jeopardise the way in which we carry out procedures to protect the public.”

The reviews are designed to help learn from the way a case is managed. In 2008, then Justice Secretary Jack Straw decided the complete report was not suitable for release as it had been written for those with professional experience and contained information about individuals.

The boy’s father has said he does not care if names are deleted, he just wants to know the circumstances of the attack.

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