A CONVICTED paedophile was given custody of a young girl and later got her pregnant, despite the authorities knowing of his criminal past.

A shocking report commissioned by the Leeds Safeguarding Children Partnership has detailed failings which led to the victim, Ruby (not her real name), being sexually abused by her predator guardian over several years.

Although professionals had concerns about a court ruling allowing the man sole custody of Ruby, given his history of offending, they did not seek legal advice as they should have done, the report said.

The report’s independent author said there was an “overreliance” from the authorities on old assessments which concluded he posed a “relatively low risk to young girls”, even though he’d previously been convicted of multiple sexual offences against young children years earlier.

The report said the offender’s “appearance of co-operating” with assessments helped “allay concerns” and criticised a lack of “professional curiosity” for missing signs he may be dangerous.

At one point after gaining sole custody, he was arrested following an allegation he had indecent images on his computer, but was released without charge when no evidence was found.

The abuse was only uncovered when Ruby fell pregnant and tried to have a termination.

After she was referred to social services because she was below the age of consent, tests carried out later proved her legal guardian was the father.

Such was the extent of his grooming, the victim later told the review into her case that she initially didn’t recognise her treatment as abuse because it had “always” happened for as long as she could recall.

Her abuser threatened to kill himself if she told anyone about the abuse and Ruby told the review she believed he blocked social workers’ attempts to speak to her alone when they visited their home.

Shortly before the abuse was uncovered she tried to run away from home and knocked a stranger’s door “absolutely petrified”.

The report said: “Throughout the process of this review, neither the independent author nor the independent chair have heard from any professional who has not expressed concern regarding the decision

made in court.

“Yet, at the time, all trusted the assessment of risk that (the offender) could potentially pose and accepted the court decision.”

The Safeguarding Partnership is made up of representatives from Leeds City Council, West Yorkshrie Police and the local NHS.

Commenting on the report, the Partnership said: “We commissioned a fully independent child safeguarding practice review in relation to Ruby and the multi-agency services that she and her family received.

“Significant changes to systems and practice have been implemented as a result of the important learning achieved through the review, and other related multi-agency developments are underway that will result in further improvement.

“The Leeds Safeguarding Children Partnership Executive and the wider children and young people’s partnership are fully committed to continually reviewing how agencies in Leeds work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people in Leeds.”