Above, Council boss, Joanna Simmons.
The council boss whose staff failed scores of girls abused by a sex grooming gang is in line for a payoff worth nearly £600,000.
The bumper redundancy package for Joanna Simons has been drawn up on the eve of a scathing report into the paedophile scandal.
Officials insist the 55-year-old chief executive is leaving Oxfordshire County Council for cost-cutting reasons. But there is anger from victims that the deal will allow Miss Simons to dodge any blame.
Catastrophic failings by the police and social workers meant the abuse carried on for years. In a further development, the chief constable whose force will be lambasted in the same report has been promoted to a new £185,000 a year job.
Sara Thornton will step down next month as head of Thames Valley Police – after eight years in charge – to lead the new National Police Chiefs Council.
Like Miss Simons, the 52-year-old refused to resign two years ago despite the failings of her officers in the Oxford sex grooming case.
Police failed to act even though victims had repeatedly told officers they'd been raped or abused. Staff at care homes would simply watch while the girls went missing at night with men.
Five of the victims were even abused while in the care of social services. The Mail has learned the serious case review report out next month will highlight appalling blunders, including how:
- Police missed several chances to stop the sex gang's six-year reign of terror;
- Officers failed to spot that a vulnerable girl was being abused even after she vanished from a children's home more than 100 times;
- Health workers sent underage victims away with contraceptives when they came to them with sexually transmitted diseases;
- Social workers and teachers did not bother to investigate what had happened to victims after they had been excluded from school.
A witness in the trial, who grew up in care with girls who were abused, said: 'The officers and officials did not protect us and now those who were in charge of them have walked out the door.
'They know that by walking out they haven't got to answer any questions. How are they able to take responsibility if they no longer work for them?'
Miss Simons is due to leave her £186,000-a-year role at the council in June with a £151,000 severance payment and a pension package worth £423,000.
She has been in her post for ten years. Council documents say her severance payment is line with its redundancy policy, and the early payment of the pension is a contractual requirement.
The victim, who is now a mother of one, said the council should carry the most blame for the scandal, making Miss Simons' departure 'very suspicious'.
She said Miss Thornton had apologised to her family in person on behalf of police, but she was still waiting for a proper apology from the council.
Labour Oxford East MP Andrew Smith said the victims were 'let down terribly' and deserved a full explanation for why things went wrong. 'If the serious case review fails to do that, there will need to be a public enquiry,' he added.
Thames Valley Police's investigation into the child sex ring led to an Old Bailey trial in 2013 which saw seven men being jailed for a total of 95 years for crimes including arranging child prostitution, sex trafficking and child rape. He has a nerve, after all his beloved Labour Party is infested with Paedophiles and child rapists.
Three more men have since been convicted for child sex exploitation crimes linked to the case. A man was convicted last month of sexually exploiting girls in Oxford as far back as 1996.
Citing 'data protection' laws, a council spokesman declined to say whether it had paid compensation to any victims.
A Thames Valley Police spokesman said: 'Sara Thornton applied for the position of chair for the National Police Chiefs Council and was offered the position in November last year.
Sara will take up her new post on April 1 when the NPCC formally replaces the Association of Chief Police Officers as the body responsible for influencing policing at a national level.'
A similar abuse scandal in Rotherham has led to a string of senior resignations including that of former police and crime commissioner Shaun Wright, council leader Roger Stone and chief executive Martin Kimber.
This month the entire council cabinet resigned when another report revealed the authority was 'not fit for purpose'.
The report into the Oxford child sex ring scandal is expected to throw the book at police, social workers, teachers and NHS staff.
The Crown Prosecution Service is also expected to be criticised. All the victims were known to social services and five were living in council care while they were repeatedly raped and sold for sex.
Police and social services had several warnings about the activities of a group of men in Oxford as far back as 2006, including at least six complaints from victims.
But no one linked the intelligence together and there were no successful prosecutions. Detectives now believe there could be more than 50 victims of the gang.
One source, who has knowledge of the report due to be published in a fortnight, said: ‘It will make very uncomfortable reading for police and social services, who didn’t deal properly with out-of-control girls who were repeatedly abused. One of the victims went missing from a children’s home on more than 100 occasions, but police who picked her up on the streets did not ask questions or act on any suspicions.’
One private children’s home was charging Oxfordshire county council an average of £3,500 a week, yet two victims living there would go missing for days on end.
Social workers at the home in Henley were told by a girl in 2006 that she was having sex in exchange for alcohol and she was also taking cocaine. Another girl told them she was having sex with men she was afraid of. When will the British people understand that the WHOLE Establishment is infested with PEADOPHILES, CHILD RAPISTS & SEXUAL DEVIANTS. Our children are precious to our survival, but the Marxist politicians and the Marxist Councillors only see our children as easy meat. Its time to take a stand.