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Data breach: Hackney Council hands domestic abuse survivor’s new address to perpetrator’s mother

PUBLISHED: 09:34 09 November 2017 | UPDATED: 14:48 09 November 2017

Hackney Town Hall. Picture: Ken Mears

Hackney Town Hall. Picture: Ken Mears

Archant

A man tasked with safeguarding children at Hackney Council sent the new address of a domestic abuse survivor to the mother of the monster who tried to burn down her home - putting her and her children’s lives at risk.

Bungling bureaucrat Jeffrey Baker committed the horrific data breach in May 2014 following a meeting with the victim’s mother, who he confused with the mother of the abuser.

Months later Mr Baker, independent chair of the safeguarding reviewing unit, confessed to the unbelievable mishap, writing to the woman – who cannot be named: “I explained (to you on the phone) that when I saw ‘grandmother’ I thought the minutes were being sent to your mother, whom I remembered had been present at the conference.”

He acknowledged the victim was “understandably quite upset”, but three years down the line she and her children are still living in the property in constant fear.

The woman had been rehoused in Hackney after her ex was convicted of arson in 2014 for trying to burn down her home on the Isle of Dogs. Tower Hamlets Council had never seen “such a severe case”, according to the survivor. He also tried to rape her, ripped her clothes off her in the street, smashed her car and broke into her home.

Although the perpetrator’s mother was told to sign a confidentiality agreement, the woman believes she may well have told her son her whereabouts and that he may have turned up at her new home despite an injunction.

She told the Gazette: “I’ve been taking medication ever since – I’m petrified. I fear for my life. I had a breakdown because of the worry. He could have come and killed me and the children.

“Since then my house has been burgled a couple of times, and if I stay there people are banging on the door.

“Social services have failed my family deeply. They were meant to safeguard us but we don’t know if we are coming or going.”

She claims the only options the council has offered her are to “move up north” or to into temporary accommodation – but she wants to remain in London and does not want to give up her sole tenancy.

A spokesman for the council said Mr Baker no longer worked there, adding: “This is a complex case and we have apologised for the breach of data that occurred at the time, following which a number of steps were taken to mitigate the risk and several housing options have also been offered since it happened.

“We are meeting with her to go through all of the available options.”

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