Social Services Stole Our Children from Us ; Reunited: Tim and Gina Williams Yesterday in Cardiff, with Children Ieuan, Courtney and Zara

Article excerpt

Byline: Andy Dolan

A COUPLE whose children were taken away for two years after a false accusation of sexual abuse have been awarded a six-figure compensation payout.

Tim and Gina Williamss three young children were placed in separate foster homes after social workers wrongly suspected them.

Their ordeal began in May 2004, when Mr Williams discovered a semi-naked 11-year-old boy on top of his daughter, Courtney, then five, following a neigh-bourhood paddling pool party.

He called police, but a medical examination resulted in social services stepping in, after a doctor claimed that the child had been the victim of abuse by an adult.

As a result, social services judged Mr and Mrs Williams could both pose a potential risk to Courtney and her siblings Zara and Ieuan. In August 2004 the children were taken away.

Their parents were allowed just two 90-minute, supervised visits a week.

But two years ago, the family, from Newport, South Wales, were reunited after a judge exonerated the parents. The case collapsed a week before a final court hearing, after the family consulted a U.S. expert who found no suggestion of any sexual abuse. A UK doctor agreed and the original doctor who had examined Courtney then accepted their findings.

Newport council asked for the case tobe dropped and the children were returned to their parents in September 2006.

The couple then began a compensation battle against Newport council and Gwent Healthcare NHS Trust.

And yesterday they were awarded an undisclosed sum in an agreed settlement at the High Court in Cardiff.

Afterwards their QC Robin Tolson said: The effect of what happened will continue to be felt for a long time. …