Sunbury foster carers of Parsons Green bomber sue Surrey County Council

March 8, 2019
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The foster carers of the Parsons Green bomber are taking legal action against Surrey County Council claiming the authority did not disclose key information about him.

Iraqi teenager Ahmed Hassan, who pretended to engage with the anti-terrorism Prevent scheme as he plotted mass murder in London, was sentenced to life with a minimum term of 34 years after he was convicted of attempted murder at the Old Bailey in March 2018.

The asylum seeker’s foster parents Penny and Ron Jones, who were awarded MBEs in 2010, are now suing the county council, claiming it presented him “merely as a troubled young person” and did not disclose key information about the danger he posed.

Mr and Mrs Jones, who live in Sunbury and fostered 269 children in 47 years, say they have been “betrayed” and “hung out to dry” by the county council as they have not been asked to foster any more children since Hassan’s arrest.

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Mrs Jones, 72, said: “We want to make sure that no other foster carers are ever treated like we have been.”

The couple are claiming that the council was negligent in not telling them the full story about Hassan’s past and that they breached their right to family life as protected under the Human Rights Act.

Mrs Jones said: “They told me that he had tried to kill himself and would only be released if he was fostered into a stable home so we took him in.

“On the surface he was a lovely boy. He wouldn’t let Ron mow the lawn and he would always carry the shopping in from the car. So when it came out he was building a bomb in our home it was a real shock.”

Ahmed Hassan, Parsons Green Tube bomber
(Image: Metropolitan Police)

Mr Jones said: “We were told that the amount of explosives he had was enough to blow up this entire block of six houses. It’s terrifying.”

Mrs Jones added: “When Ahmed’s trial was going on, I was asked if I knew if he had said he was trained to kill by ISIS and I said no, we would never have taken him if we’d known.

“Caring for kids was my life and now this has been taken away from us.”

Hassan, now 19, had made a bomb with 400g of “Mother of Satan” explosives and 2.2kg of shrapnel in their home while the unsuspecting couple were on holiday in Blackpool. The bomb injured 51 passengers on September 15 2017.

His trial heard that he had arrived in Britain illegally in 2015 and told officials he had trained with Islamic State.

Ron and Penny Jones receiving their MBEs from the Queen in 2010.
(Image: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire)

Jocelyn Cockburn, a specialist civil liberties solicitor from Hodge Jones Allen, who represents Mr and Mrs Jones, said: “Surrey County Council owed Penny and Ron a duty to disclose key information about the danger Ahmed posted, and to ensure any information given was accurate, before asking them to invite him into their home.

“Instead he was presented merely as a troubled young person. This is a clear failing by the council and gives rise to claims in negligence and under the Human Rights Act 1998.

“Had the appropriate disclosure been made, Penny and Ron would not have agreed to foster Ahmed and accordingly not have suffered the distress and other difficulties they have endured.”

Hassan placed his bomb inside this bucket, but it failed to detonate properly
(Image: PA)

A Surrey County Council spokesman said: “We are defending this claim, however we acknowledge this has been a very difficult time for Mr and Mrs Jones and their family.

“We place a high value on openness with all our foster carers, share information about any risks with them from the outset and continue to keep them informed. This was our approach with Mr and Mrs Jones.”

Mr and Mrs Jones are raising money for a legal fighting fund to help pay for their legal action on www.crowdjustice.com.

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Article source: https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/sunbury-foster-carers-parsons-green-15941212


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