Abuse victim to sue council which 'gave her' to fosterer with sex offence record
A WOMAN who was sexually abused by her foster father is to sue the council chiefs who put her in his care.
Sianne McLeod was 14 when she was placed in the care of William Alexander, a convicted sex offender.
Alexander, then 45, was allowed to foster children even though he had been convicted of lewd and libidinous practices against another girl 15 years earlier. The abuse began soon after Sianne moved into the home in Bridge of Don, Aberdeen.
Ms McLeod, now 25 and a mother of two, yesterday told how her life spiralled out of control after the abuse and how she turned to drugs to blot out the horrific memories.
Ms McLeod, who has waived her legal right to anonymity, said: "He ruined my life. He abused me every chance he got. He made me feel dirty and ashamed. I felt like I was worth nothing.
"The council gave me to him. I was a vulnerable child in their care and now they have to face up to what they have done. This should never be allowed to happen to anyone else again."
The former Harlaw Academy pupil was placed in a series of foster homes from the age of seven after being born to alcoholic, but loving, parents before she was placed with the convicted sex offender.
The abuse began just weeks after she was sent to live in Alexander's home. Her ordeal came to light in a chance conversation with a welfare rights worker after she had spiralled into self-loathing, heroin addiction and homelessness.
Ms McLeod, who has been clean of drugs for three years, said: "For years I never told anyone about what he did because I was afraid. The abuse carried on until I moved out.
"The [welfare rights worker] told me she was there for people who had been in care to complain to if they thought anything unfair had happened to them.
"It all came out there and then. She called the police and they interviewed me in 2005.
"Taking drugs helped me forget what happened. That's something I regret and still have trouble with every day. I'm hoping this will give me a new focus and help me get my life back on track. I know it's stupid, but I've been too scared to form a relationship with anybody in case I lose my children."
Alexander and his wife were approved as foster carers in 1994 despite the fact that he had been convicted of lewd, indecent and libidinous practices against a girl in 1979.
He went on to sexually assault two 14-year-old girls and one seven-year-old girl in his care between 1995 and 1997.
Alexander was jailed for three and a half years at Aberdeen Sheriff Court in April.
Ms McLeod said: "I am not doing this for compensation or for [people] to feel sorry for me. He should never have been able to foster.
"When he was sentenced I just felt numb. Three and a half years wasn't long enough. He should have got longer, but everybody knows what he is now and hopefully he'll never be able to work with children again."
Aberdeen City Council - which took over from Grampian Regional Council, the authority which registered Alexander, in 1996 - said although the council had been aware of his previous conviction it did not think he posed a risk.
A local authority spokesman said: "It would not be appropriate for us to comment when there is any possibility of legal action against us."
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