Cleveland `tip of an iceberg'

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The Independent Online
A key figure in the Cleveland abuse crisis said children caught up in it were "the tip of the iceberg". Sue Richardson, Cleveland County Council's child-abuse consultant at the time, was speaking at a conference yesterday marking its tenth anniversary.

Most of the 121 children diagnosed as abuse victims by Middlesbrough General Hospital doctors and taken into care were eventually allowed home, which organisers of the conference still regard as a mistake.

The diagnoses were by doctors Marietta Higgs and Geoffrey Wyatt, who, with Mrs Richardson, were criticised over their roles. Mrs Richardson said: "The figure of 121 was just the tip of the iceberg out of a population of 500,000. It is impossible to say how many more children there might have been."

- Glenda Cooper