Charity patron admits errors over boy's care

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A LABOUR peer who is patron of a charity that sent a young offender to a holiday camp as part of a therapeutic programme, and then moved him to a farmhouse after he was caught stealing has admitted that serious mistakes were made, writes Rosie Waterhouse.

Lord Ennals, a former health secretary, said he had asked for a report from staff at the Hartsdene Trust in Stevenage, Hertfordshire.

The 14-year-old boy, who admitted burglary after he was arrested in March and was put under a one-year supervision order, was in the care of Essex social services, which sent him to Hartsdene for specialist treatment.

The council ordered an internal inquiry after news broke of the burglary spree at the pounds 430-a-week Center Parcs complex in Suffolk where he was staying with supervisors. Yesterday, it was revealed that the boy was then booked into a holiday farmhouse.