A man who says he was repeatedly sexually propositioned by a social worker as a teenager has expressed annoyance after police dropped his case, saying they couldn’t identify the woman.

Keith Hinchliffe accused the Metropolitan Police Service of carrying out a lacklustre investigation and said he has since heard that others have previously filed criminal complaints about the same woman.

He also described Richmond Council’s response to his allegations as “shocking”, saying that when he informed the authority of his abuse, he received legal letters warning him against suing.

Keith, who has waived his right to anonymity, reported to police in 2020 that he was targeted by two paedophiles in the 1980s.

“I spent a lot of time toying with the idea and what the impacts might be to people around me,” he said.

“But I thought, I’ve got to do it. I’ve got to make sure this comes out… I can’t keep this with me forever.”

The male paedophile who abused him, Philip John Saunders (67, of Queens Road, Aylesham), was prosecuted last year and jailed for six years after a Thames Valley Police investigation.

The judge described Keith as “an immensely impressive witness; honest, reasonable and composed”.


But the Richmond Council social worker Keith says repeatedly propositioned him in the 1980s remains at large.

“She made it very clear that she was attracted to me,” he alleged, adding that she offered to write beneficial reports about him if he would sleep with her.

The Met confirmed it was contacted in May 2020 about the alleged incidents, but no suspect was identified so the case was closed.

“I did two two-hour interviews with them and it took them a year to come back and say they weren’t taking any further action,” Keith complained.

His case was given to a PC, he said, not a detective.

“In my view, he wasn’t equipped,” Keith continued. “Every time I tried to contact him, he was either out of the office, on a training course or something else.

“After I spoke to the council, I found out he didn’t even ask for staff records.”

Contacted by this newspaper, the Met has insisted it had conducted “extensive enquiries” but could not trace the suspect.

Your Local Guardian: Keith Hinchliffe reported the incidents involving the Richmond social worker to police in 2020, but they said they couldn't identify herKeith Hinchliffe reported the incidents involving the Richmond social worker to police in 2020, but they said they couldn't identify her (Image: Keith Hinchliffe)

Grafton Close

Keith said he subsequently wrote to Richmond Council to complain about the social worker’s sexual advances.

He had come to the attention of social services when he began misbehaving and truanting in response to his abuse by Saunders – his older sister’s boyfriend, who molested him for several years.

He also complained that his abuse by Saunders continued even in a Richmond Council care home he briefly stayed in.

Keith spent around six weeks in Grafton Close, Hounslow, and said Saunders was able to collect him for days out, during which he abused Keith.

Saunders’ trial last year heard he used threats and violence to stop Keith reporting the abuse.

“He should never have had access to me,” Keith said of his time at Grafton. “He wasn’t a family member.”

After writing to the council, he said, he received legal letters saying any lawsuit would be without merit.

“They just fire solicitors’ letters at you,” he said.


The council asked him for the date of birth and national insurance number of the social worker who propositioned him – information he said it was unreasonable to expect him to possess.

“It’s something I’ve harboured for so long," he said. "I thought once I divulged it, something would have to be done about it - but it wasn’t and it was really disappointing.

“I’m going public and waiving my anonymity to highlight that this went on and this is how the council deal with it.

“In my view, if someone reports this to the council, they should be looking into it. But they just ignore it and get solicitors to deal with it. And that’s shocking. It’s extraordinary.

“All they’re doing is protecting the name of the council. They’re protecting their own jobs, if you like… They don’t want it highlighted.”

Approached for comment, Richmond Council said it was “unable to comment on ongoing individual claims".

However, Keith said that while he is considering legal action, there is presently no such claim.  

“It’s starting, to me, to look like a cover-up,” he said.

The council said its current child protection procedures involved “rigorous checks and controls".