3 February 2017

Jayne Ludlam, Executive Director for Children, Young People and Families, said: “We welcome the fact that today Roger Dodds has finally been brought to justice, after so many years.

“Our thoughts go out to his victims, whose bravery in coming forward has resulted in Dodds’ conviction and subsequent sentencing.

“We are deeply sorry that Dodds committed these offences while working at Sheffield City Council decades ago. We are glad to see that, finally, such cases of historic abuse are coming before the courts, justice is being done, and victims are having their voices heard.

“Despite the fact that this happened more than a quarter of a century ago, we have accepted responsibility and would never defend the indefensible.

“In 2008, a complaint of historic abuse was made to South Yorkshire Police regarding an ex-employee of Sheffield City Council. As a result, we at the council commissioned an in-depth, independent investigation into this allegation, which highlighted how things had happened at the council in the past.

“By 2008 major changes had already occurred in policies, practices and procedures both at the council and in wider society, but we needed to know if there was anything more that we could learn. This independent report made recommendations, all of which have been implemented fully.

“We tackle abuse head-on, provide care and support to victims, and do everything we can to ensure perpetrators are brought to justice.

“We urge all victims of sexual abuse to come forward as soon as possible so they can get the support they need and offenders can be brought to justice.”