Sex offender obtains council staff details

According to the Dundee Courier, a predatory paedophile has won the right to obtain information about the possible criminal pasts of employees in Dundee City Council’s criminal justice social services department.

Joseph Millbank appealed to Scotland’s information commissioner after council officials refused access to the details because they were concerned that it could lead to the identification of individuals. Following an appeal the Information Commissioner, Kevin Dunion, found that the council had failed to comply with the requirements of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act.

He has now ordered the authority to release the information to Millbank, who is described by the Courier as a child molester who toured the country seeking young victims.
Millbank requested the informtion in September 2006. He wrote to the council requesting specific information relating to criminal convictions of criminal justice staff, including offences committed, the numbers involved and the range of positions held. A month later the council refused the request, claiming it was personal information and therefore exempt. That decision was then upheld by the council after carrying out a review.
The judgment stated that, given the number of employees who work for the relevant department, the Information Commissioner was satisfied that the information sought would not allow the identification of any specific individual. The Commissioner’s decision compels Dundee City Council to supply Millbank with the information requested within 45 days of receipt of the decision notice. It also sets out the right of an appeal to the Court of Session on a point of law only.

A city council spokesman said last night, “The city council is examining these findings and will be considering its position on the matter.”
Millbank, who lived in Luncarty, was originally sentenced to six years’ imprisonment for his crimes in 2002, to the anger of his victims’ families. Appeal judges later ruled that he should serve 10 years behind bars. Millbank (46) will also have to serve an additional 10-year sentence when he will be kept under supervision.
Millbank admitted a total of 16 indecency charges against girls in Perthshire, Dundee, Aberdeen and Inverness after he was caught in one of the largest child abuse investigations mounted by Scottish police. He created a library of paedophile pictures by manipulating young girls, aged between three and eight, to pose for him and he sexually molested some of the children.
A spokesman for the Information Commissioner said that cases were only considered in relation to whether the information was exempt under the legislation. In this case, he said, broad statistical information was being released which would not allow the identification of individuals within the department as it does not provide names.
Paedophile wins access to council staff details (Dundee Courier, 2 August 2007)