Dad was expected to file returns under the Direct Payments scheme with receipts for each ‘carer’ paid. Unfortunately, it appears that he didn’t make these receipts out in their real names, perhaps reflecting the fact that they weren’t being paid for genuine care work. Like you, we certainly expected there to be some sort of registration process at least, but by the time a Serious Case Review was published by the County Council in 2011 – after my trial – it became clear that they didn’t have even so much as a phone number to go by.
“There is no obligation for local authorities to have the contact details of Personal Assistants employed by Direct Payments Recipients.”
Sami’s “Personal Assistants should have been paying National Insurance contributions, tax and public liability insurance. Information about these matters would have allowed the police to trace them….People’s Voices did not operate a payroll system. Their paperwork only indicates that (Sami’s) Personal Assistants were self employed.”
Dad gave his employees copies of the house keys so that they could come and go freely, recruiting them through local advertising and word of mouth for periods when I was away from home.
“We were aware care workers did go to the house on a weekly basis” WP
“Sami mentioned he had hired ‘home help’ but found out she was listening at the door to his conversations, so he sacked her. He never mentioned her name” JP
None of these workers came forward to the police, so they could never be formally eliminated from the investigation. As the CPS noted in their formal admissions at trial, “further identities of others who may have been in contact with Sami have not been established.” Despite this, we have been able to identify one of the carers who worked for Sami, so we will be approaching them for questioning shortly. I really hope we can encourage others to come forward who may have been reluctant to originally, or who may have felt they had nothing to offer at the time. This would make a huge difference to our efforts today.