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Foster carers to sue Surrey Council over Parsons Green bomber

A couple who have been foster carers for 47 years are taking legal action against Surrey Council after they placed a child with the couple who made a bomb and left it at Parsons Green station.

Penny and Ron Jones, who have fostered 269 children for the council and been awarded MBEs for their services, claim Surrey County Council did not tell us that they knew he was 'trained to kill by ISIS'.

On the 15th Sept 2017, Ahmed Hassan left a bomb on the tube at Parsons Green station which the couple say he had built in their house while they were away. The bomb partially exploded injuring 51 people on the tube.

The 18-year-old was found guilty of attempted murder, jailed for life ordered to serve a minimum of 34 years.

In a statement, the couple said: "The day after the bombing, we were watching a game of darts on the telly when suddenly we had a phone call saying ‘this is the police, you are surrounded by armed police. Put everything down and leave the house now’. I looked up and there was a police officer pointing a gun through the window."

"This was the start of a year of hell. We were not allowed to return to our house for weeks, not allowed to foster again and had our only income taken away from us," the statement added.

The couple say they took Ahmed into their house on the understanding that he had been captured by ISIS but he had escaped. Surrey County Council told them that he had tried to kill himself and would only be released if he was fostered into a stable home.

However, the couple say Surrey County Council did not tell them that they knew he was 'trained to kill by ISIS'.

"We believe the council was negligent in not telling us the full story about Hassan's ISIS past and that they have breached our right to family life under the Human Rights Act," said the couple.

Mr and Mrs Jones have instructed Jocelyn Cockburn, a specialist civil rights solicitors and partner at Hodge Jones and Allen, to fight their case. They have launched a crowdfunding campaign on Crowd Justice in a bid to raise funds of over £8000 to cover the insurance premium for the legal case.

"We feel like we have given up our lives to Surrey to foster kids and they have turned around and betrayed us. We have been scapegoated and hung out to dry for somebody else’s mistakes," said Mr and Mrs Jones.

"We want to make sure that no other foster carers are ever treated like we have been. This is about more than just our case, foster carer workers are misinformed every day by their local authorities. We believe in the transformative power of foster care. But to be done right it must be supportive to those of us who open our homes to children," they added.

A Surrey County Council spokesman said: "We are defending this claim. However, we acknowledge this has been a very difficult time for Mr and Mrs Jones and their family.

"We place a high value on openness with all our foster carers, share information about any risks with them from the outset and continue to keep them informed. This was our approach with Mr and Mrs Jones."

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