Parents fear for sex offender son who’s been left to live alone

Colin and Linda Parkin are at their wits end after social services have deemed their son Keith capable of looking after himself despite him having a mental age of 10.
Colin and Linda Parkin are at their wits end after social services have deemed their son Keith capable of looking after himself despite him having a mental age of 10.

The family of a sex offender say they fear he will hurt someone else or himself because social workers have deemed him capable of living on his own.

Keith Parkin, 28, has committed a string of offences since being moved out of a specialist unit where he received 24-hour care for seven years.

Keith Parkin has a mental age of 10.

Keith Parkin has a mental age of 10.

His family say he has always struggled with everyday life, has a mental age of 10, has been diagnosed with Impulsive Disorder and is incapable of controlling his own behaviour.

Parkin is remanded in custody after admitting groping a woman.

Magistrates took the decision after social services and the probation service couldn’t find a place for him to live.

His family say his crime spree – which includes hoax 999 calls, arson and sending a naked picture of himself to a woman he knew through a mutual friend – began when social workers in South Tyneside ruled he no longer needed the support he was receiving at Huntercombe House, in Peterlee, and he was moved to another unit where he has more freedom to come and go.

Keith Parkin, leaving South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

Keith Parkin, leaving South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

A spokeswoman for South Tyneside council said it did not comment on specific cases.

His mother, Linda Parkin, said his behaviour went downhill after he was left to his own devices.

She said: “They are just not listening to us. They are talking about Keith living independently, but he has tried that and it hasn’t worked. He needs 24-hour care.

“He’s constantly ringing the police, fire service and getting himself in trouble. We are terrified he is going to either hurt himself or someone else with his actions.”

She added: “When I told them he was due in court again, I was told that they now feel as though he has been hiding behind his disability for too long. What is that supposed to mean?  

“We just feel, because this is a complicated case, they don’t want to know.

“When Keith was moved out of Huntercombe House we told them he wouldn’t be able to cope. Even a psychiatrist said he needed more care than the social workers were saying he needed. But they moved him out anyway.

“Keith is a grown man with a mental age of 10, he has no concept of money or how to look after himself. At Huntercombe he had round- the-clock care and if he went out, he had a carer with him.”

His father Colin Parkin added: “The first social worker says he has capability but we know he hasn’t. He just wanders the streets and just stands watching people. He has no understanding of consequences.

“Now one of our worst fears has come true. He is now in prison, yet still we are getting nowhere with social services.”

Keith Parkin was adopted by the couple as a baby.

He had previously suffered a head injury before he was taken into their care and was unable to walk until he was four years old and had no concept of danger.

He was educated in the town’s special schools and has a low IQ.

The family say social workers now believe his residency at a unit in South Tyneside is not working and are now looking to put him in his own place.

Keith’s brother Simon said: “We’ve been told they are going to have a meeting about getting him his own place but neither Keith or either of my parents are invited.

“He has been in trouble with the police in the last few weeks again. He’s just getting worse and they want him living on his own.

“It is really starting to affect my mam and dad. No one seems to listening to them.”

A spokeswoman for South Tyneside Council said: “The safeguarding of vulnerable adults is a key priority for us and we will continue to work with our partners to ensure they receive the appropriate care they need.

“However, it would be inappropriate to comment on individual cases.”