PEMBROKESHIRE County Council has offered its apologies to a whistleblower who lost her job after raising concerns about a youth worker later convicted of child sex crimes.

At today’s April 8 meeting of the county council’s Cabinet, members heard a report of a task and finish group, which stated it should also make a payment to the whistleblower, Sue Thomas, who first raised concerns about Mik Smith in 2005, a report says.

Cabinet members agreed to extend Mrs Thomas its gratitude for her public service, and offer an unreserved apology for the way she was treated, and to give a sum of £1,000 to a charity of Mrs Thomas’ choice.

The full report is now available to the public following a call by Cabinet member for Social Services Tessa Hodgson.

Smith was sacked by Pembrokeshire County Council in 2011 but went on to abuse a boy in 2013. He was jailed for six years in 2014.

Mrs Thomas had raised concerns about his behaviour around children years before, only to see them dismissed as a ‘clash of personalities’ by the former county council Chief Executive, Bryn Parry-Jones.

Smith was handed a verbal warning and Mrs Thomas was expected to return to work under Smith “despite clearly representing her accurate belief that he posed a threat to the welfare of children.”

A report for members stated: “The mischaracterisation of her complaint culminated in her dismissal as ‘being incapable of undertaking the duties of her post’ however, our view is that having done the right thing as a whistleblower, she was forced out of the authority while Mik Smith continued in his role.”

By the time Mrs Thomas was dismissed, another complaint about Smith had been raised by colleagues.

Yet Smith was handed a reference by the former head of the youth service and a confidential report obtained exclusively by the Western Telegraph later detailed how it was only luck that prevented him from becoming a foster carer.

Cabinet member for Social Services Tessa Hodgson said: “My greatest thanks go to Mrs Sue Thomas; her unwavering desire to protect children is a lesson to us all.”

Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning David Lloyd said: “I would like to pay a personal tribute to the whistleblower, and to Councillor Mike Stoddart [who was heavily involved in raising the issue of Mik Smith] , in bringing to light this shocking matter.”

He said the endured “character assassination over a prolonged period of time” made “the matter more shocking”.

However, members heard there had been criticism of the council’s human resources department, with a lack of clarity in some answers received and vague documentation provided, with Cabinet member Paul Miller describing some answers as “a bit evasive”.

Council Leader David Simpson said: “As the leader I’m extremely pleased to see this report produced.”

He later added: “I would like to offer a sincere apology to her for having to be engaging in this sensitive matter for such a prolonged period of time.”

The Cabinet, on behalf of the Authority, also approved a string of recommendations in the report aimed at improving safeguarding and reporting.