Mum of teenager killed by asylum seeker slams social service for failings

VICTIM: Samantha Sykes
VICTIM: Samantha Sykes

WAKEFIELD Social Services have been slammed by the mum of one of murderer Ahmad Otak’s victims.

Julie Sykes, mum of murdered Samantha Sykes, believes her daughter and her friend Kimberley Frank could still be alive if they had been given appropriate levels of protection and support from social services.

Mrs Sykes, spoke out after seeing Otak jailed for life for killing her daughter Samatha Sykes, 18 and Kimberley Frank, 17, in a frenzied knife attack in Barden Road, Eastmoor on March 9.

Otak, an Afghani national had applied for asylum back in 2007 and was placed in a children’s home in Kinsley, telling the authorities he was just 16.

During his time in the care home he met Kimberley’s older sister Elisa 19.

Otak and Elisa later had a relationship.

He had told her he was 20 when he had arrived here from Afghanistan.

Leeds Crown Court heard he lied about his age thinking he stood more of a chance of being granted asylum if he was a youth rather than an adult.

But when Elisa finally found the strength to leave the violent relationship with Otak he took his sadistic revenge forcing her to watch him kill both her sister Kim and friend Samantha.

After the hearing Mrs Sykes, said: “It is our strong belief that Wakefield Children’s Social Care failed our daughter by not providing the appropriate level of protection and support for Kimberley and her sister (Elisa). Had appropriate levels of protection and support been in place we believe that both Kimberley and Samantha might still be alive today.

“Their murderer had previously entered this country claiming to be a child where he was subsequently placed with some of society’s most vulnerable children.

“Both Samantha and Kimberley believed him to be 26 years-of-age.

“Although the tragic outcome of this case is unusual, sadly the failure of services to adequately look after children within the care system is not.

“Unfortunately most of the tragic life stories of children who have been subject to the care system go unheard.

“As a looked after child, we feel that Kimberley was both incredibly vulnerable and invisible, but she was not invisible to our daughter who saw her for the beautiful, compassionate person that she was, someone who had so much potential.”

Kimberely and Samantha had been childhood friends.

Mrs Sykes also spoke about the devastating impact the loss of her daughter, adding: “Since our beautiful daughter was taken from us our lives have been shattered.

“The immense pain that we feel is at times unbearable. As a mother I no longer feel whole, Samantha was such a huge personality, she filled our lives and our hearts.

“She was like a beautiful flower, she had just bloomed into a young woman with all her life ahead of her and was part way to realising her dream of becoming a successful model.

“We will never get over the fact we can no longer see or hear her, but she will be eternally loved by all those who were touched by her wonderful spirit.”