A COUNTY-BASED housing developer has confirmed it always carries out DBS checks on staff prior to work where children are on site, after a convicted child molester was hired by another company.

Speller Metcalfe, which has its headquarters in Malvern, said it will also run background checks on operatives working on “any scheme requested by our clients.”

On Monday, we reported how William Davis Homes did not carry out checks on a handyman working on its Copcut Rise site in Droitwich.

Named by a resident as Nigel Knighton, the Crown Prosecution Service confirmed he was convicted of two sexual assaults in 2007, one of which was against a child.

Hired to carry out snagging jobs, Knighton had “unlimited” access to house keys across the WDH side of the estate, according to a resident, who did not wish to be named.

However, WDH confirmed, while it was not initially aware of Knighton’s “serious criminal record”, there is “no industry requirement to carry out background checks on workers.”

However, a spokeswoman added the incident “clearly highlighted the need to review recruitment practices and is an area WDH is in the process of addressing.”

A Speller Metcalfe spokeswoman said: “We take our responsibility towards members of the public and their safety extremely seriously.

“All our operatives are DBS checked prior to working on both educational projects or those where there are children on site, as well as any scheme requested by our clients.

“When a project has completed and we are on site undertaking any snagging works, particularly within housing, we are notified of any vulnerable occupants, which may include single parents, those with young children, residents who may have special needs etc.

“In this instance we always ensure two members of staff are working together at any building or property, which helps to protect both the building users and our staff,” she added.

WDH confirmed Knighton has since been dismissed and while there is “no suggestion any offence was committed” while working on site, the firm “takes these concerns very seriously”.

The company has offered to change any locks on the estate.