Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Sheffield City Council sends rape victim's email to hundreds

Picture of a lap dancers shoes Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The authority disclosed details of 300 people in an email updating respondents about Spearmint Rhino's licence application

A council accidentally sent the contact details of hundreds of people - including a rape victim - in an email about a strip club licence renewal.

Sheffield City Council apologised after it disclosed the email addresses of people who had commented on Spearmint Rhino's application to each other.

One of those affected was Sammy Woodhouse, a victim of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham.

In a tweet, she said the authority were "absolute fools".

Ms Woodhouse, who waived her right to anonymity to help other victims of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham, said the email update was sent to 300 people, who could all see each other's details.

It was later withdrawn with everyone on the list asked to delete it.

Another recipient said whoever was responsible obviously did not know how to use blind carbon copy (BCC) - a method of sending group emails without recipients being able to see who else it was sent to.

Steve Lonnia, head of licensing at Sheffield City Council, said: "We would like to unreservedly apologise for this human error, which led to the disclosure of the personal email addresses of consultees in the Spearmint Rhino licensing application.

"We have written individually to all of those affected to say sorry."

He said the council would now review the way communications of this kind were made.

It comes as a decision on whether to renew the venue's Sexual Entertainment Licence is due to be taken on Monday.

Image copyright Google
Image caption A decision on whether to renew the venue's Sexual Entertainment Licence is due on Monday

Last month, a report revealed dancers at the club "sexually touched customers", breaching more than 200 regulations.

They also sexually touched each other and engaged in other sex acts between themselves, it found.

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