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Social worker struck off for sexually abusing stepdaughter

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A social worker who subjected his stepdaughter to years of sexual abuse has been struck off.

The practitioner began abusing his partner’s daughter in 1999, when she was nine or ten years old, and continued doing so for six years, a conduct committee of the General Social Care Council found.

Abuse of trust

The committee found that the social worker, who cannot be named but was referred to as Mr X throughout the hearing, had “abused his position of trust in sexually abusing a child in his family”.

It concluded that “public confidence would be severely undermined” if such conduct did not lead to removal from the register.

Allegation denied

Mr X attended the hearing and denied the allegation. He did not present any evidence in mitigation other than to say he did not intend to work as a social worker in the future.

Acquittal

Although he had been acquitted of the offences in a criminal trial, the committee was told that a district judge described the victim as a “credible” and “believable” witness when the matter went before a family court in 2006 and 2008.

The GSCC’s conduct committee concurred with the verdict of the family court, which upheld the allegations of abuse. Both systems test evidence to the civil standard of the balance of probabilities, which is lower than the criminal standard.

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