A social worker who sent sexually explicit text messages to a client has been struck off the social care register.
A General Social Care Council conduct hearing held this week examined a range of evidence, including the messages sent by Mark Wheeler to the woman – referred to only as Ms A, and concluded that his actions were “a serious abuse of both power and position”. Wheeler was working as a probation officer on the Isle of Man at the time.
He had claimed that the lewd messages, which were sent between January and April 2007, were intended for his wife not Ms A. But the conduct committee dismissed this given the content of the messages including one that stated: “ope low cut doesnt shok our reception staff tho? Tongues waggin wld get u a new p o”.
In its conclusion the conduct committee said: “The registrant and Ms A would have known that Ms A could be re-sentenced before the courts if she breached her probation order. Ms A was particularly vulnerable and had been subjected to degrading behaviour by the registrant at the registrant’s workplace and in the course of his employment as a probation officer whilst registered as a social care worker. This undermined Ms A’s low self esteem and led to actual harm.”
It added that Wheeler, who did not attend the conduct hearing, had showed “no regret or insight into his behaviour” and that even though he was not working as a social worker his actions still “breached his position of trust and authority”.
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