A social worker who was convicted of racially abusing a member of the public has been admonished by the General Social Care Council (GSCC).
Samantha Sheldon used “repeated racial abuse and language” against the man in front of his seven-year-old son following a driving incident on 7 November 2009, the GSCC’s conduct committee heard.
She was convicted of racially aggravated threatening behaviour at Shrewsbury Crown Court on 8 July 2010, sentenced to 175 hours of community service and ordered to pay £300 in compensation to the victim.
Sheldon did not dispute the fact of her conviction, but she told the conduct committee she was innocent and had pleaded not guilty at court.
However, the committee said it was bound by rules that prevented it from going behind the criminal conviction.
Sheldon had no history of disciplinary findings and she produced references making it clear that this incident was out of character; two of which were from people from ethnic minorities.
The committee said it was prepared to treat the incident as a “one off”, adding: “The racial abuse occurred in the heat of the moment and lasted only a few minutes. The registrant is conscious that the words that led to her conviction are unacceptable, particularly when used by a professional social worker.”
As a result, the committee was satisfied that a one-year admonishment would maintain public confidence in social work.
Sheldon was dismissed from her employment as a social worker for Staffordshire Council following the conviction in 2010.
Read the full notice of decision
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