A residential care worker, who sued Wirral Council after a
violent 11-year-old boy attacked him, lost his damages claim.
Stephen Clarke argued he should have been trained in restraint
techniques, but the judge ruled that the local authority had not
been unreasonable in not providing the training, after a three-day
The youth involved, known as Boy X, kicked Clarke on the side of
the head, while Clarke and a female social worker tried to restrain
him. Clarke suffered a perforated ear drum and consequent hearing
loss as a result.
Boy X, who had been in care since the age of six, posed a danger
to staff because of his unpredictable violent outbursts, it was
agreed, and the staff had asked for restraint training. The council
argued they had not been negligent.
Clarke claimed £3,000 damages after the incident at the
Wimbrick Hey home in Moreton, where the boy had gone for
assessment, alleging the authority had been in breach of their duty
of care, which they denied.
Judge Mark Brown said he believed that if Clarke and his
colleague had received appropriate restraint training in the months
immediately prior to the incident, they would have acted
differently and the risk of injury would have been avoided.
But he ruled: “I do not find on the balance of probabilities
that the local authority acted unreasonably in their decision not
to introduce restraint training prior to the unfortunate incident
when Mr Clarke was injured.”