Health secretary goes to high court to have social worker banned

Health secretary Alan Milburn began a high
court battle this week to ban an east Kent social worker, who
allegedly abused a girl in his care, from working with

local authority disciplinary hearing found that the man, who cannot
be named for legal reasons, raped a 16-year-old at a children’s
home where he worked in the 1990s.

name was placed on the Consultancy Service Index, a list of people
deemed unsuitable to work with children, but he launched a legal
battle to have it removed.

went to a Protection of Children Act tribunal earlier this year,
which ruled that he should have his name removed from the

Coppel, for Milburn, attacked the tribunal’s decision, branding it
“irrational” and “perverse.” He asked judge Mr Justice Scott Baker
to overturn the ruling.

tribunal had ruled it was up to Milburn to prove it was more likely
than not that the social worker committed the rape.

Arguing that the health secretary
could not meet that proof, Coppel accused the tribunal of failing
to take into account circumstances in which the allegations were
made. He claims the girl made the allegations in confidence to her
therapist, who informed the local authority.

also complained that the tribunal made its decision even though the
social worker and his two character witnesses failed to attend and
give evidence.

alleged that the man beat his wife, and physically and sexually
abused his lover.

Justice Baker said he needed time to consider his decision in the
case and would give his ruling at a later date.


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