Abuse case staff face anxious wait

Social work staff at the centre of an inquiry into a woman with
learning difficulties who was sexually abused are being put under
stress because of delays in deciding their future, a solicitor said
last week.

The case involves a 30-year-old woman who moved into the home of a
couple last year. The man, along with two other men, admitted
holding her hostage and sexually abusing her when they appeared at
the High Court in Edinburgh in July 2002.

Scottish Borders Council said neither the woman nor the men had
been under the social work department’s formal supervision.

But council chief executive David Hume appointed independent social
work consultant Anne Black to investigate whether disciplinary
action should be taken against an unknown number of staff.

Colin McNab, a solicitor for a social worker suspended when the
incident came to light, said: “The report will go to the council 16
months after my client was suspended. It has taken too long and my
client is very stressed. There’s no reason why the situation
couldn’t have been resolved by September 2002.”

A council spokesperson denied there had been a delay.

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