Director ‘intervened in Haringey inquiry’

Anne Bristow, social services director at Haringey Council,
excluded senior managers from an internal investigation into the
performance of staff in the Victoria Climbie case, an employment
tribunal was told.

Aeres Howells, Haringey personnel manager, told the tribunal
examining the case for wrongful dismissal of Victoria’s social
worker, Lisa Arthurworrey, that the terms of the inquiry carried
out by independent investigator Bernard Monaghan, had not initially
been limited. However, it was later limited to exclude senior staff
at Bristow’s request.

The inquiry was carried out in early 2001. Arthurworrey was sacked
for gross misconduct in November 2002. Howells said managers had
discussed the possibility of retiring Arthurworrey on the grounds
of ill health, which would have avoided disciplinary action.

Monaghan told the tribunal that Arthurworrey’s supervision had been
“lamentable”, while Howells agreed she had been let down by
managers. Arthurworrey believes she had “lamentable supervision and
training”, according to her counsel, Rhory Robertson.

However, Monaghan said he believed her training had been adequate
and that she had not taken the actions he would have expected of a
qualified social worker.

The hearing is expected to last six days.

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