Social worker accused of misconduct over ‘top totty’ mobile phone text

A social worker who sent a text message to a service user saying he had lined up some “top totty” for him has appeared before the General Social Care Council’s conduct committee.

Eric Charlesworth, who allegedly formed inappropriate relationships with services users, admitted sending the message to the 22-year-old,known as C, while on holiday but said it had been intended for a friend.

The text, which was read from a statement given by C, said: “The senorita I lined up for u can’t wait any longa. She’s top totty. I’ve stood in 4 u once but she wants the real thing – u. Says not the same makin luv 2 ur foto on my mobile. Ney mind I’ll keep her on the boil 4 u.”

Charlesworth, who has been a social worker since 1974, also admitted stroking a 17-year-old service user’s hair and measuring his chest but said he did not believe his actions were inappropriate.

He had retired from Leicestershire Council in 1997 and was working as an agency social worker for Reed Social Care when the incidents took place between July 2004 and June 2005.

Charlesworth was employed by Warwickshire Council in an integrated mental health team when the allegations were made. The mother of the second service user, known as B, told a colleague of Charlesworth that her son had complained about the way he had been touched.

An investigation was launched but could not be completed because B refused to discuss the allegations. Charlesworth did not have his contract renewed but the council claims he continued to see clients despite repeated instructions not to, and he continued to provide therapy to C for no payment and by private arrangement.

The council then lodged a complaint with the GSCC.

Charlesworth is accused of misconduct by breaching all six elements of the GSCC’s code of practice. The conduct committee will reconvene to announce its findings in the coming weeks.

New hearing scheduled
An unnamed social worker from Trowbridge faces a conduct hearing next week into allegations she failed to follow procedures for the protection of vulnerable children, claimed expenses she was not entitled to and smelled of alcohol at work. The hearing starts on 8 January in London.

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Sally Gillen


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