A woman who was allegedly subjected to a campaign of harassment by a social worker has told a General Social Care Council conduct committee that her “whole world fell apart” as a result.
Mr and Mrs A had their home searched by police and were investigated by social services following a number of anonymous calls made by social worker Geoffrey Casey.
He contacted Crimestoppers, the NSPCC and Oxfordshire Council social services a number of times between May 2004 and May 2005, the hearing heard. Casey told child protection social workers that the couple drank heavily and that Mr A had tied their four-year-old child to a tree and hit him.
Giving evidence at the hearing in London, Mrs A said the false allegation had caused “distress over many months” and she had two miscarriages during that time.
Casey was cleared of harassment charges at Didcot Magistrates’ Court in January 2006. But PC Richard Hale, who had investigated the case, said this had been due to an administrative error whereby wrong dates had been submitted as evidence by the Crown Prosecution Service. He added that the outcome would have been “drastically different” if this had not happened.
Hale said that Casey, a social worker with 22 years’ experience, had initially denied making the calls but later “held his hands up”. However, Casey maintained he had concerns about the couple’s child, but admitted exaggerating them.
“He said he knew how the social services system worked and that one call would not be seen as enough to get something done,” said Hale, adding that Mr and Mrs A had been “in bits” about the allegations.
Casey, who has been charged with misconduct, did not attend the hearing and no longer works in social care. The committee is set to pass judgement this afternoon.