A social worker convicted of conspiring to murder her husband has been suspended from practice while the General Social Care Council investigates her handling of a child protection case.
A GSCC spokesperson confirmed Lynda Barnes, a former manager at Bath and North East Somerset Council, is now subject to an interim suspension order for six months.
The regulator will not be looking into her criminal past, details of which emerged last month after the publication of a family court judgement. Barnes received a two-year suspended sentence in 1995 for conspiring to murder her husband while working for the now-defunct Avon Council.
Instead, the allegations of misconduct centre on her actions in a professional capacity in 2006 while working for Avon Council’s successor, Bath and North East Somerset Council.
Child protection “failings”
Concerns about the safety of two young children at the centre of the care proceedings – which took place last year – came to the attention of social workers in 2006. The two eldest children were removed from their mother and stepfather after one of them suffered multiple fractures caused by “inappropriate handling” and “excessive force”.
They were placed with the stepfather’s mother but social workers failed to inform their birth father, who had parental responsibility.
Judge Paul Barclay said this amounted to “serious failings on the part of the local authority”. He made a special guardianship order for the two youngest children to be placed with their paternal grandparents while their half-sister, now aged two, will be adopted.
Bath and North East Somerset Council confirmed that Barnes had resigned on 31 March this year and that it had referred her case to the GSCC.