Manchester Council sacks social worker after cocaine arrest

    A social worker has been sacked by Manchester Council after being caught possessing cocaine at a work-related party.

    Niamh Duignan, 28, of Whalley Range, Manchester, was given a two-year conditional discharge by a judge at Chester Crown Court after admitting possession of the class A drug.

    She was arrested on 28 May 2009 at a party along with a colleague, who was employed through a recruitment agency. The other woman was sacked shortly afterwards, while Duignan was dismissed following a disciplinary hearing.

    The party was allegedly organised by Greater Manchester Police.

    Duignan was ordered to pay costs of £85 and a forfeiture order for the drugs to be seized was issued.

    Pauline Newman, the council’s director of children’s services, said in response to the incident in June last year: “We expect the highest standards of behaviour from our staff and our actions reflect that we take these allegations very seriously.”

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