Jailed social worker struck off

A social worker convicted of having sex with an under-age girl has been struck off the professional register.

Thomas Ritzler, 28, of Reigate, Surrey, was jailed for two years, four months at Guildford Crown Court last November for having sex with a girl aged 14.

The girl did not meet Ritzler through his job with Surrey County Council.

But the General Social Care Council (GSCC) decided he needed to be removed from the Social Care Register to protect other children.

Ritzler, who remains in jail, chose not to attend the hearing.

Vulnerable people

GSCC chairwoman Rosie Varley said: “All social workers have a responsibility to act appropriately and with integrity, abiding by the law and the GSCC code of practice.

“Thankfully the majority of the 80,000 registered social workers find no difficulty in complying with this.

“In order to maintain the safety of vulnerable people we take all matters of law-breaking by social workers extremely seriously, and will not hesitate to apply the appropriate sanctions.”

She said engaging in sexual activity with a child was “fundamentally incompatible” with the role of a social worker.

Ritzler was given the right to appeal against the decision.