Kirklees social worker sex case tribunal told of cash gifts
A VULNERABLE woman had sex with a former Kirklees social worker after he gave her cash to pay off loans, a conduct hearing has been told.
Leslie Healey met Ms C when he was employed by Kirklees Council in 1998 and later started a sexual relationship with her.
A conduct committee of social care regulator the General Social Care Council has heard that Healey regularly gave Ms C and her then husband cash and took them and their children on caravan holidays to Great Yarmouth. They had separate caravans and Healey took his own child on one of the trips.
Healey would make daily visits to their home in York in 2001, sometimes staying an hour, and occasionally taking his young daughter. He also took Ms C shopping because her husband was suffering from depression and anxiety and bought her and her children clothes.
The relationship between the pair came to light a decade later when Ms C’s former husband made a passing remark about it and an investigation was launched in October 2008. The family was by that time receiving services from North Yorkshire County Council where Healey was working as a social worker.
At the time he was on a final written warning after an investigation in 2006 into a complaint involving another service user, Ms A, that he had put his hand up her T-shirt and touched her bottom during a home visit in January 2006.
Tracey Hill, service manager of the assessment and safeguarding team at North Yorkshire County Council, was appointed to interview Mr C about the allegations.
Giving evidence, Ms Hill said she had spoken to Mr C earlier this week and he told her that his former wife had admitted just before Christmas 2009 that she had had a sexual relationship with Healey.
Ms Hill said: “He said ‘Ms C told me they did have sex. I questioned her about my little ones, because it was at the time we had the triplets, and she said they used a condom. She said she did it because of the loans’.”
Questioned about the interview she had conducted as part of the investigation in 2008, Ms Hill told the committee that Mr C, who had by then separated from Ms C and remarried, had not seemed bitter.
“I think he was quite sad really. He didn’t seem bitter. He came over as someone who was quite confused about why it had happened to him,” she told the hearing, adding: “He asked whether it was right or wrong in my opinion.”
She said Mr C had told her Healey would visit most days on his way home from work when they were living in York in 2001 and would take his wife shopping, which he thought was “odd” but had decided to “turn a blind eye to something I did not want to believe was happening”.
Ms Hill told the hearing that Healey had been suspended while the allegations were investigated in 2008. Healey was summarily dismissed by North Yorkshire County Council in November 2008.
Healey is travelling in the Far East and has not been represented at the hearing.
The committee is now considering the evidence.