Social worker kept mum’s death a secret to swindle family inheritance

A shamed social worker has been struck off after keeping his mother’s death a secret for more than a year while he tried to swindle his family’s inheritance.

Kenneth Mould, 58, was found guilty of misconduct and dishonesty by the General Social Care Council (GSCC) on Tuesday for taking advantage of his mother’s dementia – while working as an old people’s services worker at Merton Council.

Mould, from Long Ditton, Surrey, tried to write his family out of his mother’s original 2002 will by using her signature for a new will in 2006 which named him as the sole beneficiary.

“Lack of remorse”

The six-person GSCC panel said Mould’s “lack of remorse” meant keeping him on the social care register would damage the reputation of the profession.

In its decision, the committee said he “pursued a course of conduct designed to enable him to obtain the entirety of his mother’s estate upon her death”.

It said: “This was designed to prevent others from obtaining their valid entitlement from Mrs Mould’s will.”

Evelyn Mould was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2004, and moved in with her son after doctors judged her not to be of sound mind.

Relatives: “Ken continued to lie”

She died in February 2007, but it was not until 2008 her brother and sister-in-law, William and Muriel Wandless, found out after police visited their home in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

In a written statement, read at the hearing, Mrs Wandless said: “In November 2007 Ken told William that Evelyn was down in Somerset and it was a difficult time to visit.

“Ken continued to lie to me about his mother’s personal life even though she was now dead.

“Then our local police paid us a visit in May 2008 and told us she had died in February. I asked ‘What you mean February just gone?’ ‘No’, they said, ‘February 2007’.”

In a series of emails to Mrs Wandless, Mould would claim his mother was “up and down” or “been at the day centre” – despite having died several months earlier.

Mould was reported by Merton Council to the GSCC, which oversees the conduct of social workers, and suspended from his duties in the safeguarding adults team.

Mould: “It was just a series of unfortunate communication break-downs.”

Mould did not attend the two-day hearing but admitted some of the allegations against him, including failing to tell his Merton Council line manager he had been arrested.

When we went to Mould’s house, he said: “It was a very difficult time for us and I had a whole lot of work going on with a post-qualifying course that needed to be done.

“I didn’t have much contact with the family anyway, apart from at Christmas time. Some of them have moved anyway.”

He denied he had acted dishonestly. He said: “I didn’t know about the other will. It was just a series of unfortunate communication break-downs.”

Last December, Mould accepted voluntary redundancy from Merton Council’s social services department after they learned of the scam.

A council spokesperson said: “[The council] considered that the referral called into question Mr Mould’s professional integrity and suspended him from professional duties immediately.

“The council welcomes the conclusion of this investigation, in the knowledge that members of the public should be able to have faith in the integrity of council officers who are there to serve them.”