Sandwell social worker admits sexual harassment of colleague

A SANDWELL social worker lost his job after admitting sexually harassing a female colleague. Christopher Holden has now been reprimanded by the General Social Care Council after the case of misconduct was proved against him.

The council’s conduct committee heard last week that he had accepted an official police caution for harassing a female supervisor, known as Miss A, in 2010.

He admitted making inappropriate comments of a sexual nature to her and touching her on a number of occasions.

The committee’s statement recording its decision stated: “The registrant’s actions were persistent, taking place on a number of occasions both in private and in front of other colleagues for a period of over a year.

“He did not desist, even when asked to do so by Miss A and other colleagues, leaving Miss A feeling violated and causing her mental distress.”

The committee found that Holden failed to treat a colleague with respect, that his actions amounted to a breach of the Code of Conduct and called into question his suitability to work in social care services.

Although finding his behaviour “wholly unacceptable” the committee decided to admonish him and that a record of the admonishment be placed on the social work register for six months, rather than suspend him.

The statement said the committee had take into account his pervious good history, his “genuine regret,” his full admissions, a host of character references and that he had already been punished by being dismissed from Sandwell Council.

It added: “There is no public protection issue in this case, but the committee wishes to mark the fact that the registrant’s behaviour was unacceptable and must not happen again.

“The committee is satisfied that the registrant has learnt his lesson and that there is a low risk of recurrence.

“This is not a case which calls for the punitive effect of suspension from the register, The acts were overt not furtive.

“The victim was a supervisor of the registrant and, therefore, there was no abuse of power.”