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Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Criticism of abuse case social worker emerges year after death of family court judge

Written by Brian Farmer

A family court judge's criticisms of a social worker and teaching assistant involved with a teenager who alleged that she had been sexually abused by a relative have emerged more than a year after his death.

Sir Gavyn Arthur, who died in 2016, had analysed the girl's case at a private family court hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in London

He had made criticisms in a ruling which has only recently been published on a legal website.

The judge says in his ruling that the lead social worker in the girl's case had been "truculent and downright rude" during the court hearing, sometimes "quite threatening and menacing" and "dismissive and disdainful of correct social work practice".

He said a "sensitive" and "fragile" teaching assistant at the girl's school had "lost her professional objectivity". He said the teenager had manipulated the teaching assistant .

Judge Arthur also said a police officer had asked leading questions when interviewing the teenager and complained that interviews had been conducted by professionals whose "ability to follow guidelines" seemed "non-existent".

None of the people involved in the case have been named in Judge Arthur's ruling, which has been published on the "recent additions" section of the British and Irish Legal Information Institute. The website does not given any reason for the delay in published the ruling.

Judge Arthur said social services bosses at Luton Borough Council had responsibility for the teenager's welfare.

He said bosses had asked him to make findings of fact about the teenager's allegations.

The judge said the teenager had made allegations "under pressure" and said he hoped that family relationships could be "restored".

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