Social worker who threatened to kill couple is suspended

Kettering Magistrates' Court
Kettering Magistrates' Court
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A social worker who was part of a group which gathered outside a couple’s house and shouted ‘baby murderers’ has been suspended from the profession for 12 months.

Joanna Burgess was convicted at Kettering Magistrates’ Court last November of using threatening abusive or insulting words or disorderly behaviour after the incident, which happened in July last year.

Last Thursday, the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) said it was suspending Burgess for 12 months.

Burgess, from Fawsley Road in Delapre, had been convicted after turning up at a flat in London Road, Far Cotton, belonging to a couple who had been charged with the death of a baby, in July last year.

One of the group threw a brick through the window of the flat, injuring someone inside.

Burgess was heard making threats to kill the couple and shouting ‘baby murderers’.

In court, Burgess was given a 12 month conditional discharge and ordered to pay costs of £175.

The HCPC said Burgess’ behaviour represented misconduct.

Their report said: “The Panel has concluded that the behaviour by Ms Burgess on July 8, 2012, involving aggressive language and threats uttered in public to another person, is wholly unacceptable, unprofessional and deplorable conduct and brings the profession into disrepute.

“In the panel’s view, this type of bullying behaviour undoubtedly calls into question the suitability of the perpetrator to remain able to work in social services.

“In the Panel’s judgement, Ms Burgess’ conduct undermines public confidence in the profession and also impacts, albeit indirectly, on the safety of any clients of Ms Burgess.”