A SHAMED Hampshire County Council social worker has been struck off after being convicted of making indecent images of children.
The Health and Care Professions Tribunal Service deemed Simon J Cartland’s ability to continue his job ‘impaired’ at a seven-hour hearing in London.
Cartland, who worked as head of learning disabilities at Hampshire County Council’s Adults’ Health and Care team, pleaded guilty to making two category A movies and two category C images of children at Guildford Magistrates' Court in April, 2018.
He was handed a community order with a rehabilitation activity requirement and was told to complete 80 hours of unpaid work – but was subject to a tribunal last Thursday after self-referring his conviction to the Health and Care Professions Council.
Cartland did not attend the hearing on February 21, but told the HCPC in a letter he had made a ‘shameful failure’ of upholding standards expected of a senior social worker.
‘My behaviour in downloading and viewing the four indecent images, not only is a complete breach of HCPC professional standards, but is a shameful failure of the values and principles regarding human rights and anti-discrimination practice that were central to my practice, leadership and personal life,' he said.
‘I fully accept that there is only one right outcome to your investigation, for me to be struck off.
‘As for the future, I will forever be honest about the harm that I’ve caused, in addition will be candid and open regarding the deep remorse of my behaviour regarding this offence.’
In its findings report the HCPC said it had opted to strike Cartland off on ‘public protection and public interest grounds’.
Referring to guidance taken in making the decision, the body said: ‘Striking off is a sanction of last resort for serious, deliberate or reckless acts involving abuse of trust such as, sexual abuse, dishonesty or persistent failure.
‘The HCPC considers that any offence relating to child [sexual abuse imagery] involves some degree of exploitation or abuse of a child and, therefore, that conviction for such an offence is a serious matter which undermines the public’s trust in registrants and public confidence in the profession concerned.’
Cartland was also subject to a sexual harm prevention order for five years, and was required to register with police in under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for five years.
In another letter seen by the HCPC Cartland said: ‘The realisation and horror of the absolute hurt, anger and deep pain that I have caused my husband, family and friends and no doubt work colleagues, in addition to those service users I have served in Hampshire, is and will be immeasurable and understandably will always remain.’