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Social worker struck off after stealing items from supermarket

PUBLISHED: 21:26 07 August 2018 | UPDATED: 12:14 08 August 2018

Sainsbury's supermarket sign. Picture: PA Archive/PA Images

Sainsbury's supermarket sign. Picture: PA Archive/PA Images

PA Archive/PA Images

A Norfolk County Council social worker who was cautioned by police for stealing from a supermarket has been struck off.

Joanne Leach did not attend the hearing held in London yesterday by the Health and Care Professions Tribunal Service (HCPTS).

But the hearing heard how Ms Leach accepted a police caution on August 11, 2017, for theft in relation to an incident regarding items taken from Sainsbury’s supermarket totalling £491.

Norfolk County Council referred Ms Leach to the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) on 
February 18, 2016 and she 
was then suspended in August last year.

Now, Ms Leach has been struck off completely on the grounds of conviction whilst registered as a social worker and employed by Norfolk County Council.

The hearing heard 
how Ms Leach had failed to engage with the tribunal process throughout the 
earlier hearing, as was again the case with this final review hearing.

And the panel “was 
not confident that she understood the importance of trust for the role of a social worker, and the damaging impact that dishonesty would have on the profession and vulnerable service users reliant upon such professionals”.

They decided the “only appropriate and proportionate response” was to strike Ms Leach off.

Panel chairwoman Penny Griffith said: “The registrant has taken no steps to engage with the regulator, and as such the panel has no information before it to indicate that she is in a position to remedy her dishonesty.

“Therefore we are unable to rule out a risk of repetition of dishonesty, with the consequent risk of ongoing damage to the reputation of the profession.”

Ms Leach was neither present nor represented at the hearing.

Do you have a health story? 
Contact our health correspondent Geraldine Scott by emailing geraldine.scott@archant.co.uk

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