Essex

Essex social worker suspended for having 'extreme porn'

Essex County Council office Image copyright NICK STRUGNELL
Image caption Stewart Ford was first suspended by Essex County Council and then dismissed

A former social worker found guilty of having extreme pornographic images has had his suspension extended.

Stewart Ford, from Little Wakering in Essex, was convicted in 2012 for having 50 videos and images on his home computer.

In 2013, the former Essex County Council employee was banned from social work for 12 months.

The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) has extended the suspension for a further year.

A conduct and competence committee decided his "fitness to practise" was still "impaired" because of his conviction.

'In denial'

The council's representative, David Allen, told the panel Mr Ford was trying to appeal against his conviction.

Mr Allen said that demonstrated Ford "had not yet accepted responsibility for the facts which led to his conviction, the serious and unacceptable nature of his conduct and how it adversely affects his professional status."

"He remains in denial," Mr Allen told the panel.

Mr Ford has been unemployed since he was fired by Essex County Council in 2010, when pornography was seized from his home.

Mr Ford's case will be considered again by the committee at a future date.

The council is the industry regulator for social care and can remove people from its register of professionals who meet its standards.

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