Somerset

Social worker funded holiday by selling child's address

A social worker who sold the address of an adopted child to her birth mother in order to fund a Caribbean holiday has been sentenced.

Androulla Farr, 50, contacted the "vulnerable" mother and offered to hand over details of her young daughter's new family for £2,000.

Bristol Crown Court was told the mother was "desperate" to know the details and so paid up.

Judge William Hart gave Farr a 16-month prison term, suspended for 18 months.

At a previous hearing Farr admitted a charge of bribery or corruption while working for North Somerset Council.

'Exploited'

In 2006, the court heard, Farr made an "unscheduled visit" to the birth mother's home address and started to talk about needing money for a trip to the Dominican Republic.

She told the mother she could provide details of her daughter's address for £2,000.

Farr had debts of £22,000 at the time of the offence and had borrowed £1,800 from friends, the court heard.

There was a stamp on the defendant's passport in 2006 indicating a trip to the Dominican Republic, the prosecution said.

"The defendant had talked about this as the holiday of a lifetime. She knew and exploited the birth mother's desire to know where her little girl was."

Sentencing, Judge Hart said passing on the information went against the "whole principle" of the child's address not being disclosed.

"You took advantage of a vulnerable birth mother," he said.

"You breached the trust reposed in you by your employers and you threw away in a moment your good name."

Farr, of West Wick, Weston-super-Mare, worked with both the birth mother, the child and her adoptive parents.

The birth mother was only allowed to contact her daughter through letters delivered via social services.

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