Glasgow & West Scotland

Nursery worker punched girl in face

Scottish Social Services Council Image copyright Google

A nursery worker who punched a six year old in the face and leg has been struck off.

Marissa Birch was also found to be heavily intoxicated and unable to care for the girl just months later.

She was not at work at the time of the incidents in 2014 but was an employee of a nursery in Kilwinning, Ayrshire.

The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) said Ms Birch had also failed to inform them about her criminal history.

She was convicted and charged with two counts of breach of the peace in 2012 and 2014, and with racially aggravated harassment in 2015.

Two of these incidents took place after she had been suspended while an investigation was being carried out.

Chaotic lifestyle

The SSSC said it had been unacceptable for Ms Birch to hit the child, and she had been convicted of a number of serious allegations.

The watchdog said: "The sub-committee could not be satisfied that the behaviour would not be repeated.

"Whilst none of the behaviour took place at work, given your chaotic lifestyle, the sub-committee could not be satisfied that the behaviour will not be repeated during the course of your employment.

"You placed the victims of your crimes in a state of fear and alarm.

"The behaviour falls well below the standard expected of a registered worker."

In its findings, the council noted that Ms Birch had no previous record with the SSSC and she had "expressed some regret".

The council ruled that a removal order was "the only appropriate sanction which would safeguard the interests of service users, the public and the reputation of the social services profession".

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