Northampton

Northamptonshire social worker made 'baby murderers' taunt

A social worker has been suspended for shouting "baby murderers" outside a Northamptonshire home and making threats to kill someone inside.

Joanna Burgess was arrested after she and a group of people gathered outside the house to shout abuse.

One threw a brick through a window, which hit and injured a woman inside.

The Health and Care Professions Council said Burgess' "aggressive and frightening" behaviour last July brought the profession into disrepute.

She was heard to shout "baby murderers" and threats to kill a woman, who was injured by the brick and feared the group would smash her door down and further injure her.

Burgess, who was not working at the time, had known the woman for "some years" and had previously given a statement to police about her, the committee heard.

'Bullying behaviour'

She was given a 12-month conditional discharge at Kettering Magistrates' Court in December after she admitted using threatening words or behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

The conduct and competence committee ruled: "The behaviour by Ms Burgess, involving aggressive language and threats uttered in public to another person, is wholly unacceptable, unprofessional and deplorable conduct and brings the profession into disrepute.

"This type of bullying behaviour undoubtedly calls into question the suitability of the perpetrator, Ms Burgess, to remain able to work in social services.

"[Her] behaviour was aggressive and frightening for the victim, intimidating to the victim and to bystanders, and was wholly unacceptable conduct for any member of society in which to indulge, let alone a professional social worker."

It said her misconduct was so serious "as to be beyond any efforts which might have been made by Ms Burgess to address the issue", and noted she had not given an explanation or shown remorse.

Burgess was suspended from the profession for 12 months.

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