A care worker who repeatedly assaulted an adult with additional support needs as a means of calming them has been struck-off from the profession.
Andrew Robertson bent his victim’s fingers back numerous times, causing them “fear, distress and alarm” and putting them at risk of “physical and emotional harm”.
He was working at the Corbenic Camphill Community near Dunkeld when the offences came to light, prompting an investigation and his sacking.
Mr Robertson’s employers reported him to the Scottish Social Services Council which has just released the findings of its probe.
The council expressed significant concern he posed a danger to anyone in his care as a result of his inability to grasp what he had done wrong.
After hearing testimony, the SSSC concluded Mr Robertson, a depute workshop leader at the time, had grabbed his victim by the collar and hit an individual identified only as ‘AA’ on or around April 4, 2016.
It also concluded he had grabbed the individual by the collar again on April 12 and had, on several occasions, bent their fingers back.
The SSSC told Robertson: “Social service workers are trusted to care for the most vulnerable members of society.
“They must protect them from harm and not abuse, neglect or harm them.
“Grabbing AA, hitting AA and bending AA’s fingers back constitutes physically abusive behaviour, which was a misuse of your power and position.”
The findings continue: “You do not appear to acknowledge why your behaviour is wrong. This shows a concerning lack of insight and reflection.”
“A suspension order would not be appropriate as your behaviour is fundamentally incompatible with continuing registration.
“There is little evidence that you acknowledge your failings and the pattern of behaviour and lack of insight suggest the behaviour is likely to be repeated.
“There is no evidence therefore that a period of suspension would allow you to remedy the cause of the impairment of your behaviour.
“Service users would remain at risk of harm if you were to return to the sector.”
Corbenic Camphill Community’s General Manager, Colum Pooler, said: “An internal investigation was swiftly initiated by our managers in relation to this incident.
“The relevant external agencies and stakeholders, including the SSSC, were advised of the situation and were satisfied with the steps taken to address the issue.
“The welfare of the people we support is of the highest priority at Corbenic Camphill Community.
“Our latest Care Inspection report shows grades of “Good” across all quality themes in our day and residential Service.
“This was an isolated incident which we wholly regret and is entirely out of character with the usual high quality standard of support we provide.”
Mr Robertson could not be contacted for comment.
The SSSC said that having been advised of the consequences, Mr Robertson had “admitted the facts”, accepted his fitness to practice was “impaired” and accepted that he was being removed from the profession.