Northampton social worker struck off after shouting ‘baby murderers’ at couple

Kettering Magistrates Court

Kettering Magistrates Court

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A social worker from Northampton who was part of a group which gathered outside a couple’s house and shouted ‘baby murderers’ has been struck off.

Joanna Burgess, of Delapre, was convicted of using threatening abusive or insulting words or disorderly behaviour after the incident in July 2012.

The court heard that Burgess was among a group who turned up outside the flat in Northampton and she was heard making threats to kill the couple and shouted ‘baby murderers’.

One of the group threw a brick through the window of the flat, injuring someone inside.

Burgess was given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay costs of £175.

She was suspended from work by Health and Care Professions Council, which in a ruling stated Burgess’s behaviour was “aggressive and frightening” represented misconduct.

After a review of the ruling last year, the panel concluded the only appropriate sanction was a striking off order as Burgess’s fitness to practise remains impaired “by reason of the lack of evidence of remediation or insight”.

Panel chairman, Julian Weinberg, said: “In all the circumstances the panel has decided that a further suspension order would not serve any useful purpose, in view of the persistent lack of engagement and continuing impairment.

“The panel has taken into account the fact that through her husband, Mrs Burgess has stated that she has an ongoing and serious health condition, that she has no intention of returning to social work and that she wants this process to come to an end,” he said.

Burgess was not present or represented at the hearing.