Tribunal result for drunken social worker who spat at bouncer

Amanda Bates SUS-150729-161033001
Amanda Bates SUS-150729-161033001

A boozy children’s social worker who spat in a bouncer’s face and swore at him when he refused to let her back into a seaside pub has found out today whether he has been struck off.

Amanda Bates was drinking with colleagues in Eastbourne on a Friday night when a doorman decided she was too drunk to be allowed back into the bar.

Bates was said to be ‘extremely intoxicated’ after drinking around five large glasses of wine and a chaser.

Bates, who worked as a social worker in the children’s department at East Sussex County Council, tried to barge past the doorman but ended up stumbling to the floor.

She spat at the bouncer, swore at him and also abused a member of the public who tried to help her, the Health & Care Professions Council heard.

Bates then told police officers on the scene that her father was also a police officer who would have them all sacked.

She was later handed a police caution for common assault after the incident on the evening of Friday September 5 last year.

Bates appeared before a professional panel to decide whether she would be struck off – but found out today (July 29) that she would be let off with a caution.

“The behaviour of the registrant was entirely contrary to the fundamental tenets of her profession,” said Simon Walters, for the HCPC.

“She did not act in a manner becoming of a social worker and you will have to consider whether this brought the profession into disrepute.”

Bates had been working with the family support team for almost four years before the incident.

She was interviewed as part of an internal investigation on September 29 where she admitted she was ‘ashamed’ of her actions and ‘felt stupid because she had acted like an idiot’.

Bates was then dismissed after an internal investigation on November 21.

“There is no criticism of the registrant’s social work practise in this case,’ said Mr Walters.

“However, that does not mean that this case is any less serious. Naturally it is our case that the registrant’s actions are extremely serious and that her fitness to practise is currently impaired.”

The social worker was handed a caution order for three years by the conduct and competence committee panel.

HCPC panel chair Claire Bonnett said, “In the panel’s judgement, the aggravating factor in the case is that the registrant allowed herself to become so intoxicated that she lost control and behaved in public in a manner which brought her own reputation, and that of her profession, into disrepute.

“With regard to mitigating factors, the registrant has expressed shame and remorse, she has reflected on the events which led to her police caution and has shown excellent insight into the causes and consequences of her behaviour.

“The panel took into account that the case involves a single incident outside work and that the registrant’s competence as a social worker has not been called into question.

“Indeed, the registrant is a dedicated social worker who is passionate about her work and is committed to the welfare of children, who require the support of social services.

“Whilst the registrant’s acceptance of a police caution is a serious matter, it is in the public interest for a dedicated and competent social worker to remain in practice.

“A caution order marks the disapproval of the registrant’s conduct and sends the necessary message to the public that such behaviour is unacceptable.”

Bates, who attended the hearing, will have a caution on her record for the next three years.