Fantasist hired as social worker after council fails to check record
2009 06 18

By Richard Savill | Telegraph.co.uk

A fantasist who hired a hitman to kill her former husband was employed as a senior social worker in charge of vulnerable children after a council failed to properly check her criminal record.
Lynda Barnes, 55, was convicted of conspiracy to murder after offering a contract killer £10,000 to "take out" her former husband Rodney.
She was given a two-year suspended prison sentence in 1995 and was sacked from her job at Avon County Council.

The author of a pre-sentence report said that her "sense of reality is blurred with her fantasies" and that she "needs assistance in enabling her to separate reality from fantasy".

However, seven years later she was hired by neighbouring Bath and North East Somerset Council, despite admitting to a conviction during the application process.

She was promoted to a senior job managing 20 social workers for three years before her criminal past became more widely known.
At the time of her conviction Barnes was a social worker in the child care department of Avon County Council.

She tried to take her employer to a tribunal for unfair dismissal, but the case was dismissed.

Despite her conviction and sacking, Barnes was given a job at Bath and North East Somerset Council in September 2005 as an assistant team manager and became a team manager a year later.

But details of her past emerged during a child protection case at Bath county court last June where she allegedly lied on oath and asked another social worker to do the same.

Judge Paul Barclay said he was "appalled" and carried out his own investigation into Mrs Barnes' past.
It was discovered that she had disclosed her conviction during the application process but that was a "highly sanitised" version of events.
She also disclosed her conviction when she registered with the General Social Care Council (GSCC) in January 2006.

However, although Mrs Barnes had given authority for her file to be retrieved neither the council nor the GSCC had done so.

Mrs Barnes, from Nailsea, north Somerset, has now resigned and Bath and North East Somerset council has reviewed all cases she handled during her employment.
The council has also apologised to families for Mrs Barnes' conduct.

Mrs Barnes was involved in 17 cases in which 31 children were removed from the care of their parents before she resigned in March this year.

Judge Barclay's report into the case was made public after Mrs Barnes failed in a Court of Appeal application to prevent her being identified.
Bath and North East Somerset admitted it was a mistake to employ Barnes but said no children under Barnes' protection had been unfairly removed from their families.

"We have looked again at our systems and found that they are correct but need more rigorous enforcement," a spokesman said.
The GSCC, which is now reviewing Mrs Barnes' registration, said it knew about her conviction and referred her application to a committee in 2006, which agreed she could be registered.

A spokesman for the GSCC said in a statement: "We are applying to suspend Mrs Barnes on a temporary basis whilst we investigate."



Related Articles
Police chiefs 'profiting from criminal records checks'
Children for sale: UK’s new slave trade
Baby P: Haringey Council sacks three managers and a social worker
Bath & NorthEast Somerset Council


Latest News from our Front Page

Sweden Recognizes Palestinian State; Israel Upset
2014 10 31
Sweden on Thursday became the biggest Western European country to recognize a Palestinian state, prompting a strong protest from Israel, which swiftly withdrew its ambassador from Stockholm. The move by Sweden’s new left-leaning government reflects growing international impatience with Israel’s nearly half-century control of the West Bank, east Jerusalem and its blockade of the Gaza Strip. It also comes during increased ...
Fed-Backed Study: How to Brainwash Public into Fearing “Climate Change” Like Ebola
2014 10 31
$84K study seeks ways to make public fear "climate change and overpopulation" The National Science Foundation is funding a study to determine how to brainwash the public into fearing “climate change and overpopulation” as if they were Ebola. The NSF awarded an $84,000 grant to researchers at the State University of New York at Buffalo yesterday to figure out how to make ...
Brain decoder can eavesdrop on your inner voice
2014 10 31
As you read this, your neurons are firing – that brain activity can now be decoded to reveal the silent words in your head TALKING to yourself used to be a strictly private pastime. That’s no longer the case – researchers have eavesdropped on our internal monologue for the first time. The achievement is a step towards helping people who cannot ...
6 Million Lies
2014 10 30
“If you do not specify and confront real issues, what you say will surely obscure them. If you do not alarm anyone morally, you yourself remain morally asleep. If you do not embody controversy, what you say will be an acceptance of the drift of the coming hell.” C Wright Mills. I need to share information I have discovered ...
Google’s New Computer With Human-Like Learning Abilities Will Program Itself
2014 10 30
In college, it wasn’t rare to hear a verbal battle regarding artificial intelligence erupt between my friends studying neuroscience and my friends studying computer science. One rather outrageous fellow would mention the possibility of a computer takeover, and off they went. The neuroscience-savvy would awe at the potential of such hybrid technology as the CS majors argued we have nothing to ...
More News »