Drink-drive social worker is suspended

First published in News

A SOCIAL worker who didn’t declare his drink driving conviction has been found guilty of misconduct.

Joseph Theodore Mahabir, was convicted of drink driving at Mid South Essex Magistrates Court on December 2 2004, while he was employed by Thurrock Council.

He failed to tell the council or the GSCC about his conviction until November 19 2008, despite signing a document only two months before his court appearance saying that he would “declare as soon as reasonably practicable” anything that called his character into question.

Mr Mahabir also failed to put the conviction on a Criminal Records Bureau application that he completed on December 17 2004, and continued to claim the Essential Car User Allowance from the council during December 2004 and June 2005, despite being banned from driving for a year.

The GSCC’s Conduct Committee met for a hearing on July 21 and 22 and decided to suspend Mr Mahabir, who had already been sacked by Thurrock Council, from the social care register for one year.

The committee’s report said: “In the light of the findings made by the Committee the registrant had acted unprofessionally and, in at least one instance, had knowingly misled his employer and GSCC.

“The Presenting Officer said that it was incumbent on a Social Worker to maintain the highest standards of integrity in his work and in his dealings with his professional body, and the facts which had been proved indicated that he had fallen substantially below these standards.”

The report added: “The registrant was an experienced Social Worker who ought to have known that he had a duty to disclose any criminal conviction to his employer and the GSCC.

“The Committee considers that he had formed an intention to conceal his conviction from those who ought to have known about it.

“ In the Committee’s view a conviction for drink driving by a social worker who has essential use of a car in which service users may be passengers, is something which plainly ought to be disclosed to his employer and professional body.”

Thurrock Council spokesman Andy Lever said: “This gentleman no longer works for Thurrock Council, he was dismissed some time ago.”

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