Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Social worker Lynda Barnes 'devastated' by court ruling

A social worker convicted of conspiring to murder her husband has said her life and health have been "devastated" following a family court judgement criticising her conduct.
Last week, the ruling revealed that the General Social Care Council and Bath and North East Somerset Council failed to check Lynda Barnes's criminal file when registering her and employing her as a children's team manager.
Judge Barclay slammed "serious failings" by the council and Barnes in the handling of a child protection case. Barnes lied under oath and also "fabricated" evidence, the judgement published last week said.
Conviction 'never a secret'
In response, Barnes's solicitor issued a statement on her behalf saying that her previous conviction "was never a secret" and was widely known among professionals before the case was concluded.
John Weatherall said: "Mrs Barnes always endeavoured to be a supportive and professional team leader with Bath and North East Somerset Council. She denies that she ever told anyone to lie in court or manufactured evidence.
'Trauma' of events
"The events leading to her conviction occurred during a period of great trauma in her life. She sought counselling and reconciled with her husband. She disclosed her previous conviction to the GSCC and gave permission for the criminal file to be disclosed. She never deliberately misled anyone.
Background to the case
The family court judgement naming Barnes said that she had been a social worker at Avon Council in the child care department when she was convicted for conspiring to murder her husband.

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