A VILE Scots carer has been struck off after sending pictures of his penis to an underage girl for “sexual gratification“.
Connor Ferguson was removed from the care register yesterday following an investigation into his behaviour towards the girl dating back to 30 September 2022.
The residential child care worker was employed in Kirkintilloch, East Dunbartonshire when he acted inappropriately towards the minor.
Ferguson sent the 15-year-old sexual photographs of himself – including of his penis – as well as communicating indecently with her.
Doing so in pursuit of obtaining “sexual gratification” or of humiliating, distressing or alarming the unnamed girl, Ferguson also repeatedly made sexual remarks to her.
As a result of his actions, Ferguson was convicted at Paisley Sheriff Court in October 2022, but subsequently failed to notify his employer of said conviction.
This led to a hearing of care watchdog, the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC), to consider Ferguson’s fitness to practise.
The SSSC’s full report reads: “On 26 October 2022, whilst registered with the SSSC on the part of the register for residential child care workers, you were convicted at Paisley Sheriff Court namely that:
“On 30 September 2022 you did coerce an older named child, aged 15, into looking at a sexual image and communicate indecently with her in that you, for the purposes of obtaining sexual gratification or of humiliating, distressing or alarming them, did by social media send her sexual photographs of yourself, including of your penis, and repeatedly make sexual remarks to her.
“Between 26 October 2022 and 19 June 2023 whilst registered with the SSSC on the part of the register for Residential Child Care Workers you did:
“Fail to notify the SSSC of your conviction as laid out in allegation 1.a. and by your actions at allegation 2.a, act dishonestly.”
The panel found that Ferguson’s fitness to practise was impaired, reasoning: “The behaviour which led to your conviction was extremely serious.
“You coerced a child to look at a sexual image and communicated indecently with them.
“Your behaviour falls well below the standards expected of a social service worker and placed a child at a serious risk of emotional and psychological harm.
“Your conviction is fundamentally incompatible with the standards and values expected of a social service worker.
“Service users have the right to expect honesty and integrity from social service workers, however you failed to notify the SSSC of your conviction and as such acted dishonestly.
“It is a requirement of your registration with the SSSC that you will inform them about any
offences and convictions that may call into question your suitability to work in the sector.
“By failing to notify the SSSC that you had been convicted under section 33 and 34 of the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009 you did fail to allow the SSSC the opportunity to carry out a full risk assessment to ensure that users of services in your care were protected from any unnecessary risk of harm.
“Behaviour which involves dishonesty is difficult to remedy. Your behaviour directly impacted on the wellbeing of a child.
“As a social service worker, you should not behave inside or outside of work in a way which would bring your suitability to work in social services into question.
“You should not have communicated with the child in an inappropriate way by sending them sexual photographs of yourself.
“Your communication with the child was not appropriate and falls well below the professional standards expected of you.”
Despite Ferguson possessing a previously good record, the SSSC found there to be “no evidence of any insight or remorse” for his behaviour.
Considering all previous evidence and factors, the SSSC opted to remove Ferguson from the register.
They explained: “After referring to our decisions guidance, we decided to impose a removal order, removing your registration from the SSSC register.
“We wrote to you on 4 July 2023 to tell you we wanted to place a removal order on your registration.
“After explaining the consequences and recommending you take legal advice, you have not asked for the case to be referred to a fitness to practise panel.
“We are therefore permitted by the rules to impose this removal order.”