A child care worker who admitted possessing indecent images of children at his Dundee home has been struck off by the industry watchdog.
Sean Masterton was convicted at Dundee Sheriff Court last September of possessing indecent photographs or pseudo-photographs of children.
It was determined that between July 8 and November 2, 2018, he was in possession of two images, recovered by officers on his Samsung phone after they raided his Fintry home.
He was subsequently handed a community payback order in October 2019, with a supervision period of three years.
At the time of the offences – which were not believed to have taken place at any workplace – Masterton was registered as a practitioner in day care of children services, a role defined as “workers who identify and meet the care, support and learning needs of children”.
In a Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) hearing, held last week and conducted via video-conference due to current Covid-19 restrictions, a panel handed Masterton a removal order on “public protection and public interest grounds”.
During the hearing, SSSC officers noted that the offences were closely related to Masterton’s work and were “entirely inconsistent with being employed to look after children”.
It was also outlined that Masterton’s behaviour illustrated his “unsuitability to be trusted to do such work”.
The panel highlighted that Masterton did participate in the hearing and it was subsequently determined there was “no evidence” that he acknowledged his wrongdoing nor was there any “regret or apology for the conduct in question”.
Masterton’s employer at the time of the offences was not disclosed during the hearing, although it was noted he had been described as a “sessional worker” and had not worked a shift for the employer since the end of 2017.
Striking Masterton off the register, the panel determined they were not “satisfied that the interests of the people who use services and the public would be sufficiently protected by a period of suspension” and that the most appropriate sanction would be the removal order.
The order is due to come into effect on June 10 this year.