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Drunk Social Worker Tips Over Baby Buggy

May 23, 2013 permalink

Scottish social worker Anne Sinclair got drunk while babysitting and tipped over a buggy with a one-year-old baby inside. She was fined for endangering a child. Fixcas missed this story, but better late than never.



Drunk social worker tipped baby over in buggy as she crossed road

Anne Sinclair
Anne Sinclair
from another news story in The Sun (UK)

A drunk social worker tipped a baby over in his buggy as she crossed a town centre road.

The one-year-old was left hanging upside down as Anne Sinclair staggered and fell over in front of passers-by.

Perth Sheriff Court heard on Tuesday that Sinclair had been looking after the child for the day and had got so drunk police were unable to interview her.

Officers had to wait for her to sober up for almost four hours after detaining her before they could talk to her about what she had done.

The 46-year-old was still in police custody when the baby's parents arrived to take him home to safety.

Fiscal depute Carol Whyte told the court: "As she crossed the road pushing the buggy she tried to lift it on reaching the pavement at the other side. However, both she and the buggy fell to the ground.

"The accused fell onto the road and the buggy fell upside down with the child still restrained within. Members of the public rushed to help.

"They put the buggy the correct way round and back on the pavement, and helped the accused to her feet. They found the accused to be unsteady on her feet, staggering and slurring her words.

"The child was not injured, but he was extremely upset and screaming. The witnesses watched the accused walk up Glasgow Road and contacted police over concerns for the child's well-being."

Ms Whyte added: "Officers from Tayside Police traced Sinclair and the baby close to Perth Leisure Pool and they were taken into custody a few minutes after the incident. However, it was not until almost 10pm that night that Sinclair was deemed to be sober enough to be interviewed.

"Officers spoke to the parents and discovered the child had been left in her care at 10am that morning, and at that time she was not under the influence of alcohol."

Sinclair, of Pickletullum Road, Perth, admitted being drunk in charge of the baby in Glasgow Road, Perth, on August 6 last year.

The depute senior social care officer with Perth and Kinross Council, told officers: "I feel truly sorry for what I have done and it will never happen again."

In a letter to court, Sinclair added: "I work within a social work setting and I am well aware of adult support and protection and child support and protection.

"What I did was very wrong and I am pleased the issues relating to this incident were reported, but I am ashamed and disappointed with my own actions.

"I have worked within social work for 21 years and if anything I should know better. Nothing like this has happened before and it will never happen again."

Sinclair said she had been stressed because her mother had been diagnosed with dementia, her brother had died and her dog had passed away.

Solicitor John McLaughlin, defending, added: "She does accept that at this stage she was using alcohol as an emotional crutch. Her ex-husband had re-married on the day and she was out and had taken a drink."

He told the court that as well as getting drunk while in charge of the baby, Sinclair had been on prescription drugs Tramadol and Diazepam.

Mr McLaughlin added that the buggy was already unsteady because it had been laden with goods but said Sinclair accepted the incident was her fault.

He said the local authority had been extremely supportive, appointing her own social worker to assist her, and would await the outcome of the court case before deciding her fate.

Sheriff Robert McCreadie was told that Sinclair had stopped drinking and said that she should continue to stay tee-total for "the rest of her life."

He told her: "I accept you are remorseful and distressed by what you did. You cannot be in a situation where you are looking after children in an inebriated state."

He fined Sinclair £260.

Source: STV (Scotland)