Edinburgh support worker 'sent explicit messages to colleague on Whatsapp'

An Edinburgh support worker sent his co-worker sexually explicit messages and raised his voice at a client.

Keith Leslie admitted sending three crude and inappropriate messages to a colleague - known only as ZZ in the report from the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC). The messages were sent in response to the co-worker posting a picture on her Instagram.

Leslie commented under her picture something "along the lines of 'Yummy, me too'". He then proceeded to send her three messages to her WhatsApp. The panel subsequently issued him a warning and imposed conditions on his registration.

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The SSSC report states: "In terms of the nature of your relationship with ZZ, the Panel accepted your position that you were friendly colleagues, who occasionally saw one another outside work. She said that you were “friendly, but not friends”.

It continues: "She said that to her knowledge you did not have any conversation about sexuality or sexual matters during that journey and thinks that you are mistaken in your suggestion that such a conversation took place."

His co-worker said while giving evidence that the inappropriate messages made her feel "very uncomfortable".

The colleague said in the report that she did not reply to the inappropriate messages, and did not agree with Leslie's position that the three messages were sent in a joking matter.

In other allegations, Leslie admitted to the SSSC that he had raised his voice to a client but denied shouting.

The report states: "On or around February 6 2022, during the course of your employment, say to a client in a raised voice: 'What’s wrong with a cold bacon sandwich, why can’t you have that' or words to that effect.

The report states that he showed a lack of care in enabling the client to make choices about what he wanted to eat and what support he required to eat, given his needs and requirements as a result of his disabilities which included cerebral palsy.

Leslie also admitted to having a conversation in the house of a different client and within earshot where he raised his voice and swore at another colleague about a mistake made by someone else.

A former colleague who witnessed this incident described Leslie's tone as 'quite domineering' and that his voice was 'not outright shouting' but was raised beyond his normal speaking voice.

The SSSC Panel proposed to issue a warning, plus impose a condition on Keith Leslie. It reads: "This outcome would satisfy public protection and public interest concerns.

"A warning would mark that your practice fell below the required standards and must not reoccur in the future; and the proposed condition would further ensure that the behaviour has been remediated, thus satisfying the SSSC of your suitability for continued registration. The warning will be for a period of one year from the date the sanction comes into effect."

The former care worker admitted to sending the messages but did not admit that his fitness to practice is currently impaired.

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Share Scotland has been approached for comment.