Care worker sentenced for misconduct in public office

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A care worker, who had a sexual relationship with a vulnerable young adult and manipulated her colleagues to cover up her actions, has been imprisoned today (12 March 2020).

Michelle Baxter, 44, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing on 10 January 2020 to ill-treatment of an individual by a care worker and misconduct in a public office.

Today, at Worcester Crown Court, she was sentenced to two years and two months immediate custody concurrent on each count.

The defendant, who worked as a team manager at a care leavers service for young people aged 16-25 in Hereford, entered an intimate relationship with a 24-year-old vulnerable young man between January 2016 and September 2017.

She had inappropriate contact with the young adult, including meals and long drives together at night, and eventually had sexual activity with him. She also admitted facilitating the purchasing of drugs for him and manipulating colleagues to cover the inappropriate relationship she was having with a service user.

She was arrested in September 2017 on suspicion of misconduct in a public office.

Sabhia Pathan of the CPS said: "Michelle Baxter showed poor judgement when she became involved in an inappropriate sexual relationship with a vulnerable service user.

"Those who serve the public must maintain high standards. Her relationship with the victim impacted on the service that he and other young people received and was wholly inappropriate, and caused damage to public confidence in the care service.

“She also manipulated other members of staff using her position for her personal gain. She has now received a criminal conviction and a sentence for her crime."

Notes to editors

  • Sabhia Pathan is a Senior Crown Prosecutor with CPS West Midlands.

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