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Social workers ‘appear to have been motivated by revenge’ – Wass report

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The two social workers whose allegations triggered the St Helena sex abuse inquiry have been severely criticised in the resulting report.

It suggests Claire Gannon and Martin Warsama may have acted in response to criticism in a court case.

The report says: “We can only speculate that, by suggesting that they had been dismissed for ‘whistleblowing’, Ms Gannon and Mr Warsama had hoped to deflect attention from their own incompetence and misconduct.”

In fact, the pair were subsequently cleared of wrongdoing by their own professional body. It said there was no suggestion they were unfit to practise.

The Wass report went on: “Ms Gannon and Mr Warsama appear to have been motivated by revenge, self-justification and possible personal gain.

“In the case of Claire Gannon, she went further and also leaked a confidential report which resulted in the exposure of sensitive information about a rape victim.”

The report also says Claire Gannon gave the name of a victim of an alleged sex offence to a journalist at Channel 4. “At best, this was reckless and unprofessional.

“At worst it was in breach of the law.”

St Helena Government is criticised in the report for its response to serious concerns about the two social workers. It needed more robust systems in place, including quicker recruitment to key posts.

Claire Gannon has not responded to an email request for a reaction – sent in advance of the report’s publication. Martin Warsama said he would not be available because he was handling a difficult court case.

Claire Gannon was interviewed on camera by the Daily Telegraph. Watch the video here

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