January 2010

Paedophile social worker is struck off

A MAN responsible for the welfare of vulnerable North-East children has been struck off as a social worker for sexually assaulting a six-year-old girl.

Convicted paedophile Dwight McGuire worked in Darlington for four years, although his offence was committed some years before he moved to the town.

Yesterday, more details of his crimes came to light at a hearing of the General Social Care Council, in London.

It emerged that the 41-yearold American, who moved to Darlington after he secured a job as a social worker with Darlington Borough Council, had exposed himself to his victim numerous times, before indecently touching her while masturbating.

McGuire was sentenced to a year in jail in May last year after he admitted gross sexual imposition, although a search of the US sex offenders’ register revealed he is now a free man. He is listed as living in a village in Montana.

He was detained by officials at an airport in Minnesota in January last year, after his victim, who is now an adult, told police of her ordeal. The incidents happened in 1988 and 1989 while McGuire was a student. Yesterday’s committee heard that after she told police, the girl phoned McGuire in Darlington to obtain an admission from him.

With police listening in, McGuire confessed.

He was arrested shortly after when he returned to the US to visit his dying father.

Committee chairwoman Jeanette Cragg said: “This was a serious departure from the code of conduct, and confidence in social services would be undermined if he was allowed to continue as a social worker.”

Mrs Cragg said McGuire’s conduct was aggravated by a breach of trust, because the incidents were over a prolonged period and because in 2007, when the girl told the police about it, she was still deeply affected.