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'GIRLS INVITED TO TOPLESS SHOOTS' Social worker accused of arranging pictures.

Byline: BARRY GIBSON

A SOCIAL worker has been accused of persuading girls to pose topless.

Forme r Kirk l e e s Council employee Christopher Hardman faces a misconduct hearing next week. s

He is accused of using his position as team manager at the Youth Offending Team to persuade the girls to pose for photo-shoots.

The General Social Care Council will hold a misconduct hearing into the case in London from August 4 to August 7. Hardman is alleged to have texted the young women using various fake names including Sue, Ayesha, Jane Attwood and Peter Jennings and pretending to be from Vamp Model Agency.

Most of the girls allegedly targeted were young offenders. They can't be named for legal reasons.

Hardman is accused of sending letters and texts to Ms A between November 5 and November 10, 2005. He is alleged to have encouraged her to attend nude, topless and lingerie photo-shoots for money.

Hardman is also accused of encouraging the girl to lie about her age and discouraging her from telling her parents about the model-ling.

Hardmais alleged to have used his position in the Kirklees Youth Offending Team to obtain Ms B's address, place of work, mobile number and home phone number.

He is accused of paying the young offender pounds 50 to attend a photo-shoot on October 26, 2005.

Hardman also faces allegations about Ms C, another young offender.

The social workers is accused of obtaining her contact details and sending her texts and letters encouraging her to attend lingerie shoots for money.

Hardman is accused of persuading Ms C and another girl to pose together topless.

Hardman allegedly obtained contact details for Ms D. The social worker is accused of persuading the young offender to pose topless at two photo-shoots.

Hardman allegedly obtained contact details for Ms E and persuaded the young offender to attend a photo-shoot.

Hardman is also accused of contacting Ms H through her mother and persuading the girl to attend photo-shoots in September and October 2006.

The misconduct hearing will also consider the fact that Hardman was cautioned for possessing cannabis on February 10, 2006.

The charges relate to the period from 2003 to March 2007, when Harman was team manager at the Youth Offending Team in Kirklees.

A council spokesman said yesterday that Kirklees was unable to comment on the case at this stage. However, the spokesman revealed that Hardman had not worked for Kirklees since 2007.

A three-person panel will hear the case at the General Social Care Council's head office in London next week. Hardman could be struck off if he is found to have committed misconduct.

The General Social Care Council is the professional standards body for the country's 80,000 social workers. The council hears 15 to 20 misconduct hearings every year.
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 31, 2009
Words:467
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