A “CARING and committed” childcare manager has admitted having an inappropriate relationship.
Hugh Drewhurst Wynne, who works at Wrexham-based Prospects for Young People, told a Care Council for Wales tribunal he had engaged in a sexual relationship with the mother of a child using the service.
He also admitted sending sexually explicit text messages to the single mother on the first of a two-day conduct committee hearing.
Wynne, 45, also admitted having signed a timesheet stating he was working at a time when he was engaged in sexual activity with the woman, but he maintained this had been a “genuine mistake” and the timesheet hours were not filled in dishonestly.
However, the panel found the facts concerning the dishonesty to be proven.
The mother of the severely disabled and autistic child gave evidence in court via videolink and remained anonymous during proceedings.
She said: “I didn’t want much interaction but I did like him.”
The pair embarked on a relationship from about April 20 to June 8 last year, having met after she made inquiries about sending her daughter for respite care.
Chris Edwards, a co-director at Prospects for Young People, which has its headquarters at Blackwood Business Park on Wrexham Industrial Estate, alerted the local authority after Wynne reported the relationship to his line manager a day after ending it.
The child’s mother, who withdrew her child from the home, also reported the relationship.
Mr Edwards felt the relationship was inappropriate, but told the tribunal: “I trust him [Wynne].
“He is caring, committed, passionate and enthusiastic.
“There is no doubt he has often gone over and above what would be expected of him.
“I am very much a supporter of his employment.”
Wynne, who has 20 years experience in the care industry, continues to fulfil his role as manager of the home.
Asked if Wynne had filled out his timesheet incorrectly on June 8, when engaging in sexual activity with the child’s mother, Mr Edwards said: “I don’t think it was done dishonestly. There was no financial benefit to him and he was owed time off.”
Mr Edwards conducted disciplinary proceedings on June 19 last year where Wynne was issued with a 12-month final written warning.
The tribunal, held in Mold, heard how Wynne had lost his mother and was going through a divorce during the time of the relationship.
When questioned, Wynne told the panel: “I made a mistake during a particularly difficult time.
“I made decisions without clarity. I apologise and fully accept the consequences.
“I love my job. To see the allegations was horrendous.”
He said the hours on the timesheet were a “genuine mistake”.
Ruth Brooks, chairing the tribunal panel, said it was “inconceivable” Wynne could have forgotten the significance of the events of June 8 when he came to fill in the timesheet early the following month.
“The committee was unconvinced by the evidence the registrant gave,” she said.