Hearing told Flintshire mum hid drugs in frozen veg

Reporter:

Lois Hough

A MOTHER hid a stash of drugs in a bag of frozen vegetables so her 11-year-old daughter would not find them, a hearing has heard.


Police discovered drugs worth £4,300 at the Shotton home of Nicola Kendrick, 32.


Miss Kendrick, a registered residential child care worker, admitted she had used drugs since the the age of 15 and turned to them after a failed relationship.


She was convicted of the possession of a class A controlled drug and the attempted possession of a class A controlled drug when she appeared at Mold Crown Court in December 2009 and was sent on drug rehabilitation course for 12 months.


Yesterday she was found guilty of misconduct at a Care Council for Wales Conduct committee and was struck off the social care register.


Miss Kendrick was not present at the hearing at the Beaufort Park Hotel, Mold, but a letter from her to the Care Council for Wales in September 2010 read: “I started taking amphetamines at the age of 15.


“It helped me to lose weight and made me feel better at first. It was just a couple of times a week then it became every day.


“During February last year (2009) I had an awful time. I had been in a relationship for three years, to find out he was a married man.”


Miss Kendrick said she felt “depressed” and “humiliated” and her situation was made worse when her brother was sent to prison and her dog died from cancer.
“I felt I had put on weight and wanted to try and look good and build my confidence up,” she wrote. “It was a stupid mistake which got out of hand.”


Police searched Miss Kendrick’s home in August 2009 after her employment at Prospects for Young People, Wrexham, ended in February, 2009.


Officers found 430g of white paste, fluoroamphetamine, in a bag of frozen mixed vegetables concealed in a freezer and a a bag of 60 tablets in a cutlery draw.


Tests later revealed that the tablets were piperazine pills which bore a Superman logo – not ecstasy pills as Miss Kendrick believed when she bought them.


Miss Kendrick admitted in police interview that she had bought the drugs in bulk at a house party in Wigan because it was cheap.


She confirmed the drugs were for personal use but denied she had supplied them to others.


Making the case for misconduct, Eve Piffaretti, for the Care Council for Wales, said Kendrick had breached the Code of Practice because she had failed to establish and maintain the trust and confidence of service users and carers and behaved in a way, in work or outside work, which called into question her sustainability to work in social care services.


The committee panel, advised by David Aubrey QC and chaired by lay member Jenny Ludlow, ruled that Miss Kendrick had breached the code and has ordered her to be permanently struck off the social care register.


Ms Ludlow told the hearing: “The only appropriate and proportionate sanction is to make an order for the removal of the registrant from the register.


“The registrant admitted abusing controlled drugs when she was working with vulnerable service users.


“There is a need to protect the public and to maintain confidence in the social care service.”


Prospects for Young People yesterday declined to comment.

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