A SOCIAL worker who was caught with extreme porn on his computer has had his suspension increased because he is “in denial” about his actions.

Stewart Hal Ford, from Little Wakering, was convicted at Basildon Crown Court in 2012 of having 50 extreme pornographic videos and images on his home computer and ordered to carry out 40 hours’ unpaid work.

The following year he was banned from practising as a social worker for 12 months.

However, a Conduct and Competence Committee panel of the Health and Care Professions Council panel decided to suspend him for another year on the basis, as he is seeking to appeal against his conviction, he has not yet accepted responsibility for his actions.

A report released by the panel said its representative, David Allen, told the panel Ford was unfit to practise as he “remains in denial” about his actions.

It read: “On the basis of the documentary evidence provided by the registrant (Ford) and his statement to the panel, it was clear he had not yet accepted responsibility for the facts relating to his conviction, nor did he express any remorse for what he had done.

“He did not appear to have acquired any insight into how service users or the public at large would view his conviction or the consequences to his own reputation or that of the profession.

“The registrant was principally concerned with informing the panel that, in his opinion, he had been let down by his union representation.

“He still maintains his innocence and openly stated this to the panel.

“There remains a risk of repetition.”

The panel found Ford remained unfit to practice because of his conviction, which breached two standards on the committee’s code of conduct, including maintain high standards of personal conduct and ensuring behaviour does not damage the public’s confidence in social work.

It was also noted he remained subject to supervision by the court as a result of his conviction and, since being sacked by Essex County Council, had not found further work.

Despite this, he was still undertaking Continued Professional Development, as well as attempting to keep abreast of current social worker practice.