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Play worker struck off after paedophile group's sting

Euan Tomney, 21, believed he was sending pictures of his genitals to a 14-year-old boy.

Caught: Euan Tomney sent sexual messages to an online paedophile group decoy.
Caught: Euan Tomney sent sexual messages to an online paedophile group decoy. Marjan Grabowski

An after-school play worker who believed he was sending pictures of his genitals to a 14-year-old boy has been struck off the care register.

Euan Tomney, 21, was instead messaging an online paedophile group decoy and was arrested following a sting operation outside the Edinburgh school he worked at.

Tomney later pleaded guilty to intentionally sending dirty messages and sexual images to a person he believed was 14-years-old for the purposes of obtaining sexual gratification.

His crimes were committed between May 6 and 13, 2018.

At the city's sheriff court last December, Tomney was placed on the Sex Offenders' Register and handed a supervision order for 18 months.

During that time he will have to declare all internet devices to the authorities and allow them to be inspected on demand.

In addition, he has been banned from unsupervised contact with anyone under the age of 17 without prior approval from his supervising officer. He has also been prohibited from undertaking any paid or voluntary employment without authorisation.

Following a Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) fitness to practise hearing last month, Tomney was removed from the register.

The panel heard that his behaviour "constituted a serious public protection risk".

'Your behaviour was a premeditated act of sexual communication towards someone you believed to be a child'
Scottish Social Services Council presenter

In a published report, the presenter stated: "Your behaviour was a premeditated act of sexual communication towards someone you believed to be a child.

"If you were allowed to continue to practise, this would raise an acute risk towards service users."

The presenter also highlighted that although Tomney's behaviour only resulted in one conviction, it was not an isolated incident and took place over an eight-day period.

As Tomney failed to engage with the SSSC throughout the process, the panel were unable to ascertain whether he had shown any insight or regret as he had not apologised for his behaviour.

The presenter concluded that the risk of repetition was high, adding that Tomney deliberately sent sexual communications to someone he thought was a child.

The presenter stated: "Although AA turned out to be an adult, this was irrelevant and did not detract from the seriousness of your behaviour.

"If AA had been a child, there was a risk that you could have caused that child significant harm.

"This was fundamentally at odds with being a social services worker, especially in relation to your present registration."

'You have not demonstrated any insight into your behaviour nor have you taken the opportunity to demonstrate any remorse into your conduct'
Scottish Social Services Council panel

The panel agreed that Tomney's fitness to practise was impaired and stated that his conduct fell short of what was expected of a social services worker.

The panel added: "You have not demonstrated any insight into your behaviour nor have you taken the opportunity to demonstrate any remorse into your conduct.

"Your behaviour took place over an eight day period and, given this, together with your complete lack of engagement with the SSSC, the panel considers that the risk of repetition of your behaviour is high."

Tomney, who is currently engaging with the Moving Forward: Making Changes anti-sex offending programme, was fired from childcare provider OSCARS after his arrest.

Following his removal from the register, a spokesman from the Edinburgh-based carer stated: "Euan Tomney's employment with OSCARS Childcare was terminated in May 2018 following an incident he was involved in.

"The incident had no connection to OSCARS and did not involve any of our clients or any other staff member.

"OSCARS has a strict recruitment policy for all staff working within our venues.

"As current legislation demands all staff undergo safer recruitment procedures including PVG certification, and do not commence work until clearance and certification have been received from the relevant authorities.

"This was the case with Mr Tomney. OSCARS has no further comment."

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