Mother uncomfortable after discovering colleague was cautioned on child sex offences

A woman who recently discovered a colleague was once cautioned for child sex offences, has revealed she’s uncomfortable about returning to work after her maternity leave.

Posting anonymously on UK forum Mumsnet, the mother explained she was angry to discover that her employers hadn’t informed staff of her co-worker’s criminal history, and asked if she could ‘refuse to work with him’.

She said her manager wasn’t very helpful when she raised concerns, adding that she’s ignored contact from her colleague ahead of returning to work from maternity leave.

The woman divided responses with some arguing she’s overreacting because her child won’t be coming in contact with the co-worker, while others argued they would also feel unable to work with an offender. 

A British woman has sparked a discussion about how to react to working with a colleague who has a criminal background (file image)

A British woman has sparked a discussion about how to react to working with a colleague who has a criminal background (file image)

The woman took to Mumsnet, explaining that she's uncomfortable about returning to work after discovering that her co-worker was charged with child sex offences

The woman took to Mumsnet, explaining that she’s uncomfortable about returning to work after discovering that her co-worker was charged with child sex offences 

Venting her frustrations, the woman wrote: ‘Can I refuse to work with someone who was cautioned on child sex offences? I have just had a baby and do not feel comfortable working with them.

‘I spoke to my male manager about it who wasn’t very helpful and just said he was aware of his past and said what he did wasn’t that bad, and to let him know if I have any more concerns.

‘I am now on maternity leave and this colleague has my personal mobile number and has messaged a few times asking how I am (I didn’t know of his past when I first started working with him) and I have ignored the messages.

‘I feel very uncomfortable and angry that I have been working with this person and not made aware of his past. I found out because another colleague sent me a news article about it.’ 

Explaining the issue further in a later post, she said: ‘It is related to distributing and paying for sites with indecent images of children. He had a caution so I believe that means he admitted to what he did and got off lightly with a caution.’ 

A flood of responses argued criminals who’ve served their punishment should be allowed to work with others.

One person wrote: ‘You don’t have to like him. You don’t have to socialise with him. But the fact that you have given birth has absolutely bugger all to do with anything. Whatever he’s done, it’s not contagious and you won’t bring it home with you!’

A stream of responses to the post argued the colleague should be allowed to work because the company have reviewed his crimes

A stream of responses to the post argued the colleague should be allowed to work because the company have reviewed his crimes 

Another said: ‘The caution is the punishment because as OP has discovered it is public property and in this digital age will follow him around to his dying day.

‘It allows others to know what he did. That is the punishment. It’s an effective one, too. He will never be permitted to work with children or with vulnerable adults. But the idea of this extending to never work with someone who might have children under the age of 18 is to be frank utterly preposterous.’

A third added: I understand how you feel and I wouldn’t engage with this person on any personal matter, certainly not befriend them on social media or share anything with them about my DC. But it’s unreasonable to refuse to work with them, just remain professional and polite.’

Some added that if the man had escaped with a caution, his offence may have been at the lower end of the scale and that he may have visisted a site where there were pictures of minors, without actually viewing them.  

However, others sympathised with the mother and said she’s not being unreasonable to want to avoid someone who has been charged with child sex offences. 

Others argued they would feel uncomfortable working with a child sex offender and advised the woman to resign from her job

Others argued they would feel uncomfortable working with a child sex offender and advised the woman to resign from her job 

‘I think some posters are being too dismissive about the OP recently having a baby and insinuating she is being hyper-sensitive due to this. I’m not a mum but it is creepy that she is on maternity leave, having found our about this guy’s offences and he is asking about how she is getting on after having a baby.

‘In her mind she is probably thinking he could be attracted to very young children and sexualising her baby, wanting more information about the baby/birth which most people would be disturbed about,’ wrote one. 

Another said: ‘I’m wondering if these sex offender sympathisers have husbands who watch teenage porn videos OP. I’ve never seen a thread like it. 

‘You’re not unreasonable for not wanting to text, work or breathe the same air as a child sex offender.’