Carer drives boy around lion’s dean at safari park with car windows down

A "negligent" and "reckless" carer could have been responsible for an autistic boy’s death after driving him around a lion enclosure at a safari park with the windows rolled down.

Despite placing the 12-year-old boy in "acute risk of harm", Adam Swift has managed to keep his job – but not before being rapped by watchdogs for his conduct.

The carer was told by Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) that the young boy had been put at serious risk from "dangerous animals" at Blair Drummond Safari Park, in Stirling, Scotland.

On driving through the enclosure, he failed to realise the windows were rolled down, reports the Daily Record.

Luckily, a warden spotted it and ordered him to pull over and close them.

A report from the SSSC said Swift had failed to carry out the proper risk assessments prior to the trip and said his actions “could have caused potentially serious harm or death”.

After a disciplinary hearing they decided just to caution the carer.

The warning will stay on his registration for 12 months.

The SSSC report said: “You have indicated that you intend to learn from your mistake and move forward in a positive manner.

"There is no information to suggest that you have behaved in a similar manner before.

“There have been no further concerns with your practice since this incident came to light.

“However, a reasonable person, in possession of all the facts, would consider the reputation of the profession to be damaged if no action were to be taken.

"There is a need to uphold and reaffirm proper standards of conduct and behaviour.

“Your behaviour was reckless and fell well below the standards expected of a social services worker.”

Swift works as a residential carer for Paisley-based providers Spark of Genius.

Managing director Zak McIlhargey said: “Adam is still with us.

"It was our concerns and disciplinary procedure which highlighted this to the SSSC.

“There was disciplinary action taken.

"It is up to the SSSC thereafter to form their own conclusion whether he is still fit to practice or whether he is a risk to service users.

“It was a serious incident and the SSSC has decided that Adam is still fit to practice.

"He has an umblemished record apart from this.”

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