Need to see a social worker? Try Lanark

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A SHERIFF has expressed concern after an offender was told to take a 30-mile round trip to see a social worker.

Kerry Kilcullen turned up at a social work office in Motherwell only to learn she would need to travel to Lanark to be interviewed for court background reports.

Sheriff Ray Small has demanded to know if it’s now normal for offenders - often on state benefits - to face the expense of such a trip.

Kilcullen (34), of Allan Tower, Motherwell, was due to be sentenced at Hamilton Sheriff Court last week. She had admitted committing fraud at Asda in Motherwell on February 27 by getting a refund for a £14 shirt she hadn’t paid for.

Kilcullen also admitted spitting at two police officers and kicking and trying to headbutt one of them.

Sheriff Small had deferred sentence for background reports, but these were not available as Kilcullen hadn’t bothered to go to Lanark to be interviewed by a social worker.

The sheriff was told she had gone to a social work office in Motherwell only to be told she couldn’t be seen there.

He said: “I can’t understand why someone from Motherwell has to go to Lanark for the preparation of reports. If this was going to become a trend I would be quite concerned.”

A court social worker was unable to explain the situation, but promised to investigate.

Kilcullen was remanded in custody until April 18.

More court cases in this week’s Motherwell Times and Bellshill Speaker, out on Wednesday.