Blacklisted carers in false accusation case are handed payout by council four days before tribunal was due to start

Motherwell foster carers blacklisted over false assault claims have reached a five-figure settlement with North Lanarkshire Council after a legal battle lasting more than four years.

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Diane Boyle and husband Karl say they were robbed of their livelihoods and forced to sell their home after being removed from the carers' register by the authority

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Allegations of assault were made against Diane by two teenagers who had been in her care.The boys claimed she attacked them several times in the family home. Devout Christian Diane stood trial at Hamilton Sheriff Court in December 2017. She was cleared of four assault charges and one charge of threatening behaviour. Witnesses on her behalf included a Sunday School teacher, a council social worker and the grandparents of the boys who made the allegations.Diane and Karl were removed from the foster carers' register and, despite the not guilty verdicts, an appeal against the council's decision was rejected. Backed by the Independent Workers Union, they prepared a case for unfair dismissal against the council. The authority argued that, as foster carers, they were not employees of the council and the claim was invalid.Diane, 53, and Karl, 59, were set to give evidence at a tribunal, but a settlement was reached shortly before the four-day hearing was to begin.

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