Council worker in Whitstable sacked for raunchy novel

Bettina Bunte
Image caption Bettina Bunte said some novelists stopped at the bedroom door but she "went in"

A council worker at a children's centre in Kent has been sacked after writing a sexually-explicit novel which parents complained about.

Bettina Bunte, 51, was employed through an agency to work at the Kent County Council-run centre in Whitstable.

She wrote a novel based on her own experiences of a love affair between an 18-year-old and a married man 28 years older using "graphic vocabulary".

The council said it "took action" following concerns after its release.

'Appropriate actions'

Ms Bunte's novel, entitled The Lost Soul was written under the pseudonym Cass E Ritter.

The story charts a love affair between a married laboratory technician called Lom and an 18-year-old student called Nina and is based on Ms Bunte's own experiences.

In a statement, the authority said: "Ms Bunte was employed through an agency to work at one of our children's centres.

"Following the publicity around her self-published novel and concerns raised by staff and parents, managers met her to discuss the issues.

"It was felt the most appropriate action was to stop her employment as agency cover.

'Out of proportion'

"She will no longer be working for us."

Ms Bunte, who did not work directly with children but held an administration role, said the authority's actions were "out of proportion and judgemental".

She said: "I did describe a relationship that was passionate. I described it in fairly graphic vocabulary.

"Some novelists stop at the bedroom door, I went in with them and I tried to describe a relationship that was central, that was passionate and I described it in fairly graphic detail."

But she added that she had received permission from her superiors at the centre in Joy Lane to speak to the media about her novel and it was after that KCC took the decision to dismiss her.

She had worked at the centre for four years.

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