The case opens with a telephone call to the offices of Clydetown Social Work Services. An anonymous male caller alleges that Sharon Donnelly, a lone mother with three children, is leaving her children unattended at nights and that they are at risk. Anna Hutchinson - duty social worker - responds to the call.
The caller claims that Sharon is a "junkie" and that she's "on the game". He insists to the social worker that someone needs to visit to "sort her out". He's adamant he does not want to disclose his identity for fear of reprisals from Sharon and her associates.