The RCVS disciplinary committee (DC) has directed that Portsmouth-based vet Simon Wooden be faraway from the register of veterinary surgeons following his conviction for possessing indecent photos of kids.
A listening to concerning Mr Wooden befell from 31 Could to 1 June 2018 and anxious his conviction in Portsmouth Magistrates’ Courtroom on 19 December 2017 for 3 offences of possessing indecent photos of kids, having downloaded 38 movies and 13 photos between 25 September 2016 and 12 Could 2017.
Mr Wooden was subsequently sentenced at Portsmouth Crown Courtroom on 22 January 2018 to a three-year group sentence for every offence, to run concurrently, and made topic to a five-year Sexual Hurt Prevention Order.
He was additionally fined £1,000, ordered to pay prices of £340 and a sufferer surcharge of £85, positioned on the barring record by the Disclosure and Barring Service, and required to register with the police pursuant to the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for a interval of 5 years.
Mr Wooden appeared earlier than the committee and admitted his conviction, and the conviction rendered him unfit to practise veterinary surgical procedure. The committee, in its dedication of sanction, took under consideration the next mitigating elements:
- His conviction concerned no precise hurt or danger of hurt to an animal.
- There was no monetary achieve.
- He had engaged in open and frank admissions at an early stage.
- He was experiencing psychological ill-health on the time of the offence.
- He had taken subsequent steps to keep away from a repetition of such behaviour.
- A major lapse of time for the reason that incident.
- He confirmed perception into the hurt attributable to his offence.
Gravity of offence
The committee additionally thought-about the aim of a sanction is to not punish, however to guard the welfare of animals, in addition to keep public confidence within the occupation, and declare and uphold correct requirements of conduct. On consideration of the suitable sanction, the committee determined postponement of judgement was not acceptable and taking no motion was not an possibility.
It then thought-about whether or not a reprimand or warning was acceptable, however thought-about it will not match the gravity of the offence – a interval of suspension would additionally imply Mr Wooden would routinely return to the register after the time frame with out the faculty having the ability to evaluate his health to practise, rendering it an inappropriate sanction.
The committee, subsequently, decided the removing of Mr Wooden from the RCVS Register was the one option to defend the broader public curiosity and keep confidence within the occupation.
Applicable and proportionate
Ian Inexperienced, chairing the DC and talking on its behalf, mentioned: “The committee has not taken this determination frivolously, and, lest or not it’s misinterpreted, has not taken it to fulfill any notional public demand for blame and punishment. It has taken the choice as a result of in its notion, the status of the occupation needed to be on the forefront of its considering and, in the end, it was extra necessary than the pursuits of the respondent.
”The choice isn’t merely based mostly on the very fact these offences had been of a sexual nature, however as a result of they had been repeated steadily over a major time frame, and on the time the respondent knew on his personal admission that what he was doing was mistaken.
“Accordingly, the committee had determined removing from the register is acceptable and proportionate on this case. The committee will direct the registrar to take away the respondent’s title from the register forthwith.”
Mr Wooden has 28 days to attraction the committee’s determination, after which, if no attraction is obtained, the committee’s judgment takes impact.