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On 5 November 2014 at East London Magistrates Court you were convicted of:
1. Assault by beating.
2. For the above offence you received a 9 week prison sentence and a Restraining Order.
3. By reason of your conviction as set out at paragraphs 1 - 2 your fitness to practise as a Radiographer is impaired.
Background and preliminary matters
1. The Panel is satisfied that there has been good service of the Notice of Hearing. A letter was sent to the Registrant’s registered address giving notice of these proceedings on the 20th May 2015.
2. The proof of service document appears at p.11 of the HCPC bundle. The Panel was told that the HCPC bundle was returned from the Registrant’s address. Thereafter, enquiries were made via a tracing company, who subsequently confirmed, that the Registrant was still living at his registered address. The Panel has seen the letter from TPower Solutions Limited dated the 17th June 2015 confirming this. The Panel was also informed that attempts had been made to telephone and email the Registrant.
3. The Panel first considered whether to proceed in the absence of the Registrant and decided to do so for the following reasons:
(a) The Registrant has not attended the hearing today and has not engaged with the HCPC at all in relation to these proceedings.
(b) In the circumstances, the Panel determined that the Registrant has in effect, voluntarily absented himself from today’s hearing, in the knowledge that these matters were ongoing.
(c) There is little prospect, if the hearing today was adjourned, that the Registrant would attend on a subsequent occasion. The Panel therefore determined that it was in the interests of justice and in the public interest to proceed.
(d) It is both in the interests of the Registrant and in the public interest that these proceedings are brought to a conclusion.
4. The Registrant was employed by The Royal London Hospital, Barts Health NHS Trust in Whitechapel, as a Band 6 Senior Radiographer.
5. On the 5th November 2014, the Registrant was convicted at the East London Magistrates Court of an offence of assault by beating contrary to section 39 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988. The Registrant pleaded guilty, having changed his plea from not guilty. The Registrant was sentenced to a 9 week period of imprisonment. The reasons given for the custodial sentence were the seriousness of the offence, the attack was on his partner with punches to the face and slaps and there was a child present. A restraining order was also made.
6. The Registrant was remanded in custody on or around the 22 or 23 September 2014.
7. The Panel has seen the Police Report - Case File Summary document. This contains the following information:
(a) On the 15 September 2014, the Registrant returned to his home address and an argument ensued with his wife. The Registrant punched his wife in the face a couple of times, on the left side, under the chin. This caused pain and visible bruising. He also hit her on the right side of the back of her head. She was also slapped on the face. The assault was witnessed by the Registrant’s 9 year old daughter.
(b) The Registrant’s wife reported the incident the following day to the police.
(c) The Registrant was arrested on the 21 September, when his wife returned to the family home.
(d) The Registrant was charged with assault and given bail. Bail conditions included that he would not contact his wife; nor return to the family home except by prior arrangement and to reside at a specific alternative address.
(e) The Registrant was arrested for a second time on the 22 September after 05.30 hours, after attending at the family home, in breach of his bail conditions. He stated that he was getting some clothes.
(f) When interviewed, the Registrant stated that he had been told that his wife was having an affair, whilst having been out socially on his birthday. He denied any punch, slap grab or squeeze had taken place. He stated only that he had placed his arm round her to get her to sit down. He stated that he did not use force. He admitted raising his voice and said that his wife had slapped him on the right side of his face. His daughter only witnessed an argument.
(g) He denied causing the bruises shown in the photographs taken by the police. He told the police that his wife was “making it up, lying.”
8. The Panel has also seen the witness statements used in the criminal proceedings from PC Philpot 360JC and PC Bruford 107JC.
9. The Panel has carefully read all the documentation contained in the bundle provided by the HCPC. It has heard and accepted the Legal Assessor’s advice and has exercised the principle of proportionality at all times. In approaching the task of deciding the facts the Panel has kept at the forefront of its deliberations the importance of requiring the HCPC to prove matters against the Registrant. The standard of proof to which the HCPC is required to prove matters is the civil standard – on the balance of probabilities.
10. The Panel was very conscious that when a witness has not given oral evidence, this is hearsay evidence. When considering hearsay evidence, which is admissible, the Panel has paid due regard to the weight which it can attach to it, bearing in mind that it has not been possible for that evidence to be challenged or probed.
11. The Panel is satisfied, in light of the evidence contained in the bundle that the Registrant did receive a criminal conviction in respect of the matters set out above. The Panel has seen the memorandum of conviction and finds Particulars 1 and 2 proved.
Decision on Impairment
12. The Panel then had to consider whether the Registrant’s fitness to practice is currently impaired, in light of the HCPC practice notes on Impairment and Conviction/Caution Allegations. The Panel has to determine whether the Registrant’s fitness to practice is impaired based upon the nature, circumstances and gravity of the offence concerned.
13. Dealing firstly with the personal component of impairment, the Registrant has not played any part in the fitness to practice proceedings. There is no evidence of any insight, or remorse, with the possible exception of the late plea of guilty. There is no evidence that the Registrant has sought to remediate his actions. The Registrant has provided no evidence as to his current employment status.
14. The Registrant has provided no evidence that he recognises the public component of impairment and the impact which the incident may have on the public perception of the profession of being a radiographer.
15. In relation to the public component, the Panel concluded that the Registrant’s actions have brought the profession of being a Radiographer into disrepute and undermined the public confidence in the profession.
16. The Panel, in these circumstances, have no choice but to conclude that given the seriousness of the proven allegation and the lack of any evidence of remediation, that the Registrant’s fitness to practice is currently impaired.
17. The Registrant is in breach of Standard 3 of the HCPC Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics in relation to his personal conduct and standard 13 in ensuring that his behaviour does not damage the public confidence or that of his profession.
18. The Panel, in these circumstances, regards there as being a negative subsisting impact on the Registrant’s fitness to practice.
Decision on Sanction
19. The Panel has heard submissions on sanction on behalf of the HCPC. It has paid regard to the HCPC’s Indicative Sanction Guidance and has listened to the advice of the Legal Assessor.
20. The case clearly has a number of aggravating features as previously stated, including the fact that the assault was witnessed by his daughter and the Registrant’s total lack of engagement in these proceedings.
21. The Panel determined that given the nature of the Registrant’s conviction, that to take no action, would not be in the public interest, and would not retain public confidence in the regulatory process.
22. Imposing a caution order does not involve the necessary degree of public protection, given the Panel’s findings, and the Panel cannot be satisfied there will not be a repeat of the behaviour identified in this case, given that the Registrant has not produced any evidence of insight or remediation. There is no evidence as to what he would do differently in the future if he found himself in similar circumstances.
23. The Panel next considered a Conditions of Practice Order but concluded in the circumstances of this case that it was impossible to formulate any workable or realistic conditions. The Registrant has not attended the hearing and there is no up to date evidence about his current practice or intentions and the commitment and engagement of the Registrant and or any future supervisor or employer cannot be guaranteed. In addition, a Conditions of Practice Order would not provide, in the Panel’s view, the necessary degree of public protection that is required, as this case occurred outside the working environment.
24. The Panel next considered whether to impose a suspension order and concluded that this was appropriate to protect the public and to retain confidence in the profession of being a Radiographer. The Panel cannot be satisfied that the issues identified in these proceedings have been resolved.
25. The Panel makes the suspension order for 12 months. This sanction, in this instance, provides an opportunity for the Registrant to address the deficiencies identified, and to provide evidence of reflection on the findings that have been made. The Panel concluded that a Suspension Order for 12 months allowed the Registrant sufficient opportunity to remedy his shortcomings whilst providing an appropriate degree of public protection.
26. Having arrived at an appropriate and necessary sanction the Panel considered that to impose the more restrictive sanction of striking the Registrant off from the register would be unnecessarily punitive and disproportionate. However, the Registrant should be aware that this sanction will be a possibility for a future Panel if the Registrant does not identify the concerns set out in this decision.
27. Whilst in no way seeking to bind any future Panel, at a subsequent review hearing, the Panel envisages that the following matters would be of assistance:
(a) The Registrant should, if possible, attend in person to explain his actions,
(b) The Registrant should provide evidence regarding his current employment status, and references from his present or any post conviction employment.
(c) Provide a reflective account, focusing on the findings of this Panel, and steps taken to address any underlying issues arising from the conviction.
(d) Evidence of up to date training and development and Continuous Professional Development.
An interim suspension order was imposed to cover the 28 day appeal period.
This order will be reviewed before its expiry.
History of Hearings for Marlo Medel
|Date||Panel||Hearing type||Outcomes / Status|
|15/08/2016||Conduct and Competence Committee||Review Hearing||Struck off|
|20/07/2016||Conduct and Competence Committee||Review Hearing||Hearing has not yet been held|
|29/07/2015||Conduct and Competence Committee||Final Hearing||Hearing has not yet been held|