Mr Kayson Joseph

Profession: Operating department practitioner

Registration Number: ODP35365

Hearing Type: Final Hearing

Date and Time of hearing: 10:00 13/01/2017 End: 17:00 13/01/2017

Location: Health and Care Professions Council, 405 Kennington Road, London, SE11 4PT

Panel: Conduct and Competence Committee
Outcome: Struck off

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Allegation

1. On 8 April 2016 you accepted a police caution for the offence of taking an indecent photograph / pseudo-photograph of a child 2015/02/07 – taking an indecent photograph/ pseudo-photograph of a child (recordable). This offence was contrary to sections 1(1)(a) and 6 of the Protection of Children Act 1978.


2. By reason of your caution as set out at paragraph 1 your fitness to practice as an Operating Department Practitioner is impaired.

Finding

Preliminary matters
Service

1. The Panel was satisfied on the documentary evidence provided, that the Registrant, Mr Joseph, had been given proper notice of this hearing in accordance with the Rules. Notice of this hearing was sent by first class post to his address on the Register by letter dated 25 October 2015.

Proceeding in Absence

2. The Panel heard submissions by Ms Mond Wedd on behalf of the Council as to the power to proceed in the absence of the Registrant.   There has been no response from the Registrant in respect of these proceedings. Ms Mond Wedd submitted that the Registrant had, by his conduct, shown that he had voluntarily waived his right to attend and to be represented. 

3. In reaching its decision, the Panel considered the HCPC’s Practice Note entitled “Proceeding in the Absence of the Registrant” it has accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor. The Panel was aware that it should exercise the utmost care and caution before deciding to proceed in the absence of a registrant.  The Panel accepted Ms Mond Wedd’s submissions, and concluded that the Registrant has voluntarily waived his right to be present. He has not requested an adjournment of today’s hearing and the Panel decided that an adjournment would be unlikely to result in his attendance at any later date. The Panel decided that there would be no unfairness to the Registrant by proceeding in his absence especially as it was in the public interest that final hearings should take place expeditiously and at the allotted time. 

Background

4. On 8 April 2016 the Registrant attended Lodden Valley Police Station where he accepted a Police Caution for an offence of Taking Indecent Photographs or pseudo-photographs of a child contrary to sections 1(1)(a) and 6 of the Protection of Children Act 1978. This followed his account to the Police that he had taken photographs of the victim naked and filmed them having sex. The Registrant stated to the Police that this was with the victim’s permission but that he was aware of her age (17 years old) at the time of the offence. Due to his admissions and accepting a Police Caution the Registrant is subjected to a two year sexual offender registration.

Decision on facts and grounds

5. There is before the Panel a copy of the Caution accepted by the Registrant on 8 April 2016. The Panel is therefore satisfied on the balance of probabilities that the Registrant did indeed accept the Caution.

Decision on impairment 

6. In reaching its decision the Panel has considered all the information before it together with the submissions of Ms Mond Wedd. It has accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor.

7. The Panel concluded that the Registrant’s fitness to practise is currently impaired by reason of his acceptance of a Police Caution.

8. In regard to the personal element, the Registrant has admitted a serious sexual offence against a vulnerable child. He has not engaged with these proceedings. He has at no stage expressed remorse for the offence, indeed in the course of his employer’s investigations he sought to diminish his involvement.  Furthermore there is nothing to indicate any insight into his wrongdoing nor that he has taken any remedial steps. 

9. The Panel has therefore no information which could satisfy it that such behaviour would not be repeated.

10. In regard to the wider public interest, acts of indecency with a vulnerable child by an Operating Department Practitioner would raise considerable concern with the public. The Panel has therefore concluded that a failure to find impairment would undermine public confidence in the profession and would not support the appropriate standards of conduct and behaviour.

Decision on sanction

11. In reaching its decision the Panel again considered all the information before it together with the submissions of Ms Mond Wedd. It has well in mind the Council’s Indicative Sanctions policy. It accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor. It has exercised the principle of proportionality at all times.

12. The Panel first considered taking no action but this would be wholly inappropriate and insufficient to protect the public.  An offence of this nature demands a sanction.

13. The Panel then considered mediation but this too would be inappropriate.

14. The Panel next considered a Caution Order. Such a sanction would be insufficient to protect the public, nor would it mark the serious nature of the offence.

15. The Panel then considered a Conditions of Practice Order but this too would be insufficient and inappropriate to an offence of this nature. 

16. The Panel therefore considered a Suspension Order. However, the Registrant has not engaged with these proceedings and has failed to demonstrate any remorse or understanding of the effect that his offence could have on the profession or indeed upon its reputation.  As a consequence the Panel has concluded that a Suspension Order would be inappropriate, insufficient to protect the public and would not maintain public confidence in the profession nor the HCPC as regulator.

17. The Panel has therefore determined that to protect the public and the public interest, only a Striking Off order would be the appropriate, proportionate and sufficient sanction. Indeed in the circumstances of this case, involving as it does unlawful sexual activity with a vulnerable child, who was under the care of social services at the time,  the public would find it particularly abhorrent if a Striking Off order were not made. In coming to this decision the Panel has weighed the potential significant impact on the Registrant against the public interest.

Order

The Registrar is directed to strike the name of Mr Kayson Joseph from the Register on the date this order comes into effect.

Notes

An interim suspension order was imposed to cover the appeal period.

Hearing History

History of Hearings for Mr Kayson Joseph

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
13/01/2017 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Struck off