Mr Chetin Kaya Hussyinn

Profession: Social worker

Registration Number: SW27194

Interim Order: Imposed on 15 Dec 2017

Hearing Type: Final Hearing

Date and Time of hearing: 10:00 30/05/2019 End: 17:00 30/05/2019

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

Panel: Conduct and Competence Committee
Outcome: Struck off

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Allegation

While registered with the Health and Care Professions Council as a Social Worker:

1) On 27 September 2018, at Blackfriars Crown Court, you were convicted of:

a) Two counts of Buggery;

b) Five counts of indecent assault;

c) One count of indecency with a child.

2) By reason of your convictions, as set out at particular 1, your fitness to

practise as a Social Worker is impaired.

 

Finding

Preliminary matters
Service of Notice
1. The Panel found that there had been good service of the Notice of Hearing by a letter dated 3 April 2019 sent to the Registrant’s registered address informing him of the date, time, and venue of the hearing.

Proceeding in the Absence of the Registrant
2. Ms Hastie made a submission that the hearing should proceed in the absence of the Registrant. She referred to the following documents:
• a copy of the Notice of Hearing, dated 3 April 2019, sent to the Registrant at his previous prison address;
• a letter from Kingsley Napley to the Registrant at his previous prison address, dated 5 April 2019, enclosing the bundle of documents and a pro forma;
• a completed pro forma returned by the Registrant, dated 25 April 2019;
• an undated letter from the Registrant to Kingsley Napley sent from his current prison address, received by Kingley Napley on 3 May 2019
• an e-mail exchange between an HCPC scheduling officer and a custody officer at the Registrant’s current prison address, dated 09 May 2019.

3. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor. It had regard to the HCPTS Practice Note ‘Proceeding in the Absence of the Registrant’.

4. In the undated letter from the Registrant he confirms that he has received the paperwork. The Panel drew the inference that he had received the Notice of Hearing, sent on 3 April 2019, because he had received the letter from Kingsley Napley, which was sent to the same prison address.

5. The Panel was satisfied that the HCPC had taken all reasonable steps to inform the Registrant of the hearing. The HCPC also made enquiries with the prison, in which the Registrant currently resides, about whether there were options for the Registrant to attend the hearing, even though he had indicated in the returned pro forma document that he did not plan to attend the hearing.

6. The Panel exercised its discretion with the utmost care and caution balancing the interests of the Registrant and the public interest.
7. The Panel considered the circumstances of the Registrant’s absence. In his letter the Registrant states “I am unable to attend as I am in prison and in the process of appealing the convictions”. The Panel accepted that the Registrant wishes to appeal against the conviction, but noted the absence of any evidence or information to indicate that the Registrant is taking pro-active steps or that any appeal has been lodged or is being prepared. The Registrant has not provided an update since 25 April 2019.

8. The Registrant is currently in prison and therefore it would not be appropriate to state that his absence is voluntary or that he has waived his right to attend the hearing. Nevertheless, the Registrant did not indicate in the pro forma that he wanted arrangements to be made so that he could attend the hearing.

9. In the pro-forma and in his letter the Registrant sets out his position that he “would like representation at the meeting and am trying to get legal help”. The Panel gave careful consideration to this factor. While it noted that the Registrant wanted to obtain legal representation, there was no evidence or any information that he was taking active steps to obtain legal or any form of representation. The Panel would have given greater weight to this factor if the Registrant had been engaging with the HCPC and providing updates on the steps he was taking and any difficulties that he faced. The information provided by the Registrant was minimal and he has not provided any update. The Panel’s view was that the Registrant has had sufficient time to make enquires or, at the very least, inform the HCPC if he needed more time to arrange legal representation. The Registrant has not updated the HCPC.

10. The Panel considered the extent of disadvantage to the Registrant, both in relation to his non-attendance and the absence of a representative. This is a conviction allegation and the Panel is not able to go behind that conviction. Therefore, the disadvantage caused to the Registrant in not being able to give evidence to the Panel is limited. There would be some disadvantage to the Registrant in not being represented, but again the Panel considered that the disadvantage was limited because of the conviction.

11. The Panel did not consider that there was a realistic prospect that the Registrant might attend a hearing if it was adjourned to a later date. He has not requested an adjournment.

12. The Panel recognised that it was not in the Registrant’s interests that the hearing should proceed in his absence. However, it considered that there were clear public interest reasons to proceed with the hearing. The Panel considered the interests of the HCPC and the public interest. Although public safety is not a consideration because the Registrant is currently in prison, the Panel nevertheless considered that the public interest was engaged because of the seriousness of the conviction, involving sexual offences against children and a lengthy prison sentence. The Panel also considered that there was a public interest in the expeditious, economical and efficient disposal of the matter.

13. Having carefully balanced the Registrant’s interests and the public interest the Panel exercised its discretion to proceed in the Registrant’s absence.

Background
14. The Registrant was employed as a Social Worker with Torbay Council when concerns that led to his conviction were reported to the HCPC on 22 July 2016.

15. The Registrant was investigated by the Police in relation to historic child abuse offences which took place in the 1970s.
16. The Registrant denied his conduct towards three victims and the matter went to trial. On 27 September 2018 at Blackfriars Crown Court the Registrant was found guilty of two counts of buggery, five counts of indecent assault, and one count of indecency with a child. He was sentenced at Blackfriars Crown Court on 28 September 2018 to a total of 14 years imprisonment including a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and notification requirements for an indefinite period. The Registrant is prohibited from “taking employment or being otherwise engaged in any position or capacity, paid or voluntary, which would involve any unsupervised contact with a male child under the age of 16 year…”.

Decision on facts
17. The Panel found the facts proved by the Certificate of Conviction from Blackfriars Crown Court 28 September 2018.

18. The offences are summarised in the sentencing remarks of HH Judge Milne:

“Chetin Hussyin you have been convicted of offences perpetrated upon three boys over a period of between 1971 and 1984. During that time you were responsible for running a youth football team and you were an intermediate treatment worker with young offenders. You had a sexual interest in young boys and you were clearly willing and able to indulge that interest by taking advantage of the youths with whom you worked or who visited your home.

In respect of Person 3 at some point in the early 1970s you committed buggery upon him, clearly without his consent. This, he rightly describes as rape and he recalls that he was incapacitated at the time through drink or drugs. Whether or not you gave him those drink or drugs you would have been well aware of that fact and you exploited a young boy in circumstances with a cynical and selfish act of sexual predation. The impact upon Person 3 over four decades, since that time has clearly had long-term profound implications.

Person 4 is another youth whom you exploited, albeit he saw this as sexual experimentation. You could not fail to have known that he was only 14 at the time of the incident of buggery. You were an adult in your early 20s, you knew it was illegal, you knew that he was affectively (sic) under your care as he played in the team that you organised, and he speaks of you making repeated passes at him. He would not doubt have been flattered by the attention of the older man and he looked up to you.

With your encouragement, young boys visited the houses where you lived and they have said, particularly Person 1 has said that they were given free rein to smoke or to drink. Person 1 was one of those and you knew that he was only a young child; on his recollection, no more than eight and a half when you first met him. It would have been obvious to an adult that he was vulnerable and that his home life was unhappy. He took refuge in your household and you used that to your advantage by placing persistent pressure on him to let you be sexually active with him. Whilst there was no intercourse, as such, there was a long-term pattern of sexual abuse involving your sucking his penis, making him masturbate you and this continued over an extended period of time. He recalls that period as extending from the time he was eight until around the time when he would have been 15. Eventually you appeared to have simply passed him on to your friend, Person 2, to do likewise with him.

With Person 1 to an even greater extent, of Person 3 or Person 4 the behaviour….has contributed to his deterioration and misery over a period in excess of 30 years. The psychological damage done by the exploitation of a child at that age is incalculable but immense and nothing that I have seen in the course of this trial suggests to me a flicker of remorse….,but rather a cynical attempt to avoid the consequences of your actions by forcing of the three complainants to relive the misery and anguish in public.”

19. In respect of one of the counts HHJ Milne considered that:

“Aggravation, in my view, is found in the long-term psychological harm to Person 1 that there was ejaculation and there appears on occasions to have been other children present coupled with the fact that this was a very protracted period of time”.

Decision on impairment
20. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor and had regard to the HCPTS Practice Note ‘Finding that Fitness to Practice is Impaired’ and the HCPTS Practice Note ‘Conviction and Caution Allegations’. The Panel considered the Registrant’s fitness to practise at today’s date.

21. The Panel considered the nature, circumstances and gravity of the convictions. The offences involve criminal sexual offences against children which is a breach of a fundamental tenet of the profession. The Registrant breached of trust placed in him by his victims, in order to satisfy the Registrant’s own sexual desires. The Registrant’s victims were young and vulnerable. The offences involved grooming behaviour, sexual activity with a child with aggravating features, and persistent and repeated offending. The Registrant’s offending was considered by the sentencing judge to be so serious that an immediate and lengthy prison sentence was imposed.

22. The degree of harm caused by the Registrant’s criminal conduct was significant, as summarised in the sentencing remarks. It has had long-term consequences. The high level of the Registrant’s culpability is also emphasised in the sentencing remarks.
23. The Panel first considered the personal component which is the Registrant’s current conduct and behaviour. The Registrant denies the conduct and he does not demonstrate any insight into the impact of his behaviour on the victims or the reputation of the profession.

24. Although the criminal behaviour was more than forty years ago, there was no evidence to persuade the Panel that the Registrant would not repeat the criminal conduct. The Panel also noted the references in the Judge’s sentencing remarks to the Registrant’s sexual interest in young boys. The Panel identified that there was a risk of repetition and therefore an ongoing risk of harm to young service users. The Panel therefore decided that the Registrant’s fitness to practise is impaired on the basis of the personal component.

25. The Panel next considered the wider public interest considerations including the need to maintain confidence in the profession and to uphold standards of conduct and behaviour.

26. The Panel noted the circumstances of the offences as described in the sentencing remarks, including the impact of the Registrant’s criminal behaviour on the victims. The Panel also had regard to the aggravating features and the sentence imposed on the Registrant, including the indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

27. The Panel noted that the Registrant was in serious breach of Standard 9 of the HCPC Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics in that his conduct did not justify the public’s confidence in him as a Social Worker.

28. The Panel considered that the Registrant’s behaviour brought the profession into disrepute. Members of the profession and the public would rightly be gravely concerned to learn about the Registrant’s conviction, the long-term damage caused by his behaviour, the absence of any insight or remorse, and the extent to which the Registrant departed from the high standards that are expected of Social Workers.

29. In the circumstances, the Panel decided that the Registrant’s fitness to practise is impaired on the basis of the public component.

Decision on sanction
30. In considering which, if any, sanction to impose the Panel had regard to the HCPC Indicative Sanctions Policy (ISP) and the advice of the Legal Assessor.

31. The Panel reminded itself that the purpose of imposing a sanction is not to punish the practitioner, but to protect the public and the wider public interest. The Panel ensured that it acted proportionately, and in particular it sought to balance the interests of the public with those of the Registrant, and imposed the sanction which was the least restrictive in the circumstances commensurate with its duty of protection.

32. The Panel decided that the aggravating features were:
• serious sexual offences against children and a substantial custodial sentence;
• the Registrant’s not guilty plea and continuing denial;
• significant actual harm to victims and, as described by the Judge, “long-term psychological harm”;
• at the time of some of the offences the Registrant was working as a Social Worker and met one of the children through that role;
• the Registrant’s behaviour was described by the Judge as including “grooming… and the greater willingness of parents to trust apparent figures of authority such as social workers was exploited by you”;
• the offences occurred over 13 years from 1971 to 1984.

33. The Panel decided that the mitigating features were:
• the offences were historical and the Registrant worked as a Social Worker from 1981;
• no previous fitness to practise findings.

34. The Panel considered the option of taking no action. This is an exceptional outcome and would not be sufficient to protect the public or the public interest.

35. The Panel next considered the option of a Caution Order. The Panel noted the guidance in the ISP that “A caution order is an appropriate sanction for cases, where the lapse is isolated, limited, or relatively minor in nature, there is a low risk of recurrence, the registrant has shown insight and taken appropriate remedial action”. This guidance does not apply, the Registrant’s criminal conviction is too serious, and a Caution Order would be insufficient.

36. The Panel considered the more serious sanction of a Conditions of Practice Order, but decided that it was not sufficient or appropriate. A Conditions of Practice Order is not realistic in circumstances where the Registrant is subject to an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order. Conditions of Practice would also be insufficient to maintain confidence in the profession and the regulatory process.

37. The Panel next considered the more serious options of a Suspension Order or a Striking-Off Order. The Panel considered that the gravity of the Registrant’s criminal offences was such that a Striking Off Order was more likely to be the appropriate sanction and that this was consistent with guidance in the ISP. The Panel noted the guidance in paragraph 17 that where a registered professional has been convicted of a serious offence and is still serving their sentence, normally the tribunal should not allow them to return to practice until the sentence has concluded. In the Registrant’s case this would be a fourteen year period from 2018. Further, the ISP provides guidance in paragraph 20 that Panels should regard it as incompatible with the HCPC’s obligation to protect the public to allow a registrant to return to unrestricted practice while subject to a notification requirement as a sex offender.

38. However, before it dismissed the option of a Suspension Order, the Panel carefully considered and evaluated the mitigating circumstances. The Panel considered that the mitigating circumstances had little weight, bearing in mind the circumstances and gravity of the sexual offences and the impact of the Registrant’s behaviour on the reputation of the profession. Although the Registrant’s offences are in relation to historic sexual offences, the conviction is very recent. Further, the Registrant’s period of work as a Social Worker, although lengthy is not unblemished; there was a three year overlap (1981 – 1984) in the period of time he worked as a Social Worker and the sexual offences.

39. The Panel also gave careful consideration to the Registrant’s interests. He currently disputes the conviction and wishes to appeal. It would be in his interests to have the option to practise as a Social Worker if he were to appeal and his appeal was successful. The guidance in the ISP informed the Panel that unless new evidence comes to light a person may not make an application to be restored to the Register before the expiry of five years. The Panel therefore noted that the Registrant would have the option of applying for restoration on the basis of new evidence if his conviction were to be overturned on appeal.

40. The Panel decided that any sanction less than a Striking-Off Order would not be sufficient to protect the public interest. The reputation of the profession has been damaged by the Registrant’s conviction. The Panel took into account the nature and circumstances of the criminal offences, as described in the Judge’s sentencing remarks, the aggravating features, and the indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order. In the Panel’s judgment members of the public would not consider this criminal conduct to be compatible with the Registrant working as a Social Worker. They would not consider that a Suspension Order was sufficient to mark the seriousness of the Registrant’s departure from professional standards.

41. The Panel concluded that the appropriate and proportionate sanction is a Striking-Off Order.

Order

The Registrar is directed to strike the name of Chetin Kaya Hussyin from the register.

Notes

No notes available

Hearing History

History of Hearings for Mr Chetin Kaya Hussyinn

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
30/05/2019 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Struck off