Mr Nicholas E Tyrrell

Profession: Paramedic

Registration Number: PA21559

Hearing Type: Final Hearing

Date and Time of hearing: 10:00 25/04/2022 End: 17:00 29/04/2022

Location: Virtual Hearing

Panel: Conduct and Competence Committee
Outcome: Adjourned part heard

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Allegation

Allegation (amended 31 January 2022):  
 
Whilst registered with the Health and Care Professions Council, and employed by the South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAMB), as a paramedic, you: 
 
1. Between May 2016 and November 2016, sent text messages and/or Facebook messages to Child A which: 
 
a) Were inappropriate in terms of frequency; and/or
b) Were racially inappropriate and/or discriminatory, including those as outlined in Schedule A; and/or
c) Were inappropriate and/or sexual in nature, including those as  outlined in Schedule B; and/or
d) Contained inappropriate information regarding calls you attended and/or purported to have attended in your role at SECAMB, including those as outlined in Schedule C’
 
2. Between August 2016 and November 2016, sent text and/or Facebook messages to Child B of an inappropriate and/or sexual nature, including those listed in Schedule D.
 
3. Took the following items from your employer without permission:
a) Pulse Oximeter serial number 130700330; 
b) Blood Glucose Machine serial number 1380181 16041.
 
4. In or around the summer of 2016, gave Child A the Pulse Oximeter referred to at particular 3.a) above.
 
5. On or around 05 November 2016, gave Child A the Blood Glucose Machine referred to at particular 3.b) above.
 
6. On or around 05 November 2016, engaged in inappropriate physical contact with Child A, in that you put your hand on Child A’s genitals, on top of his trousers, and squeezed.
 
7. On or around 05 November 2016:
a) took Entonox from your employer without permission;
b) brought Entonox belonging to SECAMB to a fireworks event at Child A’s school without permission and/or clinical justification;
c) administered Entonox to Child A without clinical justification and/or allowed Child A to self-administer Entonox without clinical need
 
8. On or around 05 November 2016, engaged in sexual activity with yourself in the presence of Child A.
 
9. The matters set out at paragraphs 1(a) and/or 1(b) and/or 1(c) and/or 1(d)and/or 2 and/or 6- and/or 7 and/or 8 were sexually motivated.
 
10. The matters set out at paragraphs 3(a)and/or 3(b) and/or 7 (a) and/or (7) (b)were dishonest.
 
11. The matters set out at paragraphs 1-10 amount to misconduct.
 
12. By reason of your misconduct, your fitness to practise is impaired.
 
Schedule A 
 
Redacted
 
Schedule B 
 
i. ‘Night pup sleep well’ on or around 30 May 2016;
ii. ‘You will start as my puppy and I will be your puppy walker’ on or around 6 June 2016;
iii. ‘I’ll text you when I’m in the area and you can make a hoax call’ on or around 8 June 2016;
iv. ‘LOL your my little star and I love you for that you make me smile and laugh and brighten me up when it gets redacted’ on or around 29 June 2016;
v. ‘This is not for publication Ask an bloke if he can suck his own dick and the chances are he will say no. Occasionally you might find one who claims he can but you will never ever meet a guy who doesn’t know’ on or around 30 June 2016;
vi. ‘Night night pup sleep well and dream of me. LOL’ on or around 4 July2016;
vii. ‘You will always be my puppy’ on or around 10 July 2016;
viii. ‘You know [Child A] I love you your such a genuine guy’ on or around 23 July 2016;
ix. ‘You know I really I love you...but I still love you’ on or around 27 July 2016;
x. A picture of a naked man on or around 31 July 2016;
xi. A box with the words ‘Had a fight with an erection this morning Beat it single handed’ on or around 2 August 2016;
xii. A cartoon of a sexual nature on or around 2 August 2016;
xiii. Redacted;
xiv. ‘It might sound weird but I recon you could describe the taste of his lips...I could mine cool ripe soft peach’ on or around 9 August 2016;
xv. ‘God you look good in that tee shirt...You look stunning in it’ on or around 19 August 2016;
xvi. ‘If he asked u to suck feel or stroke would u’ on or around 23 August 2016;
xvii. In response to Child A saying he had seen pictures of naked men ‘Does it excite u’ on or around 23 August 2016;
xviii. ‘I do love u my little cub’ on or around 25 August 2016;
xix. ‘Pity it’s not a formal session because I normally teach with a body crayon and bare skin drawing great fun’ on or around 27 August 2016; 
xx. ‘I love you to bits but I scared that I am becoming too reliant on you because you are the only person I have been so open with and can talk to who understands without judgement’ on or around 1 October 2016;
xxi. ‘Bless you you can try it on with [Child B] and see if he likes men in uniform...Might as well spice it up. Striptease in uniform drive him crazy’ on or around 2 October 2016;
xxii. ‘Don’t’ forget to send me a pic of u...Get someone else to take it don’t want a mirror reflection pic need one to print off and keep to bring out at an appropriate moment’ on or around 2 October 2016;
xxiii. ‘Your so sweet I love your smile in fact everything about you my hero’ on or around 9 October 2016;
xxiv. ‘I’m watching red dwarf in my pjs on an my hand down the front’ on or around 28 October 2016;
xxv. ‘What do you do in the shower that makes it fun’ on or around 2 November 2016;
xxvi. ‘By the size of ur redacted I bet it came out quick’ on or around 10 November 2016;
xxvii. You have a perfect figure. Keep it. Well proportioned’ on or around 10 November 2016;
xxviii. ‘Your as old as the man you feel. I feel 15’ on or around 14 November 2016;
xxix. ‘Nothing on tv that interests you...Time for the porn then lol’ on or around 19 November 2016;
xxx. ‘Perhaps I should get you a dildo and lube for Christmas’ on or around 19 November 2016.
 
Schedule C 
 
i. Two pictures of a car accident on or around 26 June 2016;
ii. On or around 31 July 2016 details of a call out you attended the previous day;
iii. In respect of a call you were attending on or around 3 August 2016 ‘Now I know where the term wrinklies come from urg’;
iv. On or around 3 August 2016, details of the call out you attended that day;
v. Photographs and the message ‘Scene of one of the jobs today’ on or around 5 August 2016;
vi. Photographs of a car accident on or around 8 August 2016;
vii. In respect of a call you were attending on or around 14 September 2016 ‘Sadly he only grazed elbows I was hoping he had broken his neck’;
viii. In respect of a call you were attending on or around 18 September 2016 ‘Another time waster assault my arse...had a fit and wanted attention. Alcoholic and fucking stank’.
 
Schedule D 
 
i. ‘I reached down and he was naked with the most enormous erection’;
ii. ‘Good what about lube and condoms. Or are you bare back’;
iii. ‘I went bareback’;
iv. ‘Yes I love Child A to bits and I have so much respect and time for him’.
 

Finding

Application to conduct the hearing in private
 
1. Ms Reid applied to have the application by the Registrant to conduct the hearing of the application itself in private, and this was not opposed by the Registrant. The Panel  took legal advice and considered the Registrant and Ms Reid’s submissions.  The Panel  decided that it was appropriate, fair and in the interests of justice to hear the application in private given the private and personal matters that will require to be discussed in the application and further, given the need to protect the private life of the Registrant, witnesses and others connected with the case. 
 
2. The Registrant said he wanted the whole hearing in private.
 
Decision on conducting the Hearing in Private
 
3. The Panel  accepted the legal advice from the Legal Assessor who referred it to the guidance in the Practice Note on Conducting Hearings in Private. He referred the Panel  to the relevant rules and advised that hearings should be conducted in public given the central importance of the open justice principle. The Panel  may only depart from this in limited circumstances. In considering whether to conduct part or the whole of the hearing in private, the Panel  must consider what is in the interests of justice and take account of the right to protection of private life of the Registrant and any witnesses.  
 
4. The Panel  took account of the submissions from Ms Reid and the submissions and information placed before it by the Registrant. The Registrant’s submissions extended to 124 pages. The Registrant states that he has been harassed as a result of these allegations and feels threatened by various parties. He states he feels he is being “re-tried” despite a court having found him not guilty. This Panel  is unable to test that information and it cannot adjudicate on what is stated by the Registrant in his application.  Whilst the Panel  took account of the Registrant’s concerns, the open justice principle is central to a fair hearing and it may not be departed from except in strictly limited circumstances. 
 
5. The Panel  was mindful of the HCPC Practice Note which states:-  
 
“The “open justice principle” adopted in the United Kingdom means that, in general, justice should be administered in public and that:  
• hearings should be held in public; 
• evidence should be communicated publicly; and 
• fair, accurate and contemporaneous media reporting of proceedings should not be prevented unless strictly necessary…  
 
Article 6(1) ECHR [European Convention on Human Rights] is directed at preventing the administration of justice in secret.  It guarantees the general right to a public hearing, for the purpose of protecting the parties from secret justice without public scrutiny and to maintain confidence in the courts. However, there is no corresponding general right for a person to insist upon a private hearing.  
 
The right to a public hearing is subject to the specific exceptions set out in Article 6(1). Consequently, there are circumstances in which proceedings can be heard in private but, unless one of those express exceptions applies, a decision to sit in private will be a violation of the ECHR.  
 
The Panel  rules reflect Article 6(1) ECHR and provide that:  
 
“At any hearing... the proceedings shall be held in public unless the [Panel ] is satisfied that, in the interests of justice or for the protection of the private life of the registrant, the complainant, any person giving evidence or of any patient or client, the public should be excluded from all or part of the hearing;...”  
Thus, there are two broad circumstances in which all or part of a hearing may be held in private:  
• where it is in the interests of justice to do so; or 
• where it is done in order to protect the private life of: 
 the registrant who is the subject of the allegation; 
 the complainant; 
 a witness giving evidence; 
 or a service user.” 
 
6. The Practice Note further states that:- 
 
“Article 6 of ECHR which provides that proceedings may be held in private - “to the extent strictly necessary in the opinion of the [Panel ] in special circumstances where publicity would prejudice the interests of justice.”  The narrow scope of that Article means that the exercise of the “interests of justice” exception should be confined to situations where it is strictly necessary to exclude the press and public and where doing otherwise would genuinely frustrate the administration of justice.”
 
7. The Panel  did not find there was any proper basis to conclude that it was “strictly necessary” to conduct the hearing in private. Further, having considered all the information before it, it did not find that there were any special circumstances where a public hearing would prejudice the interests of justice.  
 
8. Embarrassment, reputation, or the concerns expressed by the Registrant are not sufficient to reach the required high threshold of “strictly necessary”.  The Panel  decided that the administration of justice will not be frustrated by conducting the hearing in public. Further, it decided that there was no proper basis upon which to conclude that the Registrant would suffer disproportionate damage should the hearing be held in public.
 
9. There is a strong public interest in hearing these serious allegations in public. The Panel  concluded that the open justice principle in this case should be subject only to the right to protect the private life of the Registrant and Child A and Child B. To that extent the Panel  concluded that it was appropriate and fair to hear in private those parts of the hearing relating to the health of those parties, should that arise. The audio recording of the interviews with the Registrant will also be heard in private in order to protect identities and maintain anonymity. 
 
10. The Panel  accordingly concluded that the hearing will be conducted in public, apart from those parts of the hearing referring to the health of the Registrant, Child A and Child B and the audio recordings. 
 
Application for Special Measures for witness Parent A
 
11. The Panel  next heard an application from Ms Reid to allow the next witness, Parent A, to have a friend with her for support. This was opposed by Ms Tompkinson on behalf of the Registrant. Ms Reid asked for special measures in this regard and reminded the Panel  that at a Preliminary Hearing it had been decided that Parent A was a vulnerable witness.  Parent A seeks a friend be with her and support her as the evidence was likely to be traumatic for her.  She submitted it was reasonable and proportionate to allow the attendance of this supporter who is not connected with the case. 
 
12. Ms Tompkinson opposed the application.  She submitted that Parent A was vulnerable but not the most vulnerable category of witness and feeling intimidated was not of itself enough as many witnesses felt that way. She submitted that the evidence was primarily to put into evidence messages that passed between the Registrant and Child A and beyond that her evidence would be hearsay and inadmissible opinion evidence.  One option would be to exclude any hearsay evidence from Parent A. Ms Tompkinson submitted that the default position was for the witness to be alone in a private room.  The Registrant will not be able to see Parent A in any event. She submitted there was always a risk that another person present can influence and contaminate the evidence of the witness. 
 
13. The Registrant would likely be concerned that the evidence will be influenced. Ms Tompkinson submitted that Child A was not accompanied at the trial and therefore it was hard to see why Child A’s mother should have that support.  It is also fair to remember that the Registrant states he had in turn been harassed by Parent A. She submitted that any hearsay or opinion evidence should be struck out, alternatively admit the friend as a guest, that is effectively in the public gallery but the witness cannot see or hear her.
 
Decision on Application for further special measures for Parent A
 
14. The Panel  accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor who advised that special measures were a matter of discretion for the Panel , and to be mindful of fairness, and proportionality in deciding what, if any, further measures were appropriate.  It should also have regard to the guidance in the HCPTS Practice Note on Special Measures.
 
15. The Panel  noted that Parent A is a vulnerable witness and special measures are already in place in that regard. The Panel  took account of the concerns raised by Parent A and was also mindful of the concerns expressed by the Registrant and his health issues. The Panel  was conscious that this is a public hearing and this person would therefore, in any event, be entitled to attend as a member of the public. 
 
16. Giving evidence is a stressful experience but the Panel  do not consider that alone justifies further special measures as stress is something experienced by most, if not all, witnesses.  Parent A’s evidence is also of a limited nature and she does not speak to the underlying facts of the case. 
 
17. In these circumstances the Panel  decided that it would not impose further special measures beyond those already in place for Parent A. It considered those measures are sufficient to deal fairly and effectively with Parent A’s vulnerability and that to impose further special measures would not be desirable, and be unnecessary and disproportionate in the circumstances. The application is therefore refused. 
 
Application to allow Hearsay Evidence
 
18. Ms Reid sought to have the following hearsay evidence admitted into the evidence:-
 
• Exhibit 21 witness statement of Parent C  -   A signed statement of Parent C given to witness SA, the Investigating Officer at SECAMB on 21 December 2016 when Parent C gave SA screenshots from the telephone 22B.
• Exhibit 22B  - Screenshots taken from Child B’s telephone by their Parent C, being messages between the Registrant and Child B. 
• Exhibit 29 – A summary dated 27 January 2017 of the police interview with the Registrant by an unnamed police officer. There is no audio recording of this interview.
 
19. Ms Reid referred to the relevant case law and the factors to be considered when deciding whether to admit this hearsay evidence. She set out the steps taken to secure the attendance of Child B and Parent C. A witness statement was prepared following contact with Child B and Parent C but thereafter both disengaged from the investigation. 
 
20. Regarding Exhibit 29, Ms Reid explained that these documents were obtained from the police records and the identification of the officer has not been possible to ascertain.
 
21. Ms Reid submitted with regard to Exhibit 21 and 22B that significant attempts were made to engage further with the witnesses and everything short of a witness summons was attempted.  Child B had previously stated that he was fearful of the Registrant at the time and at the interview. She submitted the evidence was reliable as Exhibit 21 was a signed witness statement given by SA and he will be a live witness who can be questioned by the Panel . There is no apparent motive by Parent C to fabricate the evidence and speaks only to finding and screenshotting the messages on Child B’s telephone. There is some evidence of animosity but no suggestion of fabrication of the evidence.
 
22. Ms Reid submitted that Exhibit 21 and 22B is the primary evidence in support of particular 2 and is corroborated by other evidence in Exhibit 45 being messages from 23 November 2016 which corresponds with the dates from Parent C. Ms Reid also referred to other text messages in Exhibit 45 that correspond with the messages also seen at Exhibit 22B. 
23. Ms Reid submitted that there did not appear to be a significant dispute about whether these messages are what they appear to be.
 
24. With regard to Exhibit 29, Ms Reid submitted that the identity of the police interviewer cannot be ascertained. She submitted it was reliable as it is a formal record on police documentation being a “short descriptive note” made by the police in respect of an interview with the Registrant at the police station identified. It appears to follow on from an earlier police interview which is in the bundle and so indicates this is a true and reliable summary that makes sense in the context of the alleged facts in this case, dealing specifically with the use of Entonox by the Registrant. 
 
25. Ms Reid submitted that Exhibit 29 is not the sole or decisive evidence in respect of the allegations. 
 
26. The bundle was sent to the Registrant in December 2021 and has been on notice that these documents would be relied upon by the HCPC. His previous legal representative also reviewed the evidence and engaged in discussions about admissibility and did not object to these exhibits. 
 
27. The Registrant said to the Panel  that he had the bundle in November 2021 but had said he had told the HCPC that he did not have internet access. He said he physically got the bundle recently.  His previous Counsel had discussed the documents with him but he had not actually seen them at that point. 
 
28. The Registrant said that Child B was not attending the hearing and he was a valuable witness for the Registrant. He said that Child B was a critical witness and all the Panel  will hear is Parent C who dislikes him and is “out for revenge”. He said that not all the messages are available to the Panel  and are misrepresented and taken out of context.
 
29. The Registrant told the Panel  that he had bought Child A a present which had been agreed with his parents and Child B had spoiled it by telling Child A. He said allowing in the messages was unfair as messages were missing and only shows the messages sent when the Registrant had been unwell and angry. He said some of the messages were not real and had been added in for effect. He said Exhibit 22B failed to set out the background to his friendship with Child A and Child B. The Registrant said Child A’s mother had thanked him for helping her child and the messages were incomplete. 
 
30. The Registrant said that there was animosity with SA whom he said was hostile and aggressive. 
 
31. The Registrant said that both accusers were not being allowed to give evidence by their parents, who were vindictive. He said it was not fair to him when neither Child A nor B was giving evidence. 
 
32. The Registrant said he recalled the interview summarised at Exhibit 29 and he “stood by it”. 
 
Decision on Hearsay Evidence Application
 
33. The Legal Assessor referred the Panel  to the relevant case law and to the guidance and factors set out in the cases of Thorneycroft v NMC [2014] EWHC 1565 (Admin) and NMC v Ogbonna [2010] EWCA Civ 1216.  He stressed to the Panel  that all cases are fact-sensitive and the test is the requirement of fairness. The Panel  took account of the submissions of both parties.
 
34. The Panel  considered each of the three aspects of evidence in turn, was mindful of the guidance and factors to be considered, and the central importance of fairness. It took account of the submissions. 
 
35. Exhibit 29 - A summary dated 27 January 2017 of the police interview with the Registrant by an unnamed police officer. There is no audio recording of this interview -   This is evidence that derives from a reliable source, notwithstanding the lack of identity of the police officer who made the summary.  The HCPC have taken reasonable steps and are unable in the circumstances to identify and therefore call evidence from the author.  There is nothing to suggest this evidence is not what it bears to be. This summary is not the sole or decisive evidence and, significantly, it is not disputed by the Registrant. There will be an opportunity to test this evidence when the Registrant gives evidence.  The Panel  therefore concluded that it was in all the circumstances fair to admit this evidence.
 
36. Exhibit 21  - The witness statement of Parent C  (the parent of Child B) given to SA, the Investigating Officer at SECAMB on 21 December 2016 when Parent C gave SA screenshots from Child B’s telephone (exhibit 22B)  – This exhibit relates to particular 2 of the allegation, which is serious. The Panel  took the view that the HCPC has taken some reasonable steps to secure the attendance of both Parent C and Child B but it could have taken further steps to secure the attendance of Parent C. The Panel  took the view that the sole and decisive evidence is the screenshots themselves, not this witness statement.  Exhibit 21 is limited evidence from Parent C about the apparent recovery by Parent C of the screenshots from the telephone of Child B.
 
37. SA received the screenshot evidence at Exhibit 22B from Parent C when he investigated the concerns. However, Child B was not present and SA did not meet with them at any point, only with Parent C.  Exhibit 21 is potentially significant evidence as it goes to support the origin of the screenshots between Child B and the Registrant, allegedly from Child B’s telephone. 
 
38. The Registrant states the messages at exhibit 22B are incomplete. They are therefore, at least in part, a matter of contention. Further, there is information which indicates animosity between the Registrant and Child B and Parent C.  
 
39. The evidence of Parent C and of Child B cannot be properly tested as neither will give live evidence. SA can only confirm, as he does in his witness statement, that he received the screenshots from Parent C. The matter therefore cannot be properly and fairly tested, it covers a matter of contention, and there is animosity between the non-attending witnesses and the Registrant. In these circumstances the Panel  concluded that it was not fair to admit Exhibit 21.
 
40. Exhibit 22B - Screenshots taken from Child B’s telephone by their Parent C, being messages between the Registrant and Child B.   This exhibit purports to be the text messages themselves between Child B and the Registrant.  Reasonable steps have been taken to secure the attendance of Child B.  Exhibit 22B is largely decisive evidence of particular 2, but is not solely decisive given the text messages which are also in Exhibit 45. It is highly significant, if he chooses to give evidence, that the Registrant will have the opportunity to challenge the messages in Exhibit 22B. He will have the opportunity to challenge the authenticity of these messages, including the source of the messages not least as it is the Registrant who he is alleged to have sent and received some of them. The Registrant will also be entitled to cross examine SA.   
 
41. In these circumstances the Panel  concluded that it was fair to admit the text messages at Exhibit 22B.  For completeness it concluded that it was fair and appropriate to allow paragraph 9 of the witness statement of SA, which sets out the context and circumstances in which he received the screenshots in Exhibit 22B. That also allows the Registrant to challenge that evidence. 
 
42. Accordingly, the Panel  refuses the application in respect of Exhibit 21, Parent C’s statement; it grants the application in respect of Exhibit 22B, Exhibit 29 and SA witness statement in its entirety. 
 
Application to Amend
 
43. Ms Reid applied to make an amendment to particular 1(d) of the allegation as follows:-
Particular 1d) of the Allegation:-
 
‘Contained inappropriate information regarding calls you attended and/or purported to have attended in your role at SECAMB, including those as outlined in Schedule C’
 
44. Ms Reid submitted this was a minor amendment and no injustice would be caused.  The amendment better reflected the evidence and sought to clarify that the focus is on the content of the messages, rather than on whether or not calls were attended by him in his role at SECAMB. Notice has been given to the Registrant. The Registrant had no objection to the proposed amendment. 
 
45. Having taken legal advice as to the interests of justice, fairness and whether the proposed amendment alters the nature and gravity of the allegation, the Panel  concluded that it was fair and appropriate to allow this amendment, which was minor.  It does not alter the overall nature or gravity of the allegation and, further, it is not objected to by the Registrant who was given fair notice. 
 
46. The case was opened and the allegation was read.  The Registrant denied the allegation, except for particular 7 a) which he admitted. 
 
Background
 
47. The Registrant is a registered Paramedic and was employed, at the relevant time, by South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAMB) as a Band 6 Paramedic in clinical operations. On 28 November 2016, he made a self-referral to the HCPC. The Registrant informed the HCPC that he had been arrested following an allegation of inappropriate conduct towards a child, Child A.
 
48. On 1 December 2016, Hampshire Constabulary informed the HCPC of the investigation against the Registrant after he was arrested for demonstrating sexual behaviour towards a child under 18 years old. The police investigated allegations that the Registrant had groomed two 14 year old boys, Child A and Child B and exchanged messages with them via Facebook. It was also alleged that the Registrant had administered Entonox to Child A at a fireworks party. In addition, items belonging to SECAMB were found at the home of Child A, including a Pulse Oximeter and blood glucose machine. It was alleged that the Registrant had stolen these items from SECAMB and given them to Child A.
 
49. It is understood that Child A first met the Registrant when he was 10 years old at a Christmas event at the Ambulance Station where the Registrant was working as a paramedic. The Registrant was playing Father Christmas at this event and Child A spoke to him about his ambition to become a paramedic. Over the next few years, Child A undertook voluntary work within the community first response team which is used by SECAMB. In 2016, Child A was nominated for an award. The Registrant supported the nomination. 
50. Child A later received a Facebook friend request from the Registrant, which he accepted. They began to chat over Facebook and exchanged mobile numbers. The Registrant met Child A’s parents. During their conversations, Child A told the Registrant that he was gay and the Registrant also shared personal details about his own relationships. Child A began dating Child B, who was the same age as Child A. The Registrant requested that Child B become a Facebook friend and they too began talking on Facebook.
 
51. The Registrant shared a total of approximately 38,000 messages to Child A over a time period of approximately 10 months in 2016, allegedly including sexually explicit messages. It is also alleged that, during a fireworks party, the Registrant engaged in inappropriate sexual contact with Child A. A short time after this, the parents of Child A became concerned about Child A’s relationship with the Registrant. They insisted on looking at his mobile phone and discovered the messages. They then contacted the police.
 
52. On 25 November 2016, Child A was interviewed by police and recorded an Achieving Best Evidence (ABE) interview. Child A was interviewed by police on a second occasion in August 2017 where he made further disclosures.
 
53. The Registrant was charged with engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child (Child A), sexual assault and two counts of theft of items from SECAMB. The Registrant pleaded not guilty to all counts. A criminal trial took place from 20 April 2018 to 3 May 2018. Child A was 16 years of age at this time and he gave evidence at the trial. At the conclusion of the trial, the Registrant was found not guilty on all counts
 
54. SA was appointed as the Investigating Officer at SECAMB in November 2016. A Disciplinary Hearing took place on 20 October 2017.  
 
55. The Panel  heard from two witnesses for the HCPC:-
 
• Parent A, the mother of Child A.
• SA the Investigating Officer in the SECAMB internal investigation.
Witness 1 -  Parent A
 
56. Parent A affirmed and confirmed that her witness statement was true to the best of her knowledge and belief.
 
57. Parent A told the Panel  that when Child A was about 11 years old he had expressed an interest in becoming a paramedic and in December 2012 they first met the Registrant during a visit they made to the SECAMB premises. In 2016, when Child A was 15 years old, he was put forward by the Registrant for a volunteering award. 
 
58. Parent A said that in 2016 she was not aware Child A was in regular contact with the Registrant on Facebook but she did find that out in late summer 2016. She said the Registrant had added her as a Facebook friend in late summer 2016 and she was aware that the Registrant was keen to support Child A in preparing for college. The Registrant then began to meet Child A and give him presents including in summer 2016 a pulse oximeter and a blood glucose monitor and Child A had showed that to her. She did not look at the content of any messages between the Registrant and Child A before November 2016.
 
59. Parent A said she was aware at that time that Child A and Child B were in a relationship. Parent A told the Panel  about the Registrant taking Child A to a fireworks event that he was attending as a Paramedic on 4 November 2016.  Parent A then had occasion to look at Child A’s telephone and found on the messenger conversation that there were 38,000 messages between Child A and the Registrant. She then reviewed both text messages and Facebook messages and she later contacted Parent B and the police.
 
60. Parent A said she took screenshots on 23 November 2016 and took more later, after the telephone was returned by the police.  She said she took screenshots to pass to the police and to SA as part of the SECAMB investigation. She confirmed that exhibit 22A is the text and Facebook  messages which she had taken screenshots of.  She said she had used google software to download the Facebook messages from Child A’s telephone from 1 January 2016 to 17 March 2018 and these appear at exhibit 45 but the messages end around November 2016. She knew who these were sent by as photographs were displayed of the sender of each message. Parent A told the Panel  about the messages she found in November 2016 about Entonox.  
 
Cross examination
 
61. Parent A did not recall that there was any award ceremony and said the Registrant was wrong to say there was. She was referred to the messages and said she did not know whether anyone else was involved in the nomination of Child A for the award. 
 
62. Parent A was referred to her witness statement. She said she learned about the messages between Child A and the Registrant in late summer 2016 and accepted that the exchange appeared to show that the Registrant had asked Child A for an assurance that his parents were OK with them communicating. She said that her witness statement summarised her position and that the messages were the evidence.
 
63. In November 2016 Parent A learned about the extent of the messages but said she had known before that messaging was taking place between Child A and the Registrant. Parent A said that she did not recall who asked who to be a friend on Facebook as it was five years ago. She had not mentioned that in her witness statement but she said she recalled there had been dialogue with him about supporting Child A. Parent A accepted that she had asked the Registrant to speak to Child A about choice of college, as she saw the Registrant as a mentor figure.
 
64. Parent A said that Child A told her that the Registrant had given him the  Pulse Oximeter and Blood Glucose Machine and she had believed Child A and she said that various messages make it clear these were the property of SECAMB. 
 
65. Parent A said that she met the Registrant on Bonfire night and that had been arranged with him. The Registrant had offered Child A a lift. Child A and the Registrant had met earlier and had a burger. She said that Child A was not involved in organising the firework display but was attending as a volunteer and agreed that Child A had offered the Registrant a choice about when to pick them up, but pointed out that the Registrant was the adult. 
 
66. Parent A was referred to the messages which appeared to be dated 26 and 30 October 2016 and 1 November 2016. She accepted that some of the messages could be interpreted as Child A saying he wanted a “chilled morning.” Parent A said she did not know whether all the messages she had quoted in her witness statement were in order and some may be out of chronological order, but there were so many of them. She denied she had deliberately tried to present the information in a negative way.  She understood that her witness statement would be read in conjunction with the thousands of messages she had exhibited. 
 
67. On re-examination, Parent A was referred to the concerns about grooming expressed by the Registrant to Child A in August 2016 and the discussions about not disclosing all the content of the texts to Parent A. Parent A said she did not know at the time that was being discussed. 
 
Witness 2 – SA 
 
68. SA is a registered Paramedic who retired as Clinical Operations Manager at SECAMB in 2015.  He affirmed and said his witness statement was true to the best of his knowledge and belief. In November 2016 whilst at SECAMB, he was appointed to investigate the concerns about the Registrant. He told the Panel  about this investigation which included interviewing the Registrant, Child A, Parent A, Child C and Parent C. Both Parent A and Parent C had provided him with screenshots taken from their child’s mobile telephones. 
 
69. SA exhibited his interview notes to the Panel  and advised that the police had been involved and they had asked him to pause his investigation whilst it investigated the concerns about the Registrant. The police had allowed him to meet the Parents of Child A and the mother of Child C. SA told the Panel  about the screenshots provided to him by Parent C from Child C’s telephone.  
 
70. SA told the Panel  about the Pulse Oximeter and Blood Glucose machine. He explained that he had asked a colleague at SECAMB to check and they had concluded from the serial numbers that they were both SECAMB property.  These items were provided to him by the police who had recovered them from Child A. SA said that no Paramedic was issued with personal items of equipment for use and that all such items were held as stock at the station. The Registrant had said to SA that Child A must have stolen the items.
 
71. SA interviewed Child A on 15 August 2017 when he disclosed the Registrant touched him. SA said he had made notes about that interview two days later and he had reported the matter to the police. 
 
72. In cross examination, SA said Parent A had provided him with some telephone messages, and it was a selection of messages. He said it was an evidence collection exercise at that stage. He said there were a vast number of messages and he was given a “snapshot” but the police had all the messages. SA said he had taken one statement from Child A when he was permitted to do so once the police had allowed it. There may have been two sessions given the disclosure made by Child A which he needed to report to the police. 
 
73. SA said that Child A told him about the Registrant inappropriately touching him and that may have previously disclosed been by Child A to Parent A. When he attended their home he had made a handwritten note and when he later had returned with the typed up the statement it was at the stage that Child A made the further inappropriate touching disclosure. 
 
74. The Registrant did not dispute that the two items at particular 3 were SECAMB property. SA said he had been shown the items by the police. Child A told SA that the items had been given to him by the Registrant although there were other possibilities.  Child A did have some access to SECAMB when he was volunteering.  
 
75. With regard to the Fireworks event SA understood that the school had not required a Paramedic and he had been told that as part of his investigation. SA said he was aware that the Registrant was a Community Responder at that time. 
 
76. SA stated that he had no reason to believe that the screenshots and Facebook messages provided to him by Parent C for Child B were not authentic as Child B had showed them to him on his telephone at the time.  
 
77. [The transcripts of the police interviews at Exhibits 28A, 28B and 34A were listened to by the Panel  in private, as decided upon in the privacy application].
 
The Registrant’s Evidence and preliminary matters
 
78. The Registrant confirmed that he agreed the recordings of the police interviews that had been exhibited, and he confirmed it was him that could be heard in those recordings. Following agreement with the Registrant, a redacted bundle of exhibits provided by the Registrant was provided to the Panel.  
 
79. The Registrant made an application to receive hearsay evidence in the form of a signed, written statement made to the police by his former colleague KP on 8 December 2016. The Registrant said that he wanted the statement received as it contained information helpful to him and his defence.  He said it would be helpful to the Panel . This was not opposed by Ms Reid. 
 
80. The Panel  accepted legal advice about fairness and the guidelines in Thorneycroft v NMC [2014] EWHC 1565 (Admin) and NMC v Ogbonna [2010] EWCA Civ 1216.  He stressed to the Panel  that all cases are fact-sensitive and the test is the requirement of fairness. The Panel  took account of the submissions of both parties.
 
81. The Panel  decided that in all the circumstances it was fair to admit this statement as hearsay evidence.  The application is not opposed by the HCPC. He evidence is a signed statement made to the police by KP whose position has already been referred to earlier in the evidence heard by the Panel .  KP is a former colleague of the Registrant, the statement is not sole or decisive evidence and it is demonstrably reliable.  What it bears to be is not a matter of contention.  
 
The Registrant’s Evidence
 
82. The Registrant affirmed and he apologised to the HCPC and to the children and families concerned.  He said he has been provoked and appreciated suffering had been caused and he had only wanted to help the community and help someone who had wanted to be a Paramedic.
 
83. In relation to allegations 6 and 8, the Registrant said Child A had never stopped the conversations he had with him.  On 5 November 2016 Child A had asked to go for a burger. The message at 15.47 gives no indication that anything untoward had happened and at 15.59 Child A says “everything is good thanks”.  The Registrant said that this makes clear that what is alleged in particular 6 did not happen. The Registrant says that the later messages show Child A saying it was a “brilliant day.” There is no mention of anything happening or anything sexual happening with the Registrant.  The later text conversation with Child A six days later makes no mention and says “I love you” to the Registrant, which the Registrant said was not sexual. 
 
84. On 12 November 2016 the Registrant referred to his conversation with Child A where they have a text conversation about the Registrant’s health. The Registrant said that this conversation shows that what is alleged at particulars 6 and 8 did not happen.
 
85. The Registrant referred to the texts with Child A on 14 November 2016 which shows Child A is strong and “stands up for himself” and he was a “gladiator”.  Child A states in the texts that the Registrant has never “pissed him off” and there was no indication of any awkwardness which would result from an alleged sexual assault. The Registrant referred to the texts on 18 November 2016 with Child A about speaking to his father about his sexuality, 12 days after the alleged conduct in particular 6.  The Registrant said that “puppy” was a term used in the texts between them and was a term of endearment that Child A had encouraged and was taken from a reference to police dog training. The Registrant stated that Child A remained “upbeat and friendly” and Child A sympathised with him. The Registrant said this and later texts showed that there was nothing untoward and on 19 November 2016 they have a chat which is good natured “banter.”
 
86. The Registrant said his reference to sex on 19 November 2016 in his text conversation with Child A was spoken out of concern about his welfare. With reference to the messages on 20 November 2016, the Registrant said that was a discussion about pre-nuptial agreement as Child A had raised the issue with him. Child A was asking for advice and said to him “I love you mate.” 
 
87. The Registrant said that the conversation on 22 November 2016 with Child A was about the issues with Child B.  The Registrant said that the texts make clear they were friends. He said the communications between him and Chid A after 5 November 2016 were friendly and he said that indicated that nothing untoward had happened. 
 
88. The Registrant referred to the texts on 23 November 2016 between Child A and Child B which refer to the deletion of texts.  He said that many texts had been deleted. The Registrant referred to the text discussions that day which refer to the alleged sexual conduct of the Registrant and he said it shows Child A saying nothing had happened. The Registrant said the whole matter had been rewritten and there was no reason to do what is alleged at particular 6 and 8. 
 
89. With regards to particular 7a) and 7 b), the Registrant said he had stupidly borrowed the Entonox on the basis of a perceived need for pain relief at the Fireworks event.  The Registrant said it was later returned by him to the Ambulance station. He said Child A had changed his version of events several times. 
 
90. With regards to particular 3 b), the Registrant referred to the police statement from KP (admitted as hearsay evidence on the application of the Registrant).  The Registrant stated that KP in her statement lists the contents and she does not mention test strips. He said he was not trained in use of this machine, and  said that he did not give Child A the equipment.  
 
91. The Registrant said the Pulse Oximeter, referred to in particular 3a), was his own, bought by him on eBay several years ago.  He said that he had given that to Child A and  it was not owned by SECAMB.  
 
92. The Registrant referred to the letters from his solicitors, Thompsons, dated 24 July 2017 which states that the police were taking no further action about the allegation of sexual grooming; and to the further letter dated 9 October 2017 stating that the charge regarding the Entonox was being discontinued. 
 
93. The Registrant referred to particular 1 a) regarding the “frequency” of texts between him and Child A and referred to the arithmetic set out in that letter regarding the 38,000 texts. He referred the Panel  to the letter he wrote to the Employment Tribunal dated 7 June 2019 about the number of texts he is alleged to have sent. 
 
94. The Registrant referred to the statement of Child A which the Registrant said was edited by Child A with this mother Parent A.  He said that Child A’s statement was lengthy for a child and conflicted with other statements Child A had made. This was being edited for submission to SA. The Registrant said that words were very “adult” and was a pre-prepared statement for SA. The Registrant said the statement matches other statements from Parent A and SA almost word for word. The Registrant said he disagreed with the statement. 
 
95. With regard to particulars 6 and 8, the Registrant  denied all the points made by Child A. It was an open classroom and several people visited during the day.  The Registrant said that what is alleged could not have happened as he only had two hands. The Registrant referred to his written timeline of 5 November 2016 and he said that his time line does not fit with the timeline suggested by Child A.  Child A later invited the Registrant for tea and told others on Facebook that everything was “fine”. 
 
96. With regards to particular 1, the Registrant said that he admitted that the number was excessive and agreed there were many messages but many were quick, single word messages and jokes and he did not feel he was being inappropriate. He said he did not recall sending many messages and denied others. He did not accept that the messages were inappropriate as to frequency. 
 
The Registrant’s position on the Schedules A – D in the allegation
 
97. The Registrant addressed the texts set out in each of the schedules. The Registrant stated that in Schedule A he denied sending any of the messages specified. In Schedule B – i) the Registrant said he may have sent this as “puppy” was often used by him and Child A  (ii) admitted (iii) admit iv) admit v) deny vi) admit vii) admit viii) admit ix) deny x) deny xi) deny xii) deny xiii) deny xiv) deny xv) admit xvi) deny xvii) deny xviii) admit, but it was not sexual xix) admit, xx) deny xxi) admit xxii) admit, uniform borrowed, not sexual xxiii) admit, a joke xxiv) deny xxv) deny xxvi) deny xxvii) admit, Child A was concerned about getting fat xxviii) admit, talking about a song xxix) admit, in middle of conversation, a jovial joke xxx) admit, a joke further messages indicate that is so
 
98. In respect of Schedule C the Registrant stated: -  i) deny ii) deny iii) deny iv) deny v) deny vi) deny vii) deny viii) deny 
 
99. In respect of Schedule D  the Registrant stated:-  i) deny ii) deny iii) deny iv) admit 
 
100. The Registrant denied particulars 3, 4, 5 and 6; particular 7 a) was admitted; 7b) was admitted subject to the Registrant stating there was a  perceived need; 7c) denied; and particular 8 was denied.  The Registrant confirmed that he denied particulars 9 and 10. 
 
101. The Registrant said none of his actions were sexually motivated or dishonest and he had done what he did with the best of intentions but did not have the capacity at the time to make a clear decision, and that had he had the time again he would change everything. He said that he was telling the truth and he had nothing to lose as he had already lost his job.
 
Cross examination of the Registrant 
 
102. The Registrant said he first met Child A when he was about 11 years old.  He first met him at Christmas 2012 when he was visiting the Ambulance station. Child A was interested in becoming a Paramedic and the Registrant said that Child A later contacted him in that regard and he had encouraged him. 
 
103. In early 2016, when Child A was 14 years old, the Registrant recommended the child for an award.  The Registrant said Child A befriended him on Facebook and that arose from his interest in becoming a Paramedic. The Registrant said he was not a mentor to Child A but agreed that he was in a position of trust with respect to Child A. The Registrant was 56 years old in 2016 and an experienced Paramedic.  He accepted he had authority in the relationship in the sense that he had knowledge and experience.   The Registrant said that he maintained appropriate boundaries with Child A, and accepted that it was not for Child A to recognise and maintain boundaries and that their relationship was not one of equals.
 
104. The Registrant was asked about particular 1 regarding Child A. He was referred to the many text and Facebook messages in exhibit 45 between him and Child A.  The earliest one is dated 16 February 2016 and the Registrant agreed that he had sent the messages to Child A about call outs he attended for SECAMB. He did not identify any messages that were not sent or received by him and Child A. He accepted that on 18 July 2016 he sent a message to Child A about a call out and had referred to and provided information about a service user. The Registrant said he had not intended to provide details and said that the message he sent to Child A was not inappropriate. He accepted that the texts sent by him to Child A were about call outs that the Registrant had attended, but he denied that he had identified any service user. 
 
105. The Registrant accepted that the texts covered the period February to November 2016 and said that he had texted Child A for over a year in total. He did not recall first being Facebook friends with Child A on 14 March 2016, and said that he did not recall that he had next contacted Child A on Facebook in May 2016 as recorded in the print of messages in exhibit 45. 
 
106. The Registrant did not accept that there had been as many as 37,968 messages between him and Child A despite that being indicated on the print out of the messages at exhibit 45. The Registrant said he had no way of disagreeing with that figure as he could not prove that number was incorrect. He did not agree that all the messages were genuine. 
 
107. The Registrant was taken to the report of his disciplinary interview with SA at SECAMB on 11 July 2017. The Registrant accepted that he had said at that interview that his contact with Child A was more or less daily. The Registrant reiterated that some of the messages were not authentic and had likely been maliciously fabricated by someone, probably Parent A. He accepted that had not been put to Parent A by his Special Counsel appointed to cross examine Parent A on his behalf. 
 
108. Ms Reid put to the Registrant that his position was not plausible and that there was a consistency with the timing, content and tone of all the messages exhibited. The Registrant accepted the tone and language used in the messages sounded like him, but said he disputed some of them. The Registrant agreed that Parent A fabricating some of the messages was unlikely, but it was not implausible. He agreed he sent Child A many of the messages. He said he did not recall sending any racist jokes to Child A and said he was not a racist. 
 
109. The Registrant was taken to exhibit 22A, the messages sent to the police by Parent A taken from Child A’s telephone.  The Registrant said the context was missing and that could be misleading. He accepted it was not plausible or likely that Parent A would, years later fabricate messages, as seen in exhibit 45. He denied that the messages were inappropriate. He accepted that he had sent the messages, as they were “the type of thing I would be sending” to Child A.
 
110. The Registrant accepted that the texts on 19 November 2016 in exhibit 22B were the same as those of the same date in exhibit 45 and he accepted that he had sent those messages, including the one mentioning “dildo and lube”.  He said it was just banter and it had not been sexual. He said he did not remember sending them in any event. He said he was appalled and did not intend to be racist or sexual. 
 
111. The Registrant said that he and Child A became Facebook friends, and he said that they had not intended to meet up. He  said that when sending messages on a screen there was an element of “banter”. The Registrant said that he did not think about Child A’s age as he was just a “wise old owl” that the Registrant could easily communicate with. He knew that Child A was 14 and had turned 15 in August 2016. 
 
112. Particular 2 concerning Child B -  The Registrant said he was asked by Child B to be a Facebook friend after Child A had asked Child B to do so. Regarding exhibit 22B, the Registrant accepted that he sent Facebook messages to Child B in August 2017, and around 17 October 2017.  He was shown in exhibit 22B the texts given to SA by Child B’s parent as part of SA’s investigation and which refer to “the most enormous erection” and “lube”. 
 
113. In his interview with SA on 11 July 2017 the Registrant accepted that he had said at that time to SA that he had sent those messages to Child B. He said he had been open and honest with the SECAMB investigation. He said he did not recall and had been stressed at that time.  The Registrant accepted that these messages were inappropriate and sexual but he said that there was no sexual gratification or sexual motivation involved. The Registrant said he did not remember sending some of the messages to Child B.
 
HCPC Application to Adjourn - 16 February 2022
The Application to  Adjourn -  granted - 17 February 2022
 
Resumed Hearing 25 April 2022
 
Application by Mr Tyrrell  to conduct the hearing in private
 
114. The hearing resumed on 25 April 2022. Mr Tyrrell  made an application to conduct the remainder of the hearing in private. 
 
115. The Panel  accepted the legal advice about the interests of justice and the open justice principle.  The Panel  was mindful of the HCPTS Practice Note on private hearings which states:-  “Article 6 of ECHR which provides that proceedings may be held in private - “to the extent strictly necessary in the opinion of the [Panel ] in special circumstances where publicity would prejudice the interests of justice.”  The narrow scope of that Article means that the exercise of the “interests of justice” exception should be confined to situations where it is strictly necessary to exclude the press and public and where doing otherwise would genuinely frustrate the administration of justice.”
 
116. The Panel  was mindful of the open justice principle and found that there was no proper basis for departing from it.  It is a fundamental principle that can only be departed from where it is “strictly necessary” to do so.  Whilst the Panel  took account of Mr Tyrrell s’’ concerns, they do not amount to circumstances that give rise to an exception to the open justice principle. It is not in these circumstances strictly necessary in the interests of justice to conduct the hearing in private. 
 
117. The Panel  refused the application, but it decided that, if and when any health issues arise, it is appropriate to have those parts of the hearing heard in private as Mr Tyrrell  is entitled to privacy in that regard. The Panel  requested that Mr Tyrrell  provide the police reference and police statement in respect of the assault he had told the Panel  about. 
 
118. The cross examination for Mr Tyrrell  was resumed. Ms Reid asked Mr Tyrrell  about allegation 1 (c) regarding the alleged sending of messages to Child A that the HCPC say were inappropriate and/or  sexual. Mr Tyrrell  said he accepted some of these messages were sent but  were not inappropriate and were not sexual.
 
119. Ms Reid referred to the text messages in Schedule B of the allegation. He agreed he had sent the message to Child A “you have the figure to pull it off.” Mr Tyrrell  said  that was just a reference to the Child A being skinny. He agreed he had sent texts saying to Child A that “ you were in my dream last night” and then as alleged at (i) “ night pup sleep well.”  He said he had called Child A “pup” which he said was a reference he said the police made to police dogs. He denied this was sexual, intimate or inappropriate and puppy walking had previously been discussed between them.
 
120. Mr Tyrrell  was also referred to messages (ii), (iii)  & (iv)which he agreed he had sent to Child A. He denied these messages were inappropriate and were simply jokes.  He denied he was trying to test boundaries with Child A and it had been a “light hearted” conversation. He denied the reference in the texts to Child A to beds being used for other things was a sexual reference. Mr Tyrrell  did not recall sending the texts at (iv) or (vi) to Child A. He said there was nothing sexual at all in the texts. 
 
121. With regards to message (xiii) being a joke about anal sex, Mr Tyrrell  said he “probably” sent it to Child A.  He said it was “banter” a light hearted conversation.
 
122. With regards to Schedule A Mr Tyrrell  said he had not sent the messages to Child A and he said he was not a racist.  He said that it was “unlikely” that he sent these texts. He said that they could have been inserted and manipulated. He said he was not aware he was sending them but had sent a “bulk” of jokes and these may have “slipped though the net”, although he said he had read them before he had sent them. He said if he had sent them it was purely “banter.”
 
123. Ms Reid referred Mr Tyrrell  to allegation 1(d) regarding SECAMB incidents.  He admitted that he had sent them these messages but had not identified anyone. He was not sure he recalled sending all of them but thought that he probably did so.  He said that these reflected the type of jobs he was attending at SECAMB and it was his opinion that some of them were “time wasters” and “nut jobs”. He said he had been angry with the person he referred to in (vii) about a broken neck.  He said it was his personal opinion and he had just been giving Child A details of the jobs he was attending.   
 
124. Mr Tyrrell  admitted that he sent the messages in Schedule B at (ix) which followed Child A’s disclosure that he was gay.  Mr Tyrrell  said that telling Child A that he loved him was making it clear he still loved him despite being gay. He said it was not sexual and it was meant as words of encouragement. 
 
125. Mr Tyrrell  denied sending a picture at (x) of a naked man to Child A. He said that it was a message that had been inserted by Parent A. He said the request by him for Child A to send a picture of himself to show his sun tan was not sexual and was not inappropriate. 
 
126. Mr Tyrrell  admitted he sent Child A the texts about his fear of appearing to “groom” Child A. He said he had told Child A to tell his parents but some of the jokes were “raunchy.” He denied a pattern of placing responsibility on Child A and denied that there was any intimacy in the conversations. Mr Tyrrell  did not recall sending to Child A messages (xiv),(xvi) or (xvii). He agreed the messages “crossed a line” but were intended as advice. 
 
127. The messages at Schedule B (xxi) to (xxx) were put to Mr Tyrrell , beginning with a reference to “men in uniform” in October 2016.  Mr Tyrrell  accepted that he had sent these messages but denied that they were inappropriate or sexual. He said this was friendly “banter”.  He denied that the conversations became increasingly inappropriate and sexual. Mr Tyrrell  denied there was any pattern of sexualised and inappropriate behaviour by him towards Child A.  He said some of the statements were “throw away” statements and there was no sexual intent. He said Child A made him feel young and was consoling and understanding. He denied “violating” any child. 
 
128. Mr Tyrrell  said that he had “no comment” to make in response to the allegations put by Ms Reid that his conduct toward Child A was inappropriate, predatory, sexual and sexually motivated. 
 
129. Mr Reid turned to allegations 3,4 and 5 regarding the Pulse Oximeter and Blood Glucose machine.  Mr Tyrrell  accepted that these items came from SECAMB and that he would not have had permission to remove them.  Child A’s account to the police in November 2016 and to SECAMB was that Mr Tyrrell  gave them to him. Mr Tyrrell  said that he gave Child A an  old black pulse oximeter. He agreed the messages joked about the pulse oximeter being stolen goods but he did not recall sending the messages. He accepted he had probably sent the messages to Child A about the Blood Glucose machine but he had not given one to Child A. He said he did not take the items from SECAMB.
 
130. Ms Reid turned to allegation 7 regarding the removal and use of Entonox. Mr Tyrrell  had admitted 7 (a) taking the Entonox without permission but he said he did not see it as dishonest and said he had “borrowed” it. He said he had permission from SECAMB to carry the Entonox as a Community paramedic. He said he perceived a need to take it to the event and accepted that he had sent the 17 October 2016 messages to Child A about the Entonox.
 
131. In relation to allegation 7(c) regarding Child A taking Entonox Ms Reid referred to his police interview  where Child A reported that he took 15-20 breaths of Entonox. Child A reported it had been Mr Tyrrell ’s idea that he did so. Mr Tyrrell  said that he did not allow Child A to take the Entonox despite what he later said to SECAMB and to the Police.  He said his accounts were not inconsistent.  He disagreed that the texts after the event indicated that he had administered and he had allowed Child A to take Entonox. Mr Tyrrell  was concerned about Child A and had not reported it to SECAMB. He denied that the text conversation with Child A was encouraging that he use Entonox again. 
 
132. In relation to allegations 6 and 8 regarding inappropriate physical contact with Child A. Mr Tyrrell  denied this and said that Child A had said he had a good time. He said there were many people in McDonalds and what was alleged did not happen despite what Child A later reported to the police on 18 August 2016.  Mr Tyrrell  said that Child A’s second statement was obtained without meeting Child A. Mr Tyrrell  said that Child A’s mother wrote the statement for Child A. He said Child A was lying under direction from his parents.  
 
133. Mr Tyrrell  responded to the Panel ’s  questions.  He explained that there were other messages between him and Child A and he said he had provided some of them in his bundles.  He said that in looking at the bundles it appeared to him that “bits” were missing as some say “messages from the recipient are blocked” which means there are missing messages. He said no one had hacked into his account but he did not know what was missing, but said it had the potential to explain his position. He said the police wiped and de-activated his face book account. He reiterated that he did not send the photograph of the naked man (Schedule B (x) and that Parent A had inserted the photograph. He accepted that such a claim was not put to Parent A by his special Counsel.   
 
Evidence of BE 
 
134. The Panel  took legal advice about the open justice principle and the balancing of the interests of a witness with the fairness and the interests of justice. The Panel  decided that BE was a vulnerable witness. The Panel  decided that in these circumstances it was fair and appropriate to grant the witness anonymity and to hear his evidence in private. The Panel  was also mindful that BE was a witness as to character only and not as to the facts. 
 
Submissions on Facts for the HCPC
 
135. Ms Reid referred the Panel  to the detailed written submissions she had provided to Mr Tyrrell  and the Panel  the previous day.  She referred to the two testimonials produced by Mr Tyrrell  that morning and submitted that these were unsigned and undated.  In one instance the testimonial was anonymised, in the second instance the name at the beginning of the testimonial did not match the name at the end of the document.  Both were produced in the same font as the final submission document made by Mr Tyrrell . She therefore submitted that the Panel  should treat them with considerable caution. She asked that the Panel  find all the allegations proved. 
 
136. Ms Reid made submissions regarding the hearsay evidence.  She submitted that  the accusation by Mr Tyrrell  that Parent A had fabricated evidence was not put to Parent A when she gave evidence at this hearing.  She submitted that Child A’s evidence in the  police interviews was a clear, consistent, compelling and plausible account of why Child A did not at the first interview raise the issues now alleged in allegations 6 and 8 regarding inappropriate physical contact. 
 
137. Ms Reid addressed the Panel  about the authenticity of the many Facebook messages exchanged between March and November 2016 between Child A and Mr Tyrrell .  She submitted they were authentic and were consistent with external events. Mr Tyrrell  has accepted some messages and denied others but his position was not clear or consistent. He had said in evidence that he “probably” sent many of them, and did not recall others.  She submitted that was an attempt to deflect and his responses in respect of the messages had changed over time. She submitted that Mr Tyrrell  had variously claimed that there are missing and fabricated messages and that was not plausible.  She submitted that the accusation by Mr Tyrrell  that the photograph of  a naked man in Schedule B (x) had been fabricated and inserted into the messages by Parent A was outrageous. 
 
138. Ms Reid submitted that there was no plausible explanation for the messages other than that they are the messages between him and Child A in the period stated in the allegation. She asked the Panel  to consider the whole context of the messages. She submitted that at no stage does Child A ask for advice or support yet Mr Tyrrell  claims he was supporting Child A. She submitted there was a clear pattern of increasing sexual references and attempts to break down boundaries.  She submitted that these messages were sexual and sexually motivated. 
 
139. Ms Reid submitted that in relation to allegation 2 and Child B that Mr Tyrrell  had admitted to SA that he had sent them. She submitted these messages were all deeply inappropriate and sexually motivated and Child B does not respond or invite such messages.
 
140. Ms Reid submitted that Mr Tyrrell ’s explanations relating to the equipment in allegations 3, 4 and 5 were implausible.  She pointed out the messages that supported these allegations, in particular the reference to stolen property by Mr Tyrrell . His suggestion that Child A took the items was not plausible.  
 
141. In relation to allegations 7, Ms Reid invited the Panel  to dismiss Mr Tyrrell ’s convoluted and implausible explanation for attending the event on 5 November 2016 which she submitted was not supported by the messages with Child A where he discusses the event and mentions taking the Entonox was “career ending” and that Child A must not tell anyone. She submitted that the messages and the police interview indicate that Mr Tyrrell  was encouraging Child A to take Entonox and that he would look after him. 
 
142. In relation to allegations 6 and 8, Ms Reid submitted that the evidence was clear that these allegations were proved.  Child A’s police statement about this allegation was clear. It was understandable and credible that Child A had not disclosed these events in his first police statement.  Child A also made a consistent statement to SA in the SECAMB investigation. 
 
143.   Ms Reid asked the Panel  to consider all the evidence and all the messages which she submitted demonstrated a deliberate and increasing sexual content and an intention by Mr Tyrrell  to break down boundaries with Child A.  She submitted that the Panel  should find the whole allegation proved. 
 
Closing Submissions for Mr Tyrrell
 
144. Mr Tyrrell  produced for the Panel  written submissions. Mr Tyrrell  apologised to the Panel  and to the parents of Child A and B.  He said he had not shown remorse and that had been on the advice of his Counsel.  He said he appreciated he had caused suffering and it was never his intention to cause upset.  He said he had reflected and said he would change things.  He said he had funding withdrawn and had lost Counsel and had not had papers. He said he was passionate about helping others and he said he was a decorated ex-military person who had received two commendations from the Ambulance Service.  He said he was a practising Christian and said that he felt short changed as he was not intelligent or good looking. He said he had an abundance of trust in others, sometimes to his detriment. He said he had suffered attacks from others but still believed there was good in everyone.
 
145. Mr Tyrrell  said he was always happy to help others.  He said he had no job and his reputation was in tatters. He said he had wanted Child  A and Child B who were now adults, to give evidence. He said he had no intention to form any relationship with Child A. He said he has no reason to lie and he had wanted to help Child A who was talented and intelligent.  Mr Tyrrell  said Child A had confided in him and he became part of Child A and Child B’s lives. He said he was unwell at the time and had become reliant on Child A.  He said he did not remember and did not recognise the material in the “prosecution” bundle. He said he made a mistake and he was a caring and compassionate  man.  He said his mistake was “monumental” and he was now paying the price. He denied he had ever intended any of his conduct to be sexual but some jokes were “to the mark” and he apologised for that. 
 
146. Mr Tyrrell  referred to the second allegation made by Child A and said that as a result some messages were deleted and he denied any touching took place. He said Child A had continued to be in contact with him. He said Parent A had admitted putting some messages out of order. She also had poor recollection. He said 38,000 messages included 50% from Child A. He said the messages were consensual and between two people, purely an “electronic” conversation and he had over stepped the mark and  in hindsight he was wrong but Child A had been understanding. 
 
147. Mr Tyrrell  said he did  not recall sending the schedule A messages, and if he had he was deeply ashamed. He reiterated that it was never his intention to make any sexual references. He had not seen that it was wrong at the time. Mr Tyrrell  said Child A liked me to call him “pup” and his reference to “loving” him was purely a term of endearment and was not sexual. 
 
148. Mr Tyrrell  stated that the messages he sent Child A in Schedule C were not inappropriate as they identified no one. He said with regard to the “banter” he had lost his way and he did not see then that it was clearly wrong. He said he had made a mistake with the Entonox and it was never his intention for Child A to use it.  He said it was his responsibility as he had put temptation in Child A’s way. 
 
149. Mr Tyrrell  said that there was no doubt that he gave Child A a Pulse Oximeter but it was not the one in the allegation. Mr Tyrrell  said he did not give Child A a blood glucose machine as it required training and was not set up. 
 
150. Mr Tyrrell  said that in respect  of allegation 6 and 8 he had not sexually assaulted Child A. 
 
151. Mr Tyrrell  apologised to Parent A about his accusation about the naked man picture in Schedule B (x) and he would never send such a picture. He said he had been stupid and had been open and honest and had been with the police. 
 
152. Mr Tyrrell  said  he had endured six years of agony and he wanted to get on with his life and this process was resurrecting the pain. He said he would like to be a paramedic and he asked the Panel  to consider his years of loyal and trusted service, which he said he had lost in a matter of moments when he had been unwell and unable to make sensible judgements. He said he had now had treatment and was trying to put his life back together. 
 
Decision on Facts
 
153. The Panel  accepted the advice of the legal assessor.  He reminded it of the balance of probabilities and that the burden of proof lay on the HCPC and that Mr Tyrrell  need prove nothing. On hearsay evidence he referred to section 4 of the Civil Evidence Act 1994, regarding the approach to the weight to be attached to hearsay evidence. He also referred the Panel  to Haris v GMC [2021] EWCA Civ 763 and Basson v GMC [2018] EWHC 505 (Admin) in respect of sexual motivation.  He advised the Panel  of the definition of “sexual” in section 78 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003; and on dishonesty he referred to the test in Ivey v Genting Casinos (UK) Ltd t/a Crockfords [2017] UKSC 67.  
 
154. The Panel  turned to the allegations and applied the balance of probabilities.
Allegation 1 - Between May 2016 and November 2016, sent text messages and/or Facebook messages to Child A which: 
 
a) Were inappropriate in terms of frequency; and/or
b) Were racially inappropriate and/or discriminatory, including those as outlined in Schedule A; and/or
c) Were inappropriate and/or sexual in nature, including those as  outlined in Schedule B; and/or
d) Contained inappropriate information regarding calls you attended and/or purported to have attended in your role at SECAMB, including those as outlined in Schedule C
 
155. The Panel  considered the evidence of the text and Facebook messages in the bundle which run to several thousand pages, some 37,968 messages in total (the messages).  Schedules A, B and C are messages obtained by Parent A from Child A’s mobile telephone. Parent A confirmed in her live evidence, and in her witness statement, how and when she had obtained these messages. That evidence was not seriously challenged or disputed.  Mr Tyrrell  had the benefit of Special Counsel at this stage in the proceedings and she cross examined Parent A on Mr Tyrrell ’s behalf. Indeed, the Panel  noted that Mr Tyrrell  had been represented by Counsel in these proceedings until the preliminary hearing on 31 January 2022. 
 
156. Mr Tyrrell  was cross examined at length and in considerable detail on many of the messages, including, but not limited to, those in schedules A, B and C to the allegation. Mr Tyrrell  denied he had sent any of the messages in schedule A.  Mr Tyrrell  did not challenge the authenticity of the messages in schedule B, other than schedule B (x),and he admitted sending the messages in schedule C to Child A.  
 
157. Mr Tyrrell ’s evidence focussed almost entirely on providing a rationale, context and explanations for the many messages.  He admitted many of them were sent by him, and he said that he could not recall sending others due to the passage of time. He repeatedly accepted in cross examination that he “probably” and “likely” sent the messages. He did not dispute that there was a considerable number of messages.  He variously accepted in his evidence that the messages were “wrong” and “close to the mark” . 
 
158. The Panel  rejected the evidence of Mr Tyrrell  that some of the messages had been fabricated by Parent A.  He was not able to plausibly or credibly explain how that would have occurred. He bears considerable animosity toward Parent A whom he appears to blame for his current circumstances and whom he has repeatedly claimed in his evidence manipulated Child A in respect of his evidence to the police. He also accused Parent A of fabricating the message containing the picture of the naked man at schedule B (x) and claimed it was her partner, a claim he later retracted. These claims were, in addition, never put to Parent A. 
 
159. The Panel  did not to any extent accept the evidence of Mr Tyrrell  in this regard. His evidence was not credible or plausible. His evidence appeared to an extent to be driven by a desire to make baseless accusations about Parent A. The Panel  concluded that the messages that appear in schedules A, B and C were authentic and are what they purport to be, that is thousands of messages between Mr Tyrrell  and Child A in the period alleged. 
 
160. The Panel  was mindful that these messages take place between a 56 year old adult, Mr Tyrrell , and a 14 year old child, Child A. Mr Tyrrell  was the adult in a position of trust, authority and power, and in a profession in which Child A had expressed an interest. There was a significant and inherent power imbalance between the parties throughout the whole interaction in the period alleged.  The Panel  found that this was a highly significant issue which it remained mindful of throughout its consideration of the entire allegation. 
 
Particular 1 a)  - Proved 
 
161. The pane considered the messages and the evidence from Mr Tyrrell  and Parent A.  It is not disputed that there were a very considerable number of messages, the precise figure is not material. The messages took place between an adult and a child.  They occurred in a period of some seven months between May and November 2016. The Panel  concluded that the messages were inappropriate in terms of frequency
Particular 1 b) - Proved 
 
162. Mr Tyrrell ’s position on the texts in Schedule B was unclear and somewhat inconsistent. He denied sending them to Child A. He said he did not recall specific texts and said he was ashamed “if” he had sent them. His position lacked cogency, coherency or credibility. The Panel  did not accept his evidence in that regard. It  did not believe Mr Tyrrell. 
 
163. Parent A gave live evidence about how she obtained the messages and Child A’s written statement is consistent with that and confirms that the messages were obtained from his telephone and he responded to them.  If they were not sent by Mr Tyrrell  that makes little sense.  Child A clearly understood they were being sent by Mr Tyrrell . There was no evidence that Mr Tyrrell ’s telephone was ever used by someone else or that the messages had somehow been fabricated.   The Panel  preferred the evidence of Parent A and Child A. 
 
164. The messages make highly derogatory and racist comments about Muslims, Black people, Chinese people and Romanian Gypsies. They use racial slurs and jokes about killing immigrants and suffocating migrants. The Panel  found that the messages in Schedule A are of the most offensive, inappropriate nature and are racist and discriminatory.  The Panel  found this sub-particular proved.
 
Particular 1 c) 
 
165. The Panel  was mindful of the definition of “sexual” in the Sexual Offences Act 1995, section 78 :- 
“…an activity is sexual if a reasonable person would consider that–
(a)  whatever its circumstances or any person’s purpose in relation to it, it is because of its nature sexual, or
 
(b)  because of its nature it may be sexual and because of its circumstances or the purpose of any person in relation to it (or both) it is sexual.”
 
166. The Panel  considered the 30 messages in schedule B.  These were put to Mr Tyrrell  in an extensive cross examination. Mr Tyrrell  admitted sending 17 messages and denied another 13.  He also said that he “probably” and “likely” sent them.  There is no evidence they were fabricated or false or were somehow inserted in to the chain of messages obtained from Child A’s telephone by Parent A. The Panel  concluded that the most likely explanation is that all of these messages are authentic and were sent by Mr Tyrrell  to Child A. As expressed above, the Panel  does not accept Mr Tyrrell ’s denials in respect of some of the messages, and it found that he sent all of the messages in schedule B as alleged.   
 
167. The Panel  took account of that fact that Mr Tyrrell  accepted he send four particular messages all of which it found were overtly sexual :- 
 
xxvii. ‘You have a perfect figure. Keep it. Well proportioned’   - on or around 10 November 2016
xxviii. ‘Your as old as the man you feel. I feel 15’  - on or around 14 November 2016
xxix. ‘Nothing on tv that interests you…Time for the porn then lol’  - on or around 19 November 2016
xxx  ‘Perhaps I should get you a dildo and lube for Christmas’  - on or around 19 November 2016
 
168. The Panel  considered all of the messages alleged in schedule B, and those put to Mr Tyrrell  in cross examination. The Panel  found that  Child A did not lead the conversations. Child A did not raise sexual matters. On the occasions where sexual matters and references arise in the messages it is at the instigation of Mr Tyrrell . Child A responds but does not elaborate or develop the conversation, it is Mr Tyrrell  who persists. The Panel  considered it was appropriate to consider the messages individually and as a whole and in the context of the wider messages in the bundle.  The power imbalance and the fact that these messages are between a 56 year old man and a 14 year old boy is also highly relevant to the Panel ’s analysis of the messages and the consideration of whether they were appropriate and/or sexual in nature. 
 
169. Some messages are overtly sexual making direct reference to sucking dick (v); anal sex (xiii); an erection (xi); a naked man (x) ; sucking and stroking (xvi); time for porn (xxiv) and, most graphically, dildo and lube (xxx) . Other messages,  whilst less overt, are nonetheless sexual such as to what  Child A does in the shower (xxv); striptease (xxi); asking Child A if naked men excite him (xvii) and asking Child A for a photo “to bring out at an appropriate moment” (xxii). Many others refer to Child A as “pup” with Mr Tyrrell  repeatedly telling Child A that he “loves” him. Mr Tyrrell  also makes several references to Child A’s appearance and his body. 
 
170. The Panel  concluded that all the messages in schedule B are inappropriate and all are sexual. The Panel  concluded that each message is part of a deliberate and sustained pattern of escalating behaviour by Mr Tyrrell  to test Child A’s susceptibility to sexual suggestion. The Panel  found that there was an increasing  intimacy and intensity in the messages with increasing sexual references, perhaps reaching its height with the crude, manifestly sexual message Mr Tyrrell  sent a comment Child A about buying him “ a dildo and lube for Christmas” (xxx). The messages are lascivious, many are lewd, and all are sexual. The Panel  found this proved. 
 
Particular 1 d) Proved
  
171. Mr Tyrrell  initially denied this allegation, but in the course of his cross examination he accepted that he had sent the messages in schedule C to Child A.  These messages criticise and make jokes about service users and mock their suffering and health conditions. Mr Tyrrell  said in evidence that as he did not identify any service users he considered the messages were not inappropriate. The Panel  disagree. These messages are deeply inappropriate and demonstrate a profound lack of personal and professional judgement  by Mr Tyrrell . The Panel  found that these messages showed a profound lack of concern and compassion for service users. The messages were inappropriate and contained inappropriate information regarding calls Mr Tyrrell  attended in his paramedic role at SECAMB. This is found proved. 
Allegation 2 - Between August 2016 and November 2016, sent text and/or Facebook messages to Child B of an inappropriate and/or sexual nature, including those listed in
 
Schedule D – Proved
 
Schedule D 
i.  ‘I reached down and he was naked with the most enormous erection’
ii. ‘Good what about lube and condoms. Or are you bare back’
iii.  ‘I went bareback’
iv.  ‘Yes I love Child A to bits and I have so much respect and time for him’
 
172. The Panel  heard clear and consistent evidence from SA about the messages alleged.  Child B was 16 at the time. SA’s evidence was not seriously challenged. Mr Tyrrell  had previously admitted to sending these messages to Child B to SA at the SECAMB investigation when Mr Tyrrell  is recorded as stating “yes I must have sent them.” SA said in live evidence that he had seen these messages on Child B’s mobile phone at the meeting he had with him, and when his parent had provided SA with screenshots.  These messages are also later discussed by Mr Tyrrell  with Child A.  Under cross examination Mr  Tyrrell  accepted that messages (i), (ii) and (iii) were sexual. 
 
173. The Panel  noted that there are further messages exhibited which show Mr Tyrrell  pressing Child B for information about Child B’s sexual activity with Child A. 
 
174. The  Panel  accepted SA’s evidence and found that these messages were authentic. All four of the messages are manifestly sexual in nature. With section 78 in mind the Panel  found that a reasonable person would consider that these texts were sexual.  Texts (i) – (iii) are overtly sexual making reference to “an enormous erection”, lube and condoms and “bareback,” a reference to anal sex. Message (iv) says “Yes I love Child A…” and the Panel  found that was also sexual in nature. 
 
175. The Panel  concluded, mindful of the age difference between Child B and Mr Tyrrell , that  these messages were both inappropriate and sexual in nature. This is found proved. 
 
Allegation 3 - Took the following items from your employer without permission:
a) Pulse Oximeter serial number 130700330; 
b) Blood Glucose Machine serial number 1380181 16041.
 
Allegation 4 - In or around the summer of 2016, gave Child A the Pulse Oximeter referred to at particular 3.a) above.
 
Allegation  5 - On or around 05 November 2016, gave Child A the Blood Glucose Machine referred to at particular 3.b) above.
176. Allegations 3, 4 and 5 stand or fall together.  All are found proved. 
Allegation 3 a) &  3 b) – Proved 
 
177. Mr Tyrrell ’s evidence was that he  had given Child A a pulse oximeter and a blood glucose machine. He said these were not the same items that were later seized by the police from Child A.  There is no evidence about the specific serial numbers. The evidence from SA was that the items seized by the police from Child A were checked by him and the SECAMB records showed that the two items were part of a batch sent to SECAMB and were therefore SECAMB property. The Panel  accepted the evidence of SA.  
 
178. The Panel  concluded that it was most unlikely that Child A would be found in possession of these two items, being the same pieces of equipment as those admittedly given to him by Mr Tyrrell , but they were not the same  items that Mr Tyrrell  had earlier given to him. That would mean Child A would have had two sets of the same items. Where would he have got the second set? Mr Tyrrell  appeared to suggest that Child A may have stolen the items from the SECAMB depot that were later seized by the police. The Panel  found that an implausible and incredible scenario with no evidential basis. Further, Child A told the police and the SECAMB investigation that the items they seized from him were those given to him by Mr Tyrrell . The items are also discussed in messages between Mr Tyrrell  and Child A. 
 
179. The Panel  concluded that, on the balance of probabilities, the two items found in Child A’s possession by the police were exactly the same two items that Mr Tyrrell  had previously given to him in Summer 2016 and 5 November 2016. These items were the  property of SECAMB as alleged. The Panel  found allegation 3,4 and 5 proved.  
Allegation 6 - On or around 05 November 2016, engaged in inappropriate physical contact with Child A, in that you put your hand on Child A’s genitals, on top of his trousers, and squeezed - Proved
 
180. The Panel  considered the transcript of Child A’s police interview on 18 August  2017 and the SECAMB statement made by Child A on 6 September 2017. This is hearsay evidence and the Panel  is required to decide what weight to attach to this evidence. The Panel  did not hear from Child A. 
 
181. Child A reported this incident and made two statements about 8 and 10 months after the alleged incident the previous November. The incident allegedly took place in MacDonalds. That Mr Tyrrell  and Child A went to MacDonalds together on 5 November was not a matter of any dispute. 
 
182. Mr Tyrrell  denied this incident took place.  He stated that it was not possible that it happened as MacDonalds had been a busy public place and there was also CCTV.  He was in the queue with Child A and he stated he could not have done what is alleged as he would have been seen by others.  The Panel  noted that the allegation does not contain any particular time period for the touching alleged. 
 
183. The Panel  was mindful that the evidence supporting this allegation is the hearsay evidence contained in Child A’s two statement. It considered the factors in the Civil Evidence Act 1995, section 4, in particular 
2(b) - “whether the original statement was made contemporaneously with the occurrence or existence of the matters stated” 
(d)  whether any person involved had any motive to conceal or misrepresent matters;
(e)  whether the original statement was an edited account, or was made in collaboration with another or for a particular purpose”
 
184. In the transcript of the police statement made in August 2017 , Child A is recorded as stating:- “In McDonalds ... I said something to embarrass him and he, and he turned round and went, ‘Oh you little shit’, and he went to hit me but instead he just put his hand down low ... onto my front area and left it there for about 5/6 seconds and squeezed and then moved his hand off, and then turned and said to me, ‘He should probably be more careful where he put his hand in public on  me.’”
 
185. In the statement made to SECAMB in September 2017 by Child A he stated:- “We did the event and then afterwards he said he wanted to buy me a burger from McDonalds. When we were ordering the food, in the queue, I said a joke and Nicholas said ‘you little shit’ and pretend to hit me jokingly but instead put his hand on my penis and balls over my trousers. He left his hand there for a few seconds and deliberately squeezed it, I was totally embarrassed and just didn’t know what to do. He moved it away and said that he should be careful where he puts his hands whilst we are in public. I was just too scared and embarrassed to tell anyone.”
 
186. Child A’s two statements are consistent. They are, however, not contemporaneous with the alleged incident. The police transcript is from a police interview with Child A on 18 August 2017 in a formal, recorded setting. The Panel  found that this was not an edited account. Significantly, the interview took place and was recorded by the police for the purpose of a criminal investigation. The Panel  noted that it took place under the “ABE” – Achieving Best Evidence protocol. The Panel  found that Section 4, factor 2(e) was engaged and it found that this factor lends significant reliability and weight to Child A’s account as recorded in the police interview transcript, which is consistent with Child A’s statement made later to SECAMB. 
 
187. Section 4(2) d) is also engaged as the Panel  found that Child A had no reason to lie or misrepresent matters. The Panel  rejects the unsubstantiated, and self-serving evidence of Mr Tyrrell  that Child A was manipulated by Parent A and was lying in this second police interview.  Given the nature and gravity of the incident it is entirely understandable that Child A would be reluctant to disclose what had happened.  That is typical and understandable behaviour given the alleged conduct and the Panel  found that the delay in disclosure did not undermine the credibility or reliability of the evidence of Child A in this regard. 
 
188. The Panel  found that Child A’s account of this incident is in accord with the whole context in which Mr Tyrrell  is sending increasingly sexual messages to Child A. In the context of an escalation in the intensity of Mr Tyrrell ’s relationship with Child A, which the Panel  has concluded included many inappropriate and sexual messages, the Panel  reached the view that Child A’s accounts of this incident are credible, plausible and reliable. 
 
189. The Panel  considered the context and all the circumstances, and it concluded that it did not believe Mr Tyrrell’s account.  Even in a busy MacDonalds it found it was possible and plausible that a brief touch of Child A’s genital area by Mr Tyrrell  was possible and would not likely have been noticed by others. 
 
190. The Panel  considered that there was a consistency, plausibility and credibility in Child A’s accounts.  The Panel  decided that it preferred Child A’s version of events. It concluded that it was appropriate to attach weight to Child A’s consistent and reliable accounts. The Panel  decided that it was more likely than not that what Child A reported took place.  The Panel  found this allegation proved. 
 
Allegation 7 - On or around 05 November 2016:
a) took Entonox from your employer without permission;
b) brought Entonox belonging to SECAMB to a fireworks event at Child A’s school without permission and/or clinical justification;
c) administered Entonox to Child A without clinical justification and/or allowed Child A to self-administer Entonox without clinical need
 
191. Particular 7 (a) - Mr Tyrrell  admitted this particular. He said he had “stupidly borrowed” the Entonox from his employer, SECAMB, on or around 5 November 2016.  SA told the Panel  that Entonox is a medical gas used for pain relief and can cause dizziness and can make patients feel lightheaded. SA said Mr Tyrrell  had not sought permission to remove Entonox and he stated that Mr Tyrrell   in attending the fireworks event was not acting in his capacity as a paramedic and was not representing SECAMB. Mr Tyrrell  admitted in his investigatory interview at SECAMB with SA that he did not have permission to take the Entonox. The Panel  accepted SA’s evidence and preferred it to that of Mr Tyrrell . The Panel  found this particular proved
 
192. Particular 7 b) - Mr Tyrrell  admitted that he took Entonox from SECAMB and he took it to the fireworks event at Child A’s school.  He sought to explain and justify why, but did not deny that he had done so.  SA said in his evidence that Mr Tyrrell  was not at that event in any official capacity and he had no permission to take Entonox from SECAMB. 
 
193. The Panel  found the explanations and justifications from Mr Tyrrell  about taking the Entonox to the event and its clinical justification convoluted, incoherent and incredible. He suggested that he was attending as a community paramedic and it was his professional judgement that Entonox may be needed. He said  he was trying to help the community and the school in doing so, and he claimed that the school had failed to follow safety rules. The Panel  did not accept Mr Tyrrell ’s evidence in that regard and it preferred the evidence of SA.  There was no evidence that there was any clinical justification for taking the Entonox to the event and Mr Tyrrell  did not credibly or plausibly provide any such justification in his evidence.  The Panel  found this particular proved.
 
194. Particular 7 c) - Mr Tyrrell  in his evidence sought to explain what occurred.  He said that it was a “controlled environment” and said  that he had left Child A with the Entonox and went to have a cigarette outside.  He said when he returned to the room Child A had taken Entonox.  He could not explain how it was that he told police Child A had taken 20 breaths when he was not, on his account, present in the room. Mr Tyrrell ’s own account is therefore that he allowed Child A to take the Entonox.
 
195. There was no evidence that there was any clinical need for Child A to take Entonox and there was no suggestion in any evidence before the Panel  that Child A required pain relief.  It is implicit in Mr Tyrrell ’s evidence that there was no clinical justification for Child A to take Entonox. 
 
196. Ms Reid in her closing submissions drew the Panel ’s attention to the police statement made by Mr Tyrrell  and Child A about this incident, and the many messages exchanged between Mr Tyrrell  and Child A regarding Entonox after the event. Child A in the police statement states that Mr Tyrrell  offered to let him try the Entonox “fully protected”, no doubt by Mr Tyrrell ’s presence. Child A told the police about how he had felt he was becoming unconscious and that Mr Tyrrell  had said make sure your belt is “nice and loose”. Child A told the police that Mr Tyrrell  seemed to be “just mucking about going for my pocket or something.” 
 
197. Mr Tyrrell  told the police a markedly different version of events from those he told the Panel  in his live evidence.  He told the police that he had not left Child A and gone for a cigarette, but that he was in the room and that Child A took the Entonox of his own accord. He then told the police that he, Mr Tyrrell ,  had asked Child A to try it and he had stopped him after about 20 breaths.  The Panel  found that Mr Tyrrell ’s version of events to the Panel  was significantly different from that he gave to the police and from that of Child A in his police statement. The Panel  did not believe Mr Tyrrell. 
 
198. The Panel  noted that there were also many messages between Child A and Mr Tyrrell  after the 5 November 2016 event where Mr Tyrrell  raised the subject of taking Entonox and  its effects are discussed. Mr Tyrrell  asks Child A if he had liked the Entonox and states “perhaps take it to the net stage next time…Keep on until you become unconscious….you have to be lying down…belts and collars need to be loosened.” Child A initially thinks he means alcohol but Mr Tyrrell  persists with the Entonox discussion. 
 
199. The Panel  concluded that Mr Tyrrell  allowed Child A to self-administer Entonox without clinical need and found this particular proved.
Allegation 8 - On or around 05 November 2016, engaged in sexual activity with yourself in the presence of Child A.
 
200. This allegation is linked in time and place to allegation 7, as this  incident is alleged to have taken place during the incident with the Entonox. The Panel  was mindful that it has found allegation 7 proved and that consequently the time, place and situation in which this allegation is made has also been established. Child A told the police, as is recorded in the transcript of the interview on 18th August 2017 that:- “there are a few things I held back from my original interview…I was too scared and ashamed and embarrassed just to speak out to the Detective or Police Officer there...the first thing was that err during the Entonox incident ... he was encouraging me to take more and more breaths of, of Entonox and, and during so he had his hand... he put his hands down his pants to the front area and started playing with himself and ... Yeah he was doing that but obviously I stopped and came around a bit more and then realised what, what it was but refused to accept it, if you like, accept what had happened.”
 
201. In response to further questioning, Child A explained that when Mr Tyrrell encouraged him to take the Entonox, he was sat down in a chair in the classroom and took Entonox through a mouthpiece on the Demand Valve. He stated to the police that Mr Tyrrell had his hand in his trouser for “pretty much the whole duration” but then “he took his hands out before I finished and put them on my, the sides of my head, like that, to make sure I didn’t fall over off the chair.” 
 
202. Child A’s account to the SECAMB investigation in September 2017 is highly consistent with his police statement :- “Because we were there early Nicholas Tyrrell showed me the equipment he had with him and showed me how to administer Entonox. He put it all together and then got me to suck on the delivery tube. He encouraged me to take deep breaths and he seemed to want me to take a lot. He made me take over forty deep breaths I would think. While he did this he was supporting my body and head. I really don’t recall what happened then as the Entonox has made me unaware of what was happening to me, I remember it being scary. The next I remember was coming round and I was sat on a chair and Nicholas Tyrrell was stood in front of me with his hand/s down his trousers and appeared to be playing with himself. It didn’t register what was happening at first but then I couldn’t believe it.” 
 
203. The Panel  was mindful that these statements are hearsay and were made some time after the events. The Panel  took account of section 4 and the factors regarding the weighing of hearsay evidence and testing its reliability :-
“2 (b)  whether the original statement was made contemporaneously with the occurrence or existence of the matters stated; 
(d)  whether any person involved had any motive to conceal or misrepresent matters;
(e)  whether the original statement was an edited account, or was made in collaboration with another or for a particular purpose”
 
204. Child A’s two statements are highly consistent. They are, however, not contemporaneous with the events. The police transcript is from a police interview with Child A on  18 August 2017 in a formal setting. As stated above in respect of allegation 6, the Panel  found that this is not an edited account and, significantly, it was made by the police for the purpose of a criminal investigation. The Panel  found that Section 4, factor 2(e) is engaged. It found that lends significant reliability and weight to Child A’s account as recorded in the police interview transcript. 
 
205. Further, section 2 (d) is engaged as the Panel  found that Child A had no reason to lie or misrepresent matters. As stated above, the Panel  has rejected the unsubstantiated, and self-serving evidence of Mr Tyrrell  that Child A was manipulated by Parent A and that he was lying in this second police interview. Given the nature and gravity of the incident it is entirely understandable that Child A would be reluctant to disclose what had happened. As stated above in respect of allegation 6, this is typical and not at all unusual given the alleged conduct. The Panel  found that the delay in disclosure did not undermine the reliability or credibility of Child A’s evidence in this regard. 
 
206. Mr Tyrrell  denies this took place. He told the Panel  about his state of mind at the time of the events and that he was “mentally unstable and a danger to myself and presumably others…a ticking time bomb” He stated in his evidence that he was suffering from dissociation.
 
207. The Panel  found that Child A’s account of this incident is in accord with the whole context in which Mr Tyrrell ’s is sending increasingly sexual messages to Child A. The messages to Child A, initiated by Mr Tyrrell , after the event about the Entonox are telling. Mr Tyrrell  was actively encouraging him to “take it to the next level” with regard to taking Entonox in his presence, with no clinical justification.  “Loosening belts” is mentioned by Mr Tyrrell  and there is no clinical reason for that.  The Panel  decided that these messages and this context reveals that Mr Tyrrell  had a clear sexual interest in Child A.
 
208. The Panel  considered the context and all the circumstances, including the nature and intensity of Mr Tyrrell s’ messages to Child A,  Mr Tyrrell  bringing Entonox to the event without clinical justification, allowing Child A to self-administer Entonox alone in his presence without clinical need and knowing its likely effect. The Panel  concluded that it was reasonable to infer from this context that Mr Tyrrell  deliberately allowed Child A to take Entonox in order to seek some level of sexual gratification with or from Child A.
 
209. The Panel  was mindful of the context, which the Panel  has found included the sending by Mr Tyrrell  of many sexual and inappropriate messages to Child A. In this sexualised context, and in all the circumstances found proved, in particular allegation 7, the Panel  reached the view that Child A’s accounts of this incident are credible, plausible and reliable. 
 
210. The Panel  concluded that it was appropriate to attach weight to Child A’s consistent and reliable accounts. The Panel  decided that it was more likely than not that what Child A reported took place.  The Panel  found this allegation proved in that Mr Tyrrell  engaged in sexual activity with himself in the presence of Child A. 
 
Allegation 9 - The matters set out at paragraphs 1(a) and/or 1(b) and/or 1(c) and/or 1(d)and/or 2 and/or 6- and/or 7 and/or 8 were sexually motivated.
 
211. The Panel  was mindful of the advice in the Basson and Haris cases.  It has carefully considered the whole context and circumstances including the findings at allegation 1 and 2 that the messages were sexual in nature.  The Panel , taking the evidence as a whole, reached the conclusion that Mr Tyrrell  has demonstrated a pre-meditated and deliberate course of conduct, a campaign, with respect of Child A which sought to test and to breach proper personal and sexual boundaries with a view to seeking a sexual relationship with Child A.
 
212. Mr Tyrrell ’s conduct was highly persistent and sustained in the period under consideration. In that period he sent thousands of inappropriate and sexual messages to Child A, a child of 14 who trusted and respected him.  Mr Tyrrell  abused and exploited that trust and sought to use the significant power imbalance inherent in the relationship to encourage Child A to have sexual discussions with him and to disclose his sexual activities, including those with Child B.  
 
213. Mr Tyrrell  also brought Child A’s boyfriend, Child B, in to his campaign and he actively encouraged Child B to disclose details of his sexual activity with Child A, in part by disclosing his own past sexual history.
 
214. Mr Tyrrell  has sought to explain and rationalise this course of conduct.  He repeatedly described the messages as friendly “banter” that was invited by Child A. The Panel  did not find any evidence that Child A encouraged or invited this conduct or the messages. In any event, as a child even if Child A had done so  that could never excuse or justify Mr Tyrrell ’s conduct. Mr Tyrrell  also stated he was supporting Child A and trying to help him.  
 
215. Having considered the messages and his conduct the Panel  did not find any basis for that assertion and it did not find this explanation credible. Neither Mr Tyrrell ’s evidence nor any other evidence before the Panel  offered any plausible, alternative explanation for his conduct.  The Panel  was mindful, and did not lose sight of the fact, that many of the messages were overtly sexual and there could be no other motivation for  sending them than a sexual one.
 
216. The Panel  was aware that the conduct in allegation 3, 4 and 5 may not appear to be obviously sexually motivated, but the Panel  inferred that this conduct was sexually motivated from all the surrounding circumstances and context. The Panel  found that the conduct in 3, 4 and 5 was part of a deliberate and escalating course of conduct pursued by Mr Tyrrell  to develop and deepen his relationship and build trust and intimacy with Child A. The Panel  found that Mr Tyrrell  pursued this course of conduct in pursuit of a sexual relationship with Child A. 
 
217. The Panel  having considered all the evidence, and having considered whether there was any alternative, plausible explanation for his conduct, decided that the only plausible, credible and rational conclusion to be drawn from the facts is that Mr Tyrrell ’s conduct in respect of allegations 1(a), 1(b), 1(c), 1(d), 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 was all sexually motivated.  The Panel  found that all of the facts and conduct found proved were motivated by Mr Tyrrell  in pursuit of a sexual relationship with Child A and in pursuit of sexual gratification. 
 
Allegation 10 - The matters set out at paragraphs 3(a)and/or 3(b) and/or 7 (a) and/or (7) (b)were dishonest.
 
218. The Panel  considered the test in Ivey and it took account of the fact that Mr Tyrrell  did not consider he had been dishonest.  It concluded that by the standards of ordinary, decent people the conduct found proved in allegation 3 (a), 3 (b), 7 (a) and 7 (b) was dishonest and it found this allegation proved. 
 
 
 
 

Order

No information currently available

Notes

No notes available

Hearing History

History of Hearings for Mr Nicholas E Tyrrell

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
25/04/2022 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Adjourned part heard
14/03/2022 Conduct and Competence Committee Interim Order Review Interim Suspension
31/01/2022 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Adjourned part heard
16/12/2021 Conduct and Competence Committee Interim Order Review Interim Suspension
28/09/2021 Conduct and Competence Committee Interim Order Review Interim Suspension
17/05/2021 Conduct and Competence Committee Interim Order Review Interim Suspension
24/02/2021 Conduct and Competence Committee Interim Order Review Interim Suspension
01/12/2020 Conduct and Competence Committee Interim Order Review Interim Suspension
01/09/2020 Conduct and Competence Committee Interim Order Review Interim Suspension
05/03/2020 Conduct and Competence Committee Interim Order Review Interim Suspension