Mr Mark W Cook-Abbott

Profession: Paramedic

Registration Number: PA02407

Hearing Type: Final Hearing

Date and Time of hearing: 10:00 09/05/2022 End: 17:00 19/05/2022

Location: Park House, 184-186 Kennington Park Rd, London SE11 4BU

Panel: Conduct and Competence Committee
Outcome: Struck off

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Allegation

Whilst registered with the HCPC as a Paramedic, you;


1. Engaged in sexual activity with Person A without consent on 20 and/or 21st February 2017.

2. Exercised controlling and/or coercive behaviour on or towards Person A in that you:

a. Engaged in acts intended to control and isolate Person A, including:

i. Attempting to prevent Person A from having social contacts or attending social events;
ii. [PRIVATE]
iii. Monitoring and regulating Person A’s daily activities; and
iv. Taking control over Person A’s finances; and

b. Engaged in acts intended to humiliate and intimidate Person A, including:

i. Setting demeaning ‘terms and conditions’ for Person A to receive purchases or [PRIVATE]; and
ii. Taking photographs and videos of Person A naked without Person A’s knowledge or consent.

3. Your actions at paragraphs 1 – 2 amount to misconduct.

4. By reason of your misconduct, your fitness to practise is impaired.

Finding

Preliminary Matters


1. There was no issue in relation to service. The Registrant was present at the hearing.

2. This case involves allegations of a sexual nature. Prior to the hearing the HCPC became aware that the Registrant was unrepresented. Rule 10 A (4) & (5) of the HCPC (Health Committee (Procedure) Rules 2003 provides that:


“(4) Where— (a) the allegation against a registrant is based on facts which are sexual in nature; (b) a witness is an alleged victim; and (c) the registrant is acting in person; the registrant shall only be allowed to cross-examine the witness in person with the written consent of the witness. (5) If, in the circumstances set out in paragraph (4) a witness does not provide written consent, the registrant shall, not less than seven days before the hearing, appoint a legally qualified person to cross-examine the witness on his [or her] behalf and, in default, the Council shall appoint such a person on behalf of the registrant.”
Application for time to prepare cross-examination

3. In the week preceding the hearing, Ms Brown was instructed by the HCPC to cross-examine Person A.

4. The bundle was sent to Ms Brown on 13 August 2021. Parts of the bundle were missing. On the first morning of the hearing, she applied for extra time. Ms Brown stated that she was not given the Registrant’s contact details and had not taken instructions.

5. Ms Brown made an application for time to read the papers and take instructions.

6. The Panel acceded to the application, initially giving Ms Brown until 2.00pm.

7. At 1.00 pm Ms Brown stated that she would not be ready at 2.00 pm. She indicated that she would need the day to prepare her cross examination.

8. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor and acceded to the application on the basis that it was essential for Ms Brown to be given the opportunity to prepare her cross-examination. The hearing was adjourned until the following morning.

9. The following morning Ms Brown notified the Panel that she had now been instructed by the Registrant to represent him for those parts of the hearing which were not covered by Rule 10 A(4) & (5) of the Rules.
Hearing in Private

10. Ms Woolfson applied for the entire hearing to be held in private. The basis of the application was that the allegations related to sexual misconduct and coercive and controlling behaviour.

11. At a preliminary hearing a ruling had been made that Person A should be permitted to give her evidence in private. Ms Wolfson submitted that it would not be safe or practicable to hear parts of the hearing in private and parts in public.

12. Ms Brown supported the application to hold the entire hearing in private.

13. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor that it could exercise its discretion to hear the case in private despite the presumption in favour of public hearings. The test to be applied was whether the evidence was such that the private life of either the Registrant or a witness would be compromised if the hearing was held in public. The Panel had regard to the HCPTS Practice Note on “Conducting Hearings in Private”.

14. The Panel determined that the entire hearing should be held in private. It further noted that Person A is a vulnerable witness with health issues.

Order

ORDER: The Registrar is directed to strike the name of Mr Mark Cook-Abbott from the Register on the date this Order comes into effect.

Notes

Interim Order

The Panel has determined that it is appropriate to make an Interim Suspension Order under Article 31(2) of the Health Professions Order 2001, the same being necessary to protect members of the public and being otherwise in the public interest as the Panel is aware that the Registrant is currently working as a Paramedic.


This order will expire: (if no appeal is made against the Panel’s decision and Order) upon the expiry of the period during which such an appeal could be made; (if an appeal is made against the Panel’s decision and Order) the final determination of that appeal, subject to a maximum period of 18 months.

Hearing History

History of Hearings for Mr Mark W Cook-Abbott

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
09/05/2022 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Struck off