12 Feb 2020
A tribunal has reprimanded a nurse and suspended him for one month following an assault on his teenage daughter in the family home.
In June 2018, GMR, a registered nurse, assaulted his teenage daughter after seeing a boy enter their family home. His daughter was transferred to hospital by ambulance. GMR was interviewed by police and charged with a number of offences. A family violence intervention order was issued in early August 2018 preventing GMR from attending the family home.
In late August 2018, GMR pleaded guilty to one charge of common assault and all other charges were withdrawn. The Magistrate found GMR guilty, imposed a good behaviour bond (without conviction) and ordered GMR to pay $1,500 to the court. GMR also undertook to complete a men's behaviour change program he had already commenced, continue psychological counselling and comply with the family violence intervention order until 1 June 2019.
In June 2019, the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) referred GMR to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (the tribunal) in relation to the assault and his failure to notify the NMBA that he had been charged with serious offences (punishable by 12 months imprisonment or more).
The tribunal found that GMR had engaged in professional misconduct in respect of the assault and unprofessional conduct by failing to notify the NMBA of the charges against him.
The tribunal observed that domestic and family violence is abhorrent and that it has been rightly accepted that acts of domestic and family violence committed by health practitioners can give rise to professional misconduct or unprofessional conduct. The tribunal considered that ‘family violence of the kind perpetrated by GMR would, in contemporary society and nursing practice, be regarded as conduct that is 'disgraceful'.’
The tribunal reprimanded GMR and suspended his registration for one month. In imposing the period of suspension, the tribunal took into account, among other things, that GMR had expressed remorse and insight into his offending behaviour, that the behaviour had never been reflected in the workplace, that GMR had completed rehabilitation steps and that the family violence intervention order had been varied and there had been no further incidents of family violence since June 2018.
The full decision is published on the Austlii website.
Note:the practitioner cannot be named for legal reasons.
Please note due to an administrative delay, this news item was published on 30 November 2020.