Tribunal disqualifies nurse for 15 years following criminal conviction

11 Feb 2021

A tribunal has cancelled an enrolled nurse’s registration and disqualified him from reapplying for 15 years following his criminal conviction for attempted murder. 

On 7 December 2017, Mr George Alexander Freeman attempted to murder his then wife in their home. Mr Freeman repeatedly used a large knife to inflict multiple stab wounds on the victim in an unprovoked and premediated attack, delayed calling for an ambulance and failed to render any assistance despite his training as a nurse. 

Mr Freeman later pleaded guilty to attempted murder, was convicted and sentenced to nine years and 10 months imprisonment with a non-parole period of five years and six months, backdated to commence on 7 December 2017. 

The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) took immediate action to suspend Mr Freeman’s nursing registration on 12 January 2018 and referred him to the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (tribunal). 

Mr Freeman admitted that his behaviour constituted professional misconduct. On 11 November 2020, the tribunal ordered that Mr Freeman be reprimanded, cancelled his registration and disqualified him from reapplying for registration as a registered health practitioner for a period of 15 years. The tribunal also ordered that he pay the NMBA’s costs. 

The tribunal noted that Mr Freeman has serious health issues which appear to be progressive and speculated that he is unlikely to be fit to hold registration in the future, but that will be an issue for the NMBA to consider should he reapply for registration. 

The tribunal’s decision is published on Austlii

Page reviewed 11/02/2021