Psych Crime Reporter

January 25, 2013

Scottish psych nurse loses license for locking patient in room

Filed under: license revoked,patient abuse,psychiatric hospital or facility,psychiatric nurse — Psych Crime Reporter @ 3:10 pm

A nurse at a Tayside psychiatric hospital has been suspended from practising for three months after locking a patient in a room and walking away.

Susan Sutherland trapped the man in a room at Murray Royal Hospital in Perth to “see what he would do”.

Ms Sutherland, who was sacked after the incident in December 2010, has always denied the charge against her.

A Nursing and Midwifery panel ruled that Ms Sutherland remains a risk and could put patients at unwarranted harm.

The panel heard from healthcare assistant Gary Boyle, who said he had managed to persuade Patient A into a bathroom in an attempt to bathe him, only for the patient to run out of the room naked.

The patient ran into and lay on the floor of a smoking room on the ward, before Ms Sutherland and Mr Boyle managed to convince the man to return to his room.

But when the patient returned to his room, an irate Ms Sutherland shut the door, locked it and told Mr Boyle she “was locking his door for five minutes to see what he would do before she “stormed off down the corridor away from Patient A’s room”.

The incident was reported to Margaret Cullen, the nurse in charge at Glenelg Ward and Ms Sutherland was suspended two days later.

Source: “Psychiatric nurse suspended after locking naked patient in room,” STV, January 13, 2013.


January 2, 2013

UK psych nurse who battered girlfriend loses nursing license

Filed under: disciplinary history,license revoked,License suspended,psychiatric nurse — Psych Crime Reporter @ 3:01 pm

A nurse is on the run after being caught on CCTV beating up his girlfriend.

Malvern Kurehwa, 38, is being sought by Surrey Police for a separate matter and it is believed he has fled to Zimbabwe.

Kurehwa, from Rosehill, had pleaded guilty to battery of his girlfriend at Sutton Magistrates Court on October 20, 2009 and was ordered to pay a fine of £230.

As a result of the sentence, Malvern Kurehwa, 38, was told his fitness to practice as a mental health nurse was compromised by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

He was due to face the NMC on Friday (December 14) to hear the panel determine his future, but he failed to show up.

He informed the panel in October this year that he was raising funds for a flight in order to attend the hearing.

A panel decided in his absence that he should be struck off the nursing register as: “The panel cannot be satisfied that there was no longer a risk of Mr Kurehwa’s conduct being repeated.

The panel concluded that there is a real, current need for public protection in this case.”

At the hearing at the International Dispute Resolutions Centre on Fleet Street, Central London, the panel heard about the incident which gave rise to his conviction.

On October 18, 2009, Kurehwa had called police from a phonebox in Rosehill claiming he was being attacked by his girlfriend.

However CCTV footage in fact showed him punching his girlfriend in the head at least four times whilst holding her around her neck before dragging her to the floor and pushing her across the road.

A report of the NMC hearing said: “In considering Mr Kurehwa’s fitness to practise, the panel reminded itself of its duty to protect patients and its wider duty to protect the public interest which includes the declaring and upholding of proper standards of conduct and behaviour.”

“The panel considered that Mr Kurehwa’s actions are fundamentally incompatible with remaining on the register.”

Source: James Pepper, “Rosehill nurse Malvern Kurehwa struck off after battering girlfriend,” The Guardian, December 27, 2012.

October 22, 2012

UK psych nurse David Swankie loses license for sex with former patient

Filed under: psychiatric nurse,psychiatric rape,sexual abuse,sexual exploitation — Psych Crime Reporter @ 8:48 pm

A MALE nurse has been struck off for having sex with one of his former psychiatric patients.

David Swankie approached the woman at the hospital where he worked and asked her to become Facebook friends, the Nursing and Midwifery Council heard.

He claimed he believed the woman, who he had treated in the past but was no longer his patient, had been discharged two weeks before the start of their six-month relationship in June 2010.

She was, however, awaiting a post-discharge meeting.

During an investigation by NHS Fife in July 2010, it came to light that Swankie had also become Facebook friends with three other female patients who were on his caseload at St Andrews Memorial Hospital.

His behaviour came to light after a colleague raised concerns.

Swankie was struck off this week after admitting 24 charges of misconduct, which also included repeatedly failing to see patients referred to him between February 2009 and July 2010.

In one case, a patient who took an overdose waited almost 12 weeks to be seen, despite two letters from her worried GP requesting an urgent appointment.

Swankie was dismissed by NHS Fife after a disciplinary hearing in November 2010.

Source: “Male nurse struck off for having sex with psychiatric patient,” The Daily Record and Sunday Mail,” October 13, 2012.

October 17, 2012

Two Cornwall psych nurses lose licenses for sex with patients

Filed under: psychiatric nurse,sexual abuse,sexual exploitation — Psych Crime Reporter @ 12:34 pm

A PSYCHIATRIC nurse has been banned from the profession and a staff nurse at Bodmin Hospital suspended after they both had sex with vulnerable mental health patients who had been in their care.

Community psychiatric nurse Gary Tomlinson who worked with patients in Liskeard and Bodmin has been struck off the nursing register pending an appeal.

And former staff nurse Gideon Bryant has been suspended for 18 months by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) after hearings into the allegations found both cases proved.

Tomlinson worked for the North Cornwall Community Mental Health Team and had a sexual relationship with one of his female patients over two years.

Bryant, who has now been sacked from his job as a nurse at Bodmin Hospital’s psychiatric intensive care unit, escaped being struck off after a hearing in London was told he formed the sexual relationship when the woman was no longer under his care.

Tomlinson formed the relationship with his patient who had a history of depression and was going through a divorce. In her evidence, she described having sex with Tomlinson on numerous occasions, and receiving text messages of an explicit nature.

The NMC said there had been repeated sexual acts with a vulnerable patient and found Tomlinson, who had denied the majority of the allegations, to be dishonest.

In its judgement, the NMC said: “Mr Tomlinson has not provided any evidence that he would not present a continued risk to patient safety were he allowed to practice unrestricted. The panel concluded that given Mr Tomlinson’s complete lack of insight and lack of remorse, he continues to pose a risk to patients and on that basis it finds his fitness to practise currently impaired.”

The NMC said it needed to protect the public and banned Tomlinson from nursing. He has 18 months to appeal and has been suspended during that time.

The NMC heard that Bryant, a nurse at Bodmin Hospital, denied having sex with a patient while she was under his care, and the relationship had begun in August of last year after she was discharged.

The NMC told Bryant: “Your work as a nurse continues to involve dealing with vulnerable patients and the panel considered that keeping a proper relationship between a nurse and a patient should be at the forefront of your mind,” and suspended him for 18 months.

Both nurses had been employed by the Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

The trust’s Sharon Linter, director of quality and governance, said: “All healthcare professionals have a duty to maintain an appropriate and professional relationship with the people in their care. This requirement is clearly set out in the codes of conduct laid down by professional bodies like the Nursing and Midwifery Council and within the trust’s own policies.

“Members of staff who are found to have abused their position of trust and placed a vulnerable person at risk will be dismissed. As an employer, it is our duty to report allegations of this nature to the professional body. We take all alleged or suspected incidents of this nature very seriously and would encourage anyone with a concern to contact us so it can be investigated.”

Source: “Nurse sacked over patient sex claims,” Cornish Guardian, October 11, 2012.

September 25, 2012

Yet another UK psych nurse is struck off for sex with a patient

Filed under: psychiatric nurse,psychiatric rape,sexual abuse,sexual exploitation — Psych Crime Reporter @ 8:07 pm

A mental health nurse who started a sexual relationship with a patient in her care before bombarding him with texts when he broke it off has been struck off.

Deborah Boulton was said to have met a male patient and given him her mobile number, texted him messages saying ‘I miss you’ and ‘I love you’.

The band 6 nurse’s actions fell ‘seriously short of the conduct and standards expected of a nurse’, a tribunal ruled, saying her ability to practice is impaired by reason of her misconduct.

She was said to have met the man, known as Patient A, at the Sutherland Centre, for people with poor mental health, in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, in early 2009.
Relationship: A tribunal heard Deborah Boulton had sex with one of her patients five times after meeting him at the Sutherland Centre in Stoke-on-Trent

Relationship: A tribunal heard Deborah Boulton had sex with one of her patients five times after meeting him at the Sutherland Centre in Stoke-on-Trent

A Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) hearing was told Boulton gave the patient, who had previously been treated in hospital for an alleged overdose of diazepam and alcohol issues, her mobile number and texted him, telling him ‘I miss you’ and ‘I love you’.

During their relationship the pair had sex around five times: once in a hotel, once in his mother’s house and approximately three times in Boulton’s house.

The patient claimed when he tried to finish the relationship Boulton bombarded him with calls and texts until he destroyed his mobile phone to avoid contact from her.

The panel heard Boulton went on to take sick leave leading to her case load being re-allocated, which eventually resulted in claims of their relationship emerging.

The allegations came to light when Patient A attended a counselling session in August, where he suggested to a counsellor that he had suffered a relapse because of the relationship, the hearing was told.

Boulton was not present and not represented at the hearing in central London last week, but had denied the allegations.

The NMC Competence and Conduct Committee panel struck Boulton off, finding she breached professional boundaries by giving Patient A her phone number and instructing him to call her, and also found she had failed to maintain accurate records and failed to create a care plan for him.

The panel accepted evidence given by Patient A that Boulton left voicemail messages on his phone saying words to the effect of: ‘If you do not come and see me now then you will never see me again’, and ‘I will end the relationship and you will be alone because you will never see me again’.

It also found proved allegations that the Boulton took the patient to Frankie and Benny’s in Newtown, Stoke-on-Trent, between May and June 2009, and to dinner with a friend in May 2009, and also that she bought him alcohol on two occasions.

‘By placing her own needs above the needs of Patient A, Ms Boulton breached the fundamental tenets of the profession.’

The panel also found proved claims that the couple had sex on around May 12, 2009, in Patient A’s bedroom at his mother’s house in Longton; and that they stayed overnight at the Holiday Inn Express in Stoke-on-Trent near Britannia Stadium, where they also slept together.

It was also found proven that during May and/or June 2009, the pair had sex approximately three times at Boulton’s home.

Deciding whether the facts proved amounted to misconduct, the panel ruled Boulton’s actions fell ‘seriously short of the conduct and standards expected of a nurse and amounts to misconduct’.

Striking her off, it said her failings were ‘significant departures’ from the standards expected.

‘By placing her own needs above the needs of Patient A, Ms Boulton breached the fundamental tenets of the profession and the panel is of the view that to allow her to continue practising would fail to protect the public, and undermine public confidence in the profession and in the NMC as a regulatory body.’

An 18-month Interim Suspension Order was also put in place to allow for the possibility of an appeal. If Boulton does not appeal within 28 days, then the order will be replaced by the striking-off order.

Source: “Mental health nurse who had sex with patient then bombarded him with texts when he ended relationship is struck off,” Daily Mail Reporter, September 18, 2012.

UK psych nurse accused of sexual assault of female patients

Filed under: psychiatric nurse,sexual abuse,sexual exploitation — Psych Crime Reporter @ 8:03 pm

A male nursing assistant told a mental health patient that he would put her “in the book” if she did not allow him to sexually assault her, a court heard today.

Foday Chorr, 46, is accused of sexual assaulting two female patients at Eastbourne District General Hospital  between June 10 and 21 last year.

Opening the case at Lewes Crown Court, prosecutor Michael Riley described the two women as “vulnerable” and having “mental health issues”.

In one incident, the victim said Chorr walked into her room and asked her what relaxed her, Mr Riley said.

She answered that when she had been pregnant she liked to have her feet massaged and Chorr offered to do this for her.

Mr Riley told the jury: “(The victim) said she didn’t want him to, that she was just answering the question.

“He said he would put her ‘in the book’ and report her as being obstructive… if she didn’t let him do it.”

Mr Riley said Chorr, from Shropshire, then proceeded to massage her feet and move his hands up and down her legs.

He added: “She felt she had to comply with the threat… he was a nurse at the hospital, she was a mental patient. She froze, she was shocked.”

Chorr then kissed her before leaving.

The following night, a similar incident occurred except that, when he touched her legs, his hands moved further towards her thigh.

The victim reported the incident after she was discharged and was asked to fill out a questionnaire about her four-day stay at the hospital.

In a second case, the victim made her complaint hours after it happened, Mr Riley said. She was in her bed reading when Chorr came into her room late at night, the jury was told.

Chorr said he was going to tickle her and she said she did not want him to. He then tickled her feet and moved his hand up and down her leg before leaving.

Mr Riley said: “She said she felt scared and shocked.” Chorr then came back a second time and touched the victim on her thigh.

On his third visit that night, the victim awoke to find her covers off, her nightgown lifted up and Chorr standing at her bedside, while she had no underwear on.

He told her to “cover up”.

Mr Riley said on the third occasion, the victim claimed Chorr also touched her leg and pubic area.

“She was scared and didn’t think she could do anything about it before (Chorr) had left.”

Chorr, of Shorncliffe Drive, Shrewsbury, denies five counts of sexual assault on the two female patients while working as a psychiatric nursing assistant at the hospital.

The trial, before Judge Richard Haywood, continues.

Source: Eastbourne psychiatric nurse sexually assaulted two patients, court hears, The Argus, September 24, 2012.

September 11, 2012

UK psych nurse who had sex affair with patient predicted she’d end up stocking supermarket shelves. She was right

Filed under: psychiatric nurse,psychiatric rape,sexual exploitation — Psych Crime Reporter @ 1:33 pm

A MENTAL health nurse has been struck off after cheating on her boyfriend with a patient.

Aberdeenshire nurse Linda May Thomson, 47, has been barred after drinking cava with the patient, visiting pubs and going to football matches with him.

A Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) panel said the case was an “extremely serious” breach of professional boundaries.


The 47-year-old faced 19 charges of misconduct including having a sexual relationship with “Patient A”, who suffers from manic depression, while working at Royal Cornhill Hospital, Aberdeen.

The charges, which relate to early 2009, say they had a “sexual relationship”, “kissed on one or more occasion” and “engaged in sexual touching on more than one occasion.”

Thomson, who worked in the hospital’s Corgarf ward, was also charged with staying overnight at the man’s house and accepting a key to his flat.

She admitted only one charge, saying their relationship was platonic, but the panel found all allegations against her proved.

The NMC hearing took place behind closed doors but the written decision of the panel has now been made public.


Ms Thomson’s relationship with the man, referred to only as “Patient A”, began after she returned some of his possessions which he had left at the hospital after being discharged on 9 January.

The NMC’s detailed statement said one of Ms Thomson’s colleagues, Dr Pauline Larmour, gave evidence that: “Any unauthorised contact with patients currently under care or patients who have been released from care would be inappropriate in all circumstances”.

Despite this, the nurse accepted a key to his flat and exchanged gifts with him, and as the relationship developed they exchanged gifts.

The NMC statement said: “[Patient A] describes these occasions in graphic detail and was able to relate places, and dates and circumstances and he was consistently able to recount these instances to a variety of people over the period of a year.

“Ms Thomson in her evidence, to [a colleague], when asked if she had kissed or cuddled Patient A, she replied “a wee bit further than that”.


The panel noted that at one point Ms Thomson said “I’m going to be stacking shelves in Tesco” while discussing the patient with a colleague, suggesting she knew she was doing something wrong.

The panel said: “She also was in a relationship and lived with her partner at the relevant time.”

Evidence was taken from a doctor who had known Patient A in a professional capacity for a number of years. He said Patient A’s medical condition did not give him a “propensity to lie or fantasize”.

The same witness also told the panel that Patient A’s account of his sexual relationship with Ms Thomson “has never changed”.

“Patient A’s medical condition means that he is good at recalling times, dates and conversations in great detail,” said witness.


The panel also heard from a Ms Hawcutt that on an evening out around March 2009, when they had both been drinking and were drunk, Ms Thomson had disclosed to her “that she was seeing another man”.

Ms Hawcutt asked Ms Thomson if it was Patient A as “she had an instinctive feeling that it was him”.

She said that Ms Thomson had said to her “How do you know?” or words to that effect.

She then asked if she had had sexual intercourse with Patient A. Ms Thomson did not say anything, but Ms Hawcutt formed the impression from the look she had given her that she had.

The panel concluded that the case was “extremely serious”, adding that the man was a “vulnerable patient who appeared to have low self esteem”.

Ms Thomson said her relationship ended after Patient A assaulted her at a bus stop in April 2009.

The panel said: “This incident led to his arrest and subsequent conviction.

“Ms Thomson reported this incident to the Hospital which led to an investigation and subsequent referral to the NMC.”

Ms Thomson was neither present nor represented at the NMC hearing.

But admitted at an earlier stage in the proceedings that she “wholeheartedly regrets the consequences of her actions”.

Source: “Nurse struck off after cheating on boyfriend with patient,” Neil Pooran, Deadline (blog), August 31, 2012.

Psychiatric aide charged with sexual assaults

Filed under: psychiatric nurse,sexual abuse,sexual exploitation — Psych Crime Reporter @ 1:31 pm

Visalia (California) Police have arrested a health worker for allegedly sexually assaulting two of his patients.

Investigators say 29-year old caretaker, Timothy Pohl, committed the crimes while working at the Kaweah Delta Mental Health Facility.  It is a secure facility, meaning patients do not have in and out privileges.  Investigators believe that helped the suspect take advantage of women.

“It concerns us because there is a lot of trust placed in these caretakers,” said Sgt. Amy Watkins of the Visalia Police Dept.

Police say on Monday and Tuesday of this week, a 42-year old woman and a 32-year old woman filed reports against Pohl.  They say he sexually assaulted them during treatment sessions.

“We’re looking at oral copulation, digital penetration and other charges related to him being the caretaker of these patients,” said Sgt. Watkins.

Officers arrested Pohl Tuesday evening at his home in the city of Tulare.  He had been working at the facility since April.

Kaweah Delta Mental Health responded with this statement:

“We’ve taken this allegation very seriously and have terminated the employee involved. We will continue to cooperate fully with the Visalia Police Department on this matter.”

This is the second sexual assault case we’ve had in the valley this month with tied to mental health.  In Fresno County, investigators arrested 52-year old, Pao Vue Vang.  He worked as a behavioral health clinician and is accused of raping a 27-year old woman while she was in his office for an appointment.

“To be a victim of this type of crime is unfortunate and we’d like to help them through it if we could,” said Sgt. Watkins.

Visalia Police have reason to believe Pohl has a third victim out there and possibly more.  If you have any information that can help in this case, call the department at (559) 713-4727.

Source: “Caretaker arrested for sexual assaults, CBS47 TV, August 29, 2012.

August 21, 2012

UK psych nurse struck off for patient abuse

Filed under: elder abuse,patient abuse,psychiatric nurse — Psych Crime Reporter @ 8:44 pm

A NURSE who was aggressive to patients at an East Lancashire mental health unit – and hurled abuse at them – has been struck off.

In one episode Iain Fletcher, a staff nurse at Hillview unit, Royal Blackburn Hospital , interrupted colleagues and patients preparing a Christmas hamper and told them it was ‘tat’, the Nursing and Midwifery Council heard.

Hampers were being created to raise funds for the ward and Fletcher’s behaviour ‘was wholly inappropriate’, a fitness to practise panel was told.

Fletcher also indulged in a foul-mouthed rant about how he enjoyed restraining problem patients, the disciplinary hearing was told.

And he carried on regardless when ward sister Cath Rigg warned him about his language, which was peppered with F-words.

Fletcher denied several of the allegations at an internal hearing, conducted by Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the unit.

But he failed to attend the NMC hearing and a three-strong panel ruled that three main charges against him were found proven.

NMC counsel Moloney said Fletcher had returned to work after a lengthy absence and was on a trial placement in the 18-bed Ward L3 which deals with older adults with conditions such as depression and bipolar disorder.

One woman, named as Patient A, who suffered from bipolar disorder, was in the ward dining area when she began repeatedly washing her hands.

Fletcher said to her: ‘Have you finished with your OCDs?’ Later in the presence of the same patient he told a colleague: ‘All the people that are a pain should be shoved in PICU’.

This was a reference to the psychiatric intensive care ward, which colleagues felt was an ‘awful’ thing to say to a patient, the hearing was told.

Panel chairman Alexander Coleman said Fletcher had a ‘woeful lack of interpersonal skills’.

He added: “The panel found Mr Fletcher used his authority as a nurse in a bullying and dictatorial manner which distressed patients and staff.”

Source: Peter Magill, “East Lancashire nurse struck off for abuse of patients,” Lancashire Telegraph, August 16, 2012.

July 19, 2012

Psych nurse admits sexual assault; patient wants judgment against mental hospital

A McArthur woman who is suing a former nurse/supervisor at a local mental hospital has asked a judge to grant her partial summary judgment in the case.

The woman, who has asked for damages of more than $2 million, claimed in her suit, filed last December, that Ryan E. Blaine, a former employee of the Appalachian Behavioral Health Center, had inappropriate sexual contact with her in January and February 2011 when she was a patient there.

After the Ohio State Highway Patrol investigated the woman’s allegations, Blaine pleaded guilty to attempted patient abuse, a fifth-degree felony. He was ordered to relinquish his nursing certificate, and placed on three years’ probation.

In addition to Blaine, the lawsuit named five “John Doe” defendants who were working for the Ohio Department of Mental Health, alleging that when the plaintiff complained about Blaine’s actions, the other employees “drugged (her) and subjected her to isolation, telling her that she fabricated the… events of which she complained.”

In asking Athens County Common Pleas Judge Michael Ward to grant partial summary judgment, the woman’s attorneys, Richard V. Zurz and Martin S. Delahunty, cite a number of facts they say are not in dispute, because Blaine has failed to respond to a set of questions filed by the plaintiff, asking for admissions of fact.

These include the fact that Blaine has admitted he was a supervisor at ABH when the woman was there; that he had access to her medical chart; that she was a patient under his care; that he engaged in improper sexual conduct with her; and that he pled guilty to a felony charge stemming from this conduct.

“The foregoing admitted facts constitute violations of Ohio law and constitute an assault and abuse of a patient under Ohio law,” the motion alleges.

The plaintiff has alleged among other claims that Blaine committed assault and patient abuse, and that he violated her constitutional right to be “secure in her person.” Each claim, her attorneys maintain, is supported by the undisputed facts they have cited.

“The defendant’s admissions in conjunction with the laws of the state of Ohio clearly provide that the plaintiff has proven the elements necessary to allow summary judgment” on the first six claims in her lawsuit, the motion argues.

Therefore, Zurz and Delahunty have asked Ward to rule in their client’s favor, and to schedule a hearing on how much she deserves in damages.

When The Athens NEWS sought comment in December 2011 on the lawsuit, a spokesperson for the ODMH said she could not comment on pending litigation involving one of the agency’s facilities. The lawsuit does not name ODMH itself as a defendant.

Source: “Woman wants judgment in mental hospital lawsuit,” The Athens News, July 18, 2012.

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