Osteopath avoids being “struck off” after pleading guilty to perverting the course of Justice.

An osteopath who had been convicted in the Crown Court for perverting the course of justice and sentenced to 6 months in prison, suspended for 18 months, was spared erasure by the Professional Conduct Committee of the General Osteopathic Council. Osteopath A pleaded guilty to providing false details for a speeding offence back in 2018. He made full admissions when he was interviewed by the police and entered a guilty plea at the first opportunity in Court.

Cases of dishonesty are usually regarded as incompatible with continued registration by most health care regulators. The Committee noted in this case that the dishonesty was aggravated in that:

…not only was the Registrant dishonest in the first instance, but that the dishonesty persisted through his further actions, including his communications with the police, to the point where he wrote and submitted an entirely fallacious letter, purportedly from the fictitious borrower of his wife’s vehicle, claiming responsibility for the speeding. Not only was that behaviour dishonest it was deceitful, premeditated and persistent.

Jonathan Goldring instructed by John Williams of Bankside Law was however able to persuade the Committee to to take the highly unusual step of suspending the osteopath for a period of 5 months rather than striking him off the register.

In deciding the appropriate length of the sentence the Committee took into account of the case of Fleischmann v GMC [2005] EWHC 87 (Admin) and specifically the principle that the sanction imposed should be for a period at least equal to the expiration of sentence imposed by the Criminal Court.

This case is a stark reminder to all regulated professionals that their private lives are also subject to regulation. The case also highlights how important it is to make appropriate admissions early on.