Our client, AG, faced extremely serious allegations relating to theft of controlled drugs, fraudulent behaviour to cover it up and other unrelated dishonesty. The HCPC made an application following a year of inaction in relation to the referral. They were requesting an interim suspension on the basis of a scant bundle, which even they could not explain to the Tribunal.
We applied for an adjournment seeking further evidence, which was granted. The HCPC were given a clear warning as to the need for some level of cogency in their evidence, even though the IOT is not a fact-finding Tribunal. At the adjourned hearing, the HCPC produced further evidence, which we were able to pick apart to demonstrate that it simply did not stand up to scrutiny or support the allegations being made.
We argued that the Tribunal, whilst not allowed to find facts, were obliged to assess the overall weight of the evidence. The HCPC argued that serious allegations were being made and that was enough. The Tribunal agree with us entirely and delivered a scathing assessment of the case and the HCPC. They refused to make any order at all and acceded to all of our arguments and conclusions.
“Our client went from almost accepting an interim suspension to achieving no order at all.”
Fitness to practise defence barrister, Stephen McCaffrey, who represented AG, commented:
“It was a case which went straight to the heart of the issue of the extent to which IOT’s should analyse evidence upon which the application is based.
“AG had given up as previous lawyers told her she would be suspended. She came to us for a second opinion and we viewed it entirely differently.
“This case showed once more that a second opinion is always worthwhile. The case presented by the HCPC was incredibly weak and they believed that by repeating the serious allegations continuously they would avoid scrutiny of their case and conduct. They were proved wrong. Our client went from almost accepting an interim suspension to achieving no order at all.”
“No words would do justice in explaining the kind of service I received from the Kings View Chambers. I was represented by Barrister Stephen McCaffrey for my recent IO Hearing. Stephen and his team treated me with kindness and compassion throughout this rough time.
“As you can imagine after waiting for over a year to finally give my response in defence of some serious allegations I was frustrated, stressed out and close to having a mental breakdown. Just after my first conversation with Stephen I immediately felt better about the upcoming hearing, I was feeling positive about being able to move forward and I could actually finally see having my name being cleared of these false allegations.
“He was able to tear apart the so called evidence that was presented to support these allegations, and proved to the panel that the IO application should be rejected, as the evidence did not align or prove any facts of the allegations. The panel concluded with rejecting the IO application, no restrictions were applied and I can continue to practice as normal.
“I honestly could not have hoped for a better outcome. From the bottom of my heart I want to thank Stephen, Catherine and Sarah from the Kings View Chambers for assisting me in getting my life back.”
Disclaimer: This article is for guidance purposes only. Kings View Chambers accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever for any action taken, or not taken, in relation to this article. You should seek the appropriate legal advice having regard to your own particular circumstances.