The Registrant had pleaded guilty in the Magistrates’ Court and received a fine. The conviction had arisen during a time of personal stress due to a member of the family being ill and whilst the Registrant’s journey to see that individual was being frustrated.
The Regulator submitted that the Registrant should be found to be currently impaired on ‘public interest’ grounds.
It was submitted on the Registrant’s behalf that there was no ‘public interest’ impairment as the incident was two years ago, the Registrant had pleaded guilty and self reported to the Regulator. The Registrant had paid for counselling and attended a mindfulness course. In addition there had been no repeat incident.
The Panel accepted there was no current impairment and the Registrant was issued with a warning.
An interesting feature of the hearing was that the Registrant had a previous warning for markedly similar behaviour prior to the current offence. The Regulator agreed that the previous matter should not be placed before the Panel prior to its decision on impairment as that would amount to bad character which would not have been relevant at that point due to the factual admissions. Had the case proceeded to sanction then it was accepted the previous matter would have gone before the Panel and would have been an aggravating feature.