Radiographer struck off after court hears claims he engaged in 'sexual acts' during scans at Kerry hospital

A generic hospital scene

By Ann O'Loughlin

A radiographer has been struck off the register of radiographers for professional misconduct after allegedly engaging in sexual acts in relation to a female patient who went for a MRI scan.

Jomin Jose was also alleged to have told the woman she had a "nice pussy".

What happened here involved a “gross breach” of trust and the patient, a woman in her sixties who was ill and who went to get a scan to assist her diagnosis, was entitled to be treated in a manner other than she was, the president of the High Court, Mr Justice Peter Kelly said.

He made the comments when cancelling the registration of Mr Jose, a native of India with an address in Tralee, Co Kerry.

Mr Jose, who was not in court and not represented, is prohibited from applying to re-register here for seven years.

The orders, made under the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005, were sought by J.P. McDowell, solicitor for the Health and Social Care Professionals Council, known as CORU.

Mr McDowell said a forensic psychiatrist had rejected claims by Mr Jose he was experiencing a "psychotic" episode at the time of the alleged events in the Bon Secours Hospital in Tralee on a date in September 2016.

This claim was inconsistent with the evidence and with Mr Jose having told gardai the alleged acts were consensual, he said.

Mr Jose was employed by Alliance Medical in September 2016 and its Human Resources director made a complaint arising from the alleged events at the hospital.

In his ruling today Mr Justice Kelly noted an investigation was carried out into the complaint Mr Jose had behaved inappropriately to a patient committed to his care.

The complaint alleged, while working as a radiographer on a date in September 2016, Mr Jose had engaged in sexual acts, including penetration by the penis of the anus, of a patient in his care, and digital and/or manual contact and/or rubbing of the genitals of the same patient.

Following an inquiry, the Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) found, on the basis of unchallenged evidence of the female patient and another person, those allegations were proven and this amounted to professional misconduct.

The matter ultimately came before the High Court when the Council asked it to cancel the registration of Mr Jose and prohibit him applying for seven years to re-register.

Mr Justice Kelly noted the PCC had found professional misconduct of the most serious sort. It had described the conduct as sexual and inappropriate conduct of the "most egregious" sort involving a fundamental abuse of Mr Jose's position and it was also satisfied the conduct caused grave harm to the patient.

The PCC rejected his claims of a psychotic episode or a lack of capacity on the date in question, the judge noted.

While the PCC said the circumstances were "unusual", it was satisfied the incident involved "opportunistic" conduct by him for reasons including he had referred to an absence of cameras, took the patient into a cubicle and referred to her as having a "nice pussy". He also asked for her phone number and told her to ask for him by name if she needed another MRI scan.

The PCC had considered it was "not remotely likely" a psychotic episode would last only a few minutes and was satisfied from the evidence Mr Jose had full capacity on the day, the judge noted. Mr Jose had not appealed the finding of misconduct, he added.

Trust "reaches across all professions" and what occurred here was such a gross breach of trust that Mr Jose's registration must be cancelled, the judge ruled. He also directed that Mr Jose's home country be notified of the court's ruling.

Earlier he noted, unlike the two stage fitness to practice procedures for other healthcare professionals, the procedure for investigation under the 2005 Act involves three stages. He said that appeared "wasteful" as it cost additional time and money.



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