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Nurse struck off for alleged assault on lover

A male nurse who allegedly punched his former lover on the back of the head and withheld information on previous criminal convictions for violent behaviour has been struck off the nursing register.

Mark Newman, 50, appeared before the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) over nine allegations into his conduct.

Among them included a violent spat with fellow nurse Karen Woosnam, after she told Mr Newman their relationship was over, and also failing to tell managers about his criminal past.

As well as denying the attack on Ms Woosnam, the registrant insisted he had not been dishonest over his conviction for causing actual bodily harm three decades ago.

However, an NMC panel ruled Mr Newman’s account was “inconsistent and contradictory” and decided his behaviour was incompatible with being a registered nurse.

“Mr Newman had been violent, dishonest and dishonest about his violence”

Penny Griffiths

All nine allegations against Mr Newman were found proven – including claims he assaulted his former lover.

Panel chair Penny Griffith said: “Mr Newman had been violent, dishonest and dishonest about his violence. We have also heard at how his actions are fundamentally incompatible with that of a registered nurse.

“People in the care of nurses must be trust them with their health and well-being,” she said. “To justify that trust, you must act with integrity and lawfully – both in your professional and personal life.”

The disciplinary hearing was told Mr Newman allegedly hit Ms Woosnam following an argument at her home in 2009. Both worked in the Surgical Short Stay Unit at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff.

At an earlier hearing last year, Ms Woosnam spoke of how her ex flew into a rage after finding a text message on her phone.

“Mark was going berserk, he was calling me all the names under the sun,” she said. “He started to punch me at full force with a closed first in the back of the head.”

The panel was also told Ms Newman did not report the matter to the police, but did go to see her GP three days later.

Mr Newman denied the attack. He said: “I am not disputing the fact we had a heated argument. But I never physically assaulted Karen.

“If I had punched her with full force to the back of the skull as she says she would have required hospital treatment, rather than going to see her GP three days later,” he told the hearing.

But the NMC found Ms Woosnam to be a “credible” witness.

The registrant did admit to failing to disclose a previous conviction for criminal damage valued at £5,000 or less in 2010, which saw him ordered by magistrates to carry out 100 hours of community work.

In addition, he also said he did not tell bosses about a 1985 conviction for assault occasioning actual bodily harm and criminal damage and a 1984 conviction for using threatening, abusive, insulting words or behaviour contrary to the Public Order Act.

Although he said he had not been “entirely conversant” in disclosing these, Mr Newman claimed these had “no bearing on the relevance” on his nursing duties.

The panel also ruled Mr Newman had accessed a woman’s medical records for no clinical reason and had called a consultant “incompetent” and “useless” in front of a patient.

Ms Griffith said, although there had been no questions about the registrant’s clinical skills, his attitude problem and lack of remorse were key factors in the independent panel’s decision.

She added: “In light of Mr Newman’s behaviour, a striking off order was the only sanction which was proportionate and sufficient to protect the public and maintain confidence in the profession.”

Mr Newman’s name will be removed from the nursing register and cannot apply to be restated for five years.

He has 28 days to appeal against the decision.

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