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Woman avoids jail after posing as nurse


A woman has been spared jail after falsely claiming to be a registered nurse.

Denice Stewart, 47, pleaded guilty to fraud, forgery and deception at Maidstone Crown Court after being investigated by the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, and was sentenced to 20 months imprisonment, suspended for two years.

In December 2003, Stewart forged a registration application with The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) while living in Darlington, County Durham. At the time, she was already working at Darlington Hospital as a bank nursing auxiliary.

In July 2005 she moved to Wimbish, Essex, where she got a job as a practice nurse in Newport after falsely claiming to be a registered general nurse with the NMC.

In July 2006, she moved again, this time to Great Lines, Gillingham, where, over a period of four years she found work as a practice nurse in four GP surgeries in the Medway area, before moving to Wales in late 2010.

Checks made by the NMC found Stewart had been working as a nurse after forging qualification documents and stealing another nurse’s registration forms. She was arrested in Brecon, Mid Wales, on July 22, 2011.

As part of her sentence, she also received a six-month curfew and must complete 100 hours of voluntary work.


Readers' comments (29)

  • Well that says it all - it's okay to pretend to be a nurse for years and get away with it because they aren't very important are they? You can bet your bottom dollar if she had pretended to be a policeman she wouldn't be spared jail. This is premeditated fraud and forgery pure and simple and she should have been punished appropriately. Did it have to wait until she made a fatal error to jail her? People go to jail all the time for serious fraud and forgery so how is this any different? In fact, this is worse as she had people's lives in her hands. What sort of deterrent is that? And how did it pass the NMC by so easily?

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  • I totally agree with the previous submission, this individual put peoples lives at risk. She had no understanding of the role of a nurse, she was more than likely giving out incorrect information to patients during her time as a practice nurse.

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  • what have the NMC and her employers got to say, they thought she was a nurse because she was able to pretend she was a nurse - so much for protecting the public.

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  • Sometimes I wonder at the thinking of the lawyers/judges etc this is a far more dangerous crime than our recent speeding offence folks, though lying in court is a a crime to be punished , the punishment for both should be more equal.
    I agree the crime has not been taken seriously enough.

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  • This just shows how innfectual the NMC is!!!
    All us registered nurses who struggle with the NMC for years and never receive adequate answers yet still the fees continue to escalate - £100pawhat ajoke!!! it is time that Registered nurses demanded something for their money - just another money sucking organisation who does not punish fraudsters giving the message " its not that serious"

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  • I agree with all the submissions above, if this had been a police officer a different story. What the hell is happening to this nursing profession ? we work longer hours not the right number of staff needed to care for our patient's The Nhs it is all smoke and mirrors.

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  • speechless, and the NMC have raised their registration fees!!

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  • Patients lives, our lives as potential patients, are in the hands of the NMC! ???

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  • It's very encouraging to know that the NMC had their finger on the button again, what is their purpose. I thought they were there to protect the public yet thousands of patients got 'treated' or examined by a pretendy nurse.

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  • She went to court not judged by the NMC. Maybe if the trusts and NMC had been more careful when she was appointed that is another thing.

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