A community mental health nurse has been struck off after allegedly attempting to smuggle a tambourine and maracas used for the treatment of patients out of a high security prison in his rucksack.
Amos Moijueh was employed by Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust as part of the local In-Reach team working at Pentonville Prison when he was accused of taking the percussion instruments, which were discovered when a manager rattled his bag.
Mr Moijueh had already admitted three other charges, as part of a case heard by the Nursing and Midwifery Council last month.
“They were items which had been purchased to support the treatment of mental health patients in a difficult setting such as the prison”
These included failing to regularly review a patient, and two occasions when he had simply copied and pasted past entries made by a colleague to fill in a patient’s record.
However, he denied attempting to steal the instruments, claiming he was the victim of a conspiracy between two colleagues who had invented the details.
He said told the disciplinary meeting that he thought staff could help themselves to the instruments and maintained he had merely placed them on top of his bag.
The NMC’s conduct and competence committee heard evidence from a fellow Band 6 community nurse who said he saw Mr Moijueh place a tambourine and other instruments in his rucksack in June 2013.
When the manager of the day care centre came looking for the instruments he told her to check Mr Moijueh’s bag.
“I told her to look in Amos’ black rucksack. She said she couldn’t do that so I told her to give it a shake,” he told the panel.
“She did and we could hear the tambourine inside. She then opened the rucksack and removed the tambourine and other instruments,” he said.
The manager confirmed that she shook the bag and then opened it to find a tambourine and two shakers.
“I lifted the bag and gave it a rattle,” she said. “I could hear what sounded like maracas. I unzipped the bag and was shocked to find a number of the musical instruments that belonged to the day care centre.”
“I unzipped the bag and was shocked to find a number of the musical instruments that belonged to the day care centre”
When she confronted Mr Moijueh, she said that “he had a smile on his face” and told her he wanted to take the instruments to his church. He did not appear to take the matter seriously enough, she told the panel.
The panel concluded Mr Moijueh had taken the instruments knowing full well they did not belong to him and that he had been dishonest.
“The panel acknowledged that the instruments you intended to take away from the trust were not of a significant monetary value and that this was a one off, isolated incident,” said the panel.
“However, it considered that they were items which had been purchased to support the treatment of mental health patients in a difficult setting such as the prison. It was therefore equipment which was of value of patients and to their care.
“You were an experienced nurse and were in a position of trust which you abused by intending to take some of these items.”
In considering the combination of charges against Mr Moijueh, the panel concluded he should be struck off.
“Your conduct and dishonesty are fundamentally incompatible with your continuing to be a registered nurse,” he was told.
The striking off order will be delayed for 28 days to allow Mr Moijueh to appeal. The NMC imposed an interim suspension order to cover that period.