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Prison nurse struck off over alleged attempt to steal maracas


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”

NMC panel

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”

Centre manager

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.


Readers' comments (9)

  • Thanks for the picture of the maracas NT. I can only assume the tambourine was too shaken up to be photographed after it's horrific ordeal

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  • The NMC are getting ridiculous, a midwife caused the deaths of a baby & mother and with te help of a top barrister gets 3 month suspension. This lad stole but the property was removed from his bag inside the prison and not after he had left so technically there is no evidence that he definitely intended to steal.
    If a shop lifter takes something they have to leave the premises before they can be arrested.
    Something wrong here!
    Get a top flight barrister and get a 3 month suspension

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  • Laha78

    I'm confused as to why this is even worth a report in The Nursing Times!!!!! Really?!?!
    So this'll be where my £125 nursing registration fee is going then?! Investigating nonsense like this!!
    NMC, get a f@*£ing grip!!!!!

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  • Words fail me!

    'Steal...take (another person's property) without permission or legal right and without intending to return it.'

    However it probably wasn't the best idea that he'd ever had...

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  • If anything, this should have been taken to the police and not dealt with by the NMC. Is this the kind of case that takes up so much of the NMC's time and my registration fee?

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  • This was prison property so therefore should have been a prison matter & dealt with as such. Having previously worked in a prison for many years with often feeling the need to reassure some other medical professionals that I did hold a nursing qualification & that I was not a 'second class' nurse because of my role, what concerns me here is that this nurse had neglected the care of his patients & falsified clinical records. This behaviour only reinforces the negative perception from others of the prison nurse role & should have been the focus of the NMC investigation. The world has gone mad when the taking of a few pieces of cheap property becomes the catalyst that provokes an investigation by a professional body & overriding the real issue here that if this nurse had gotten away with it he would have been allowed to continue to practice delivering substandard care - pause for thought!!

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  • [banter]Trust the NMC to make a song and dance about a simple case [/banter]

    Serious points:
    1. Why has the NT not dwelt on the copying and pasting aspect of the case - surely something that the entire profession can learn from?

    2. The cost of the instruments is irrelevant, the conduct is in question here, and as a churchgoer, the Registrant presumably knew it is wrong to steal.

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  • Is this an April fool! if not the Nursing Times needs to get real.... even giving this space beggars belief!

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  • The punishment didn't match the offence,he did not cause death of another person, and it was a one off,suspension or caution would have been ideal not a strike off. If he had repeated the same or similar offence then nmc could consider a more serious punishment.

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