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Disciplinary Committee announces findings of fact in David Porter inquiry
17 July 2015
The Disciplinary Committee of the RCVS has adjourned its hearing into David John Porter MRCVS until October 2015, although it has made a number of findings of fact in relation to the charges against him.
Judith Webb, who chaired the Committtee and spoke on its behalf, said in a statement, read out shortly before the hearing adjourned, that the Committee had reached its decision in relation to the charges against Mr Porter.
However, because the Committee had not had sufficient time to put the full reasons behind its decision into writing, the authorative findings of fact document will not be published until the hearing reconvenes on Thursday 1 October 2015.
When the Committee reconvenes it will also make its decision in relation to findings of misconduct and, if necessary, sanction (referred to as Stage 2 and Stage 3 respectively in the statement below).
The full transcript of the Committee's decision on findings of fact can be found below and the charges against Mr Porter are available to download.
RCVS v David John Porter
1. The Committee has reached decisions on the Stage 1 Findings of Fact part of this Disciplinary Hearing. These decisions have been reached following detailed deliberations extending over a period of nearly 11 hours. Having reached our decisions and having identified our reasons for reaching these decisions, but having insufficient time to reduce these reasons into writing, we have reached a stage where we have to decide whether to announce our decisions now or to postpone that announcement until they are fully reduced to writing.
2. We are not able to resume this Hearing until 1 October because there are many diary commitments that need to be catered for, not least the availability of a Hearing Room within this building.
3. In those circumstances we consider that the correct course for us to follow is to announce our decisions now and to hand down our reasons in writing when we reconvene on 1 October. We have so concluded because we consider that it is the best interests of the Respondent that he should not be held in limbo until that date, not knowing what the outcome of this Stage 1 adjudication will be. Common fairness dictates that he should be notified as soon as possible so as to end his period of uncertainty. Following this course will also assist the further preparations that need to be made by the parties in relation to the Stage 2 inquiry (that is to say, whether or not the Charges found proved do or do not constitute disgraceful conduct in a professional respect) and, if appropriate, Stage 3. The College will in the intervening period be able to make arrangements for any further witness evidence that it might be considered is necessary in relation to Stage 2 and Mr Porter can then be given advance notice of what that evidence will be. That, in turn, will the better enable him to prepare for Stage 2 and to reach a considered decision as to whether he will attend the remaining parts of this Inquiry Hearing, whether in person or with the assistance of legal representation.
4. We take this opportunity to request that the Clerk to the Committee notifies Mr Porter of the dates set aside for the remainder of this Hearing (namely 1 and 2 October and 5 and 6 October) and of our Findings of Fact Decision.
5. Our Findings of Fact in relation to these Charges are as follows:
(i) We find the facts alleged in Charges A1-4, Charge B, Charges C.1 to C.4, Charge C.5(ii) and Charge D proved such that we are sure that the constituent elements of each has been proved to the requisite degree of proof.
(ii) We find the facts alleged in Charges C.5(i) and C.6. not proven and those Charges are dismissed.
6. It follows that there will be a Hearing to determine the Stage 2 issue in relation to all but those last two Charges.
The Legal Assessor will now tender advice as to what is not to occur in the period intervening before this Committee reconvenes on 1 October.