Disciplinary Committee refuses to restore former Portsmouth vet to Register
3 July 2020
The RCVS Disciplinary Committee has rejected the application of a former Portsmouth-based veterinary surgeon to be restored to the Register.
Simon Wood was originally removed from the Register of Veterinary Surgeons on the direction of the Disciplinary Committee in June 2018 following his conviction at Portsmouth Magistrate’s Court in December 2017 for possessing indecent images of children.
Following his conviction Mr Wood, who pleaded guilty to three charges of making indecent images of children, was given a community sentence, was fined and was made subject to a sexual harm prevention order for five years.
The restoration hearing for Mr Wood took place from Wednesday 24 to Thursday 25 June. Mr Wood’s application for restoration, which was presented on his behalf by his counsel, was based on the argument that Mr Wood was professionally competent to be restored to the Register, that he had strong mitigation for his original conviction (for which he had demonstrated remorse), that he had a low chance of reoffending, had engaged proactively with the Probation Service and rehabilitative courses, and that had completed his community service.
In considering Mr Wood’s application, the Disciplinary Committee took into account a number of factors including Mr Wood’s acceptance of the Committee’s original findings, the seriousness of the original findings, protection of the public, the future welfare of animals in his care should he be restored, the length of time off the Register, his conduct since removal from the Register, efforts by Mr Wood to keep up-to-date with his continuing professional development (CPD), the impact of removal from the Register on Mr Wood and public support for his restoration.
However, on balance, the Committee decided that Mr Wood was not currently fit to be restored to the Register.
Ian Arundale, chairing the Committee and speaking on its behalf, said: “In essence, the Committee decided that the facts of the charge justifying removal from the Register and the underlying criminal behaviour were too serious for Mr Wood to be restored at this time.
"It concluded that because Mr Wood continued to be subject to a sexual harm prevention order, notification requirements for sexual offenders and because he remained on the Barring List by the Disclosure and Barring service until January 2023, he was not fit to be restored to the Register at this time.
“The Committee accepted that Mr Wood had made significant efforts to rehabilitate himself but it was not persuaded that he was fit to be restored to the Register because ancillary orders relating to the underlying criminal offences remained in force.
"The Committee noted that at the time those orders were made Mr Wood was described as having an addiction and although the Committee accepted that there was a low risk of future reoffending, it decided that because the orders were still in place for public protection reasons, Mr Wood was not fit to be restored to the Register.”
The full report of Mr Wood’s restoration hearing can be found on the dedicated RCVS disciplinary hearings page.