Mental health nurse struck off after making indecent images of children
Maartijn Stephenson was told he could put patients at risk if he was allowed to continue practising.
A mental health nurse convicted of making indecent images of a child has been struck off.
A panel ruled Maartijn Stephenson could put patients at an “unwarranted risk of harm” if he was allowed to continue practising.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) hearing was told he pleaded guilty to possessing over 40 images last July, after admitting to buying indecent videos before he qualified as a nurse in 2010.
It heard how the DVDs, bought between 2006 and 2008, contained images of children that were indecent.
When he was arrested, he claimed the footage showed a “mix of naturalist style and coming of age genre of film.”
He was spared jail at Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court, but placed on the Sex Offenders Register for five years.
Now the NMC has ruled the only “appropriate and proportionate sanction” to protect the public is to strike him off.
The Edinburgh-based panel, which also said Stephenson could not reapply for five years, heard he has no desire to return to nursing.
Stephenson was caught on February 10, 2015 when he was arrested and detained in custody by Hartlepool Police.
Just over a fortnight later, he self-referred to the NMC in an email stating: “I have recently been arrested and am part of a police investigation but have not yet received any convictions or cautions at this time.
“My employer is also conducting an investigation and I am currently suspended from my duty as part of this.”
He was ultimately handed a community order for his crimes.
And striking him off the register, the panel stated: “Taking into account the extremely serious nature of the offences and the lack of evidence of any steps taken to remediate his offending behaviour, the panel concluded that there is a risk that Mr Stephenson is liable in future to place patients at unwarranted risk of harm, bring the profession into disrepute and breach fundamental tenets of the nursing profession.
“Due to the nature and seriousness of the conviction and the fact that it is damaging to the reputation of the profession, the panel considered that the damage is difficult to remediate.”