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Pharmacist guilty of motoring offences warned as to his future conduct

By news team

Convictions for speeding and a failure to notify the Registrar of these have resulted in a warning being issued by the fitness–to–practise committee of the General Pharmaceutical Council to a pharmacist currently living in Ireland.

On 30 May 2013, the committee inquired into the case of Edwin Nally (registration umber 2074553). The committee had received information that between 17 March and 21 May 2011, Mr Nally had been convicted of driving at excess speed 10 times. There was also a case of failing to stop at a red light and one of failing to provide details of who the driver was in respect of an incident of speeding.

The penalties imposed on Mr Nally were that on 7 December 2011, in his absence, he was fined £525 for failing to provide details of the driver, with £100 costs and surcharge. On 14 December 2011, when he appeared at South East Northumberland Magistrates’ Court in respect of the substantive driving offences, he was fined a total of £1,000, with £100 costs and surcharge. He was then disqualified from driving for six months.

A further allegation was that Mr Nally failed to inform the Registrar of the convictions within seven days as he was required to do.

Mr Nally was not present at the inquiry and was not represented,

Nirupar Uddin, solicitor, appeared on behalf of the GPhC.

The committee heard that Mr Nally had made some admissions in an email to the GPhC dated 16 May 2013. He admitted all the offences except that of failing to provide driver information. The committee found the convictions proved, including the disputed one.

In respect of his failure to inform the Registrar of his convictions, Mr Nally had indicated that “it had been the least of his worries at the time and it had slipped his mind that he had to report the convictions to the council”. He had also explained that the incidences of speeding were a result of him hurrying to emergencies while he was working as a locum.

Giving the committee’s decision, the chairman, Christopher Gibson, QC, said that it was a matter of regret that Mr Nally had not attended.  “We have noted that he lives in Ireland but it would have helped if he were here. We think it was probably false and ill-judged of him to claim that he was rushing to an emergency at the time of the speeding offences. This looks to us to have been a flippant remark and it may indicate a lack of insight. On the other hand, Mr Nally may have a degree of insight, but we cannot say because he has not attempted to give a full account of himself and to that extent he has not engaged fully with these proceedings.”

The chairman said that the committee accepted that Mr Nally’s failure to report his convictions to the Registrar was an oversight. But he added: “Professional regulation only works if professionals reveal to the their regulators all matters that the public would consider the regulator has to investigate.”

He continued: “We do not know what was going on in Mr Nally’s life in the period in 2011 when he committed all these motoring offences because he has not told us. We reject his suggestion, if it was seriously made, that he was hurrying to emergencies. We regard it as entirely obvious that this series of driving offences should have been investigated as soon as possible by the council to ensure that Mr Nally was in a state safely to continue in practice. His failure to report the offences delayed, and to that extent frustrated, any investigation by the council. In our judgement the public would be rightly concerned by this and we consider that the combination of the number of the offences in a short period of time coupled with a failure to report them to the council in time, or at all, means the public interest requires a finding that Mr Nally’s fitness to practise is impaired.”

The chairman issued a warning to Mr Nally in the following terms: “Mr Nally must understand that he must not do anything in his private life that will lessen public confidence in the profession and he must be aware that it is of the greatest importance that he reports to the council anything that has to be reported and needs to be investigated, including any criminal convictions.”

Citation: Electronicjuice DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2013.11124043

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