Disciplinary Committee dismisses case against Nottinghamshire vet

11 January 2017

The RCVS Disciplinary Committee has dismissed the case against a Nottinghamshire veterinary surgeon.

The allegation against Emma Frances Faulkner MRCVS was that, on 7 September 2015, she had acted inappropriately by striking a Shih Tzu/Toy Poodle cross puppy called Arnie on his head.

The hearing commenced on Tuesday 3 January 2017 with evidence being given by the owner of the animal (“TC”). However, the corroborating witness, who was also the complainant in the case, failed to attend the hearing to give evidence.

Efforts were made by the College to contact the complainant and remind her that she had been summoned to appear before the Committee – however, she still chose not to attend the hearing to give evidence. In response to her non-appearance the Committee decided that her written evidence was inadmissible as there would be no opportunity to cross-examine her about the discrepancies between her account and that of TC.

Miss Faulkner’s counsel then made an application to the Committee that the College had failed to sufficiently prove its case to the requisite standard such that it would not be necessary for her to adduce any evidence in her defence. The Committee granted this on the grounds that there were clear inconsistencies in the evidence given by TC at different stages of the investigation and during the hearing itself.

Chitra Karve, chairing the Committee and speaking on its behalf, said: “The Committee was unable to conclude that TC was a reliable witness. Given TC’s centrality to the case the Committee is unable to be satisfied so that it is sure that her account of events as outlined in her oral evidence is accurate. Accordingly, the Committee is not satisfied that the College has proved to the requisite standard that the respondent did in fact strike Arnie to the head as alleged.

“Accordingly, the Committee accepts the submission made by the respondent that the College has not adduced sufficient evidence upon which it can find the facts alleged in the charge to be proved. Therefore, it is not necessary for the Committee to consider this matter any further. There is no case for the respondent to answer.”

NOTE: This summary is provided to assist in understanding the RCVS Disciplinary Committee’s decision. It does not form part of the reasons for the decision. The Committee’s full findings and decision is the only authoritative document.