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Kent vet to be struck off

10 September 2004

Please note: This is an archived news story. Mr Laurence Lindsay Swift was removed from the RCVS Register of Members following the hearing and is therefore not currently entitled to practise as a veterinary surgeon in the UK.

The Disciplinary Committee of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons today moved to strike off a Kent-based veterinary surgeon, finding against him on four of the six charges he faced.

The Committee found that Mr Swift's conviction at Canterbury Magistrates' Court in May 2004, of indecently assaulting a girl under the age of 14, rendered him unfit to practice veterinary surgery, indicating that veterinary surgeons as professionals have wider duties than in the care of animals and that failure to conduct themselves to the standards expected of professionals can bring the profession as a whole into disrepute.

The Committee also found Mr Swift's inappropriate use of medicines, despite advice from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, and his lack of regard for the welfare of Blue, a cat belonging to one of the complainants, amounted to disgraceful conduct in a professional respect.

The Committee sentenced Mr Swift on each of the charges. In relation to the conviction, Brian Jennings, the Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee, said, "[this] is a very serious matter but taking into account the full circumstances, the decision is to suspend Mr Swift for 12 months."

For his inappropriate use of medicines, Brian Jennings said, "These charges disclose a deliberate and blatant refusal to comply with legal requirements, despite guidance and warnings", and continued, "The Committee has decided that Mr Swift's name should be removed from the Register".

On charge 4, the Committee decided that the facts disclosed a degree of incompetence and postponed judgment subject to conditions. If Mr Swift is struck off the Register, this sentence will have no effect.

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