Tuesday, 13 November 2018

RAF nurse struck off over indecent images of children

RAF nurse struck off over indecent images of children

A NURSE who accessed websites to share indecent images of children while he was working at RAF Benson has been struck off.

Sqn Ldr Kevin Scrafton was convicted of two counts of making an indecent photograph of a child and 15 counts of possession of an indecent photograph of a child at Bulford Court Martial Centre in November.

He was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment and dismissed from Her Majesty’s service. He was also made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order for 10 years and placed on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.

A report to the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s fitness to practise committee last week said his offences were “extremely serious” and below the standards expected of a registered nurse.

The panel found that as a result of his actions Scrafton put members of the public at “unwarranted risk of harm, breached fundamental tenets of the nursing profession and brought the nursing profession into disrepute”.

The report said: “He was working as squadron leader at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, part of the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine.

“On November 15, 2016, the Ministry of Defence received information which indicated that, at RAF Benson between September 2015 and April 2016, Mr Scrafton had accessed websites in order to share indecent images of children and had accessed a file host site known to be used for similar activity surrounding such images.

“Mr Scrafton was arrested on November 17, 2016 for the alleged distribution and possession of an indecent image of children.

“During his interview, Mr Scrafton confirmed that he often used internet websites and would introduce and identify himself as a teenage girl in order to engage in sexual conversation.

“He also stated that he created a number of social media accounts under fictional aliases, using images of real people from photograph-sharing websites.

“After a search was conducted, further documents were uncovered, including a memory stick containing further indecent images of children.”

The report said Scrafton could not explain why he was in possession of the indecent images or why he had saved them.

It continued: “Although Mr Scrafton admitted to having the images, he denied being sexually attracted to the victims and denied having the images for his own sexual gratification.

“Following Mr Scrafton’s conviction, the council has received no further evidence of insight into his behaviour, or of any remediation into his failings.

“As such, the panel concluded that a real risk of repetition remains. The panel therefore decided that a finding of impairment is necessary on the grounds of public protection.

“The panel considered that Mr Scrafton’s offences, by their very nature, are extremely serious. He misrepresented himself online to present himself as a child in order to receive indecent images of children.

“The panel considered that the public would be appalled if a panel of the fitness to practise committee did not make a finding of current impairment based on convictions of this nature and gravity.”

Making the order, the panel said: “Mr Scrafton’s actions were significant departures from the standards expected of a registered nurse and are fundamentally incompatible with his remaining on the register.

“The findings in this particular case demonstrate that Mr Scrafton’s actions were serious and to allow him to continue practising would undermine public confidence in the profession and in the Nursing and Midwifery Council as a regulatory body.”

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