Jamie Rushton has been struck off by the RCVS Disciplinary Committee after being convicted of sexual assault and jailed for 18 months.

Mr Rushton was convicted of sexual assault after pleading guilty at Wood Green Crown Court in December 2022.

He was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment, made subject to a restraining order and a 10-year sexual harm prevention order as well as being placed on the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years.

He was also ordered to pay £3,000 costs and a £140 victims’ surcharge.

Mr Rushton did not attend the RCVS hearing, where the facts of the charge were proven by the certificate of conviction and the judge’s sentencing remarks.

In considering whether the conviction rendered Mr Rushton unfit to practise veterinary medicine, the Committee considered that the case involved the sexual assault of a vulnerable woman who was also a professional colleague, and was a serious abuse of trust, reflected in the custodial sentence.

Dr Neil Slater MRCVS, chairing the Committee and speaking on its behalf, said: “It was evident from the judge’s sentencing remarks that [the victim] had been seriously affected by the knowledge of what had occurred on that evening.

"That knowledge was bound, in itself, to be very distressing and according to the victim’s impact statement had a long- lasting impact on the victim’s self-esteem, resilience and relationship with others.

"The victim’s level of distress can only have been increased by the knowledge that the respondent had filmed and/or photographed his activity while she was unconscious and that the images were included on a memory stick which contained a number of other voyeuristic images.”

"The Committee was satisfied that the respondent’s behaviour had caused [the victim] significant psychological injury and carried with it a risk of causing such injury.

“The Committee was also satisfied that [the victim] was especially vulnerable because of the significant quantity of alcohol that she had consumed.

"In the circumstances that evolved, she was in the respondent’s care.

"The respondent abused the position of trust and responsibility that he occupied.

"He was a senior colleague, at a professional conference.

"Instead of taking appropriate steps to secure the welfare of [the victim], he used the position in which he found himself to engage in predatory sexual misconduct.

"Furthermore, his behaviour was opportunistic and, as the judge said, “clearly driven by [his] sexual desires."

Taking into account these factors, the Committee found that Dr Rushton was unfit to practise and next considered the sanction.

The Committee found no mitigating factors regarding the conviction but did take into account the fact there had been no previous regulatory findings against him.

In deciding the sanction, the Committee also noted that there was little evidence before them that Dr Rushton had shown serious insight into the impact of his offending.

Neil added: “In this context the Committee also noted that the respondent maintained a plea of not guilty until three days before a rearranged trial was due to take place, and subsequently advanced an account of what he said was his relationship with [the victim] which the judge found to be false.

Taking all of these factors into account, the Committee is satisfied that removal from the register is the only proportionate outcome to this case.

"This sanction is necessary to declare and uphold appropriate standards of conduct for members of the veterinary profession and to maintain public confidence in the profession.”


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