The RCVS Disciplinary Committee (DC) has adjourned the hearing of Denis Cronin’s application for restoration due to a number of concerns and the lack of a properly planned return-to-practice programme.
Mr Cronin was struck off in 2005 after being found guilty of seven charges of serious professional misconduct, which included euthanising a cat in his own car and, when consent was in doubt, failure to explain the treatment of the animal to its owner.
Mr Cronin was also found guilty of:
- threatening and abusive behaviour towards complainants and employees
- failing to respond promptly to requests from the RCVS regarding complaints
- inappropriately handling and transportation of animals, including the use of excessive force on a dog.
Mr Cronin was accompanied at the restoration hearing on June 24 by Dr Kevin Dodd, who spoke on his behalf and argued that Mr Cronin had been successfully treated for the depression which led to the acts of misconduct in 2005.
The DC heard Mr Cronin was now aware of the triggers that might lead to a recurrence of his depression and had demonstrated a continuing enthusiasm for veterinary practice.
In consideration of the application for restoration, the committee had three concerns which related to:
- the future welfare of animals
- his efforts to keep up to date with skills
- the need to ensure public protection.
The DC felt Mr Cronin lacked a plan for the future or appreciation of the obligations he would face if restored and returned to practice.
For these reasons the hearing was adjourned for approximately three months to allow Mr Cronin time to compile the necessary evidence to support a properly planned return-to-practice programme.
Judith Webb, chairing the Disciplinary Committee and speaking on its behalf, said: “No doubt [Mr Cronin] will be somewhat disappointed with this decision but it will afford him an early opportunity to reflect on the concerns of the committee […] and to return with a properly supported programme for the future, which will show his understanding of the problems that are likely to face him on his return to practice and his proposals to meet those inevitable difficulties and stresses.”
The committee stressed that the adjournment was not an assurance that it would make a decision favourable to Mr Cronin when it reconvened, even if he provided the evidence requested.
The Committee’s full findings and decision are available on the RCVS website www.rcvs.org.uk/disciplinary.