A veterinary surgeon jailed for fraud two years ago has been told he can resume working as a vet.

The RCVS disciplinary committee restored Matthew Morgan to the UK register after finding him fit to practise.

Mr Morgan had pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud in July 2013 having fraudulently obtained more than £200,000 in pet insurance claims between November 2009 and December 2012. He was jailed for two years in August 2013; he served 12 months and was released on licence.

His case was brought to the disciplinary committee in February 2014 where it was decided to strike him off the register. When his licence period expired on 18 August 2015 Mr Morgan applied for restoration.

At a hearing, the disciplinary committee heard evidence from Mr Morgan who described the evidence as ‘fair’ and acknowledged the seriousness of his actions.

The committee felt Mr Morgan’s crime was very grave, as reflected in his custodial sentence and the fact that, as an Australian citizen, the Home Office had issued him with a deportation notice.

It felt his crime had struck at the heart of public confidence in a profession where honesty and integrity is expected. However, the committee considered Mr Morgan, if restored, would pose few risks to public protection. It had no concerns about his competence as a vet and accepted there was little future risk to animal welfare if he was restored.

The committee also considered Mr Morgan had taken extensive steps to rehabilitate himself since his release from prison, had undertaken CPD and had been working as a veterinary care assistant at two practices to keep up-to-date with current procedures.

Committee members were satisfied there was public support for Mr Morgan continuing as a vet, through references and testimonials.

Committee chairman Alistair Barr,  said: “The committee cannot emphasise enough that veterinary surgeons who commit acts of fraud in the exercise of their practice can expect severe consequences, both in the criminal courts and within their own college, and there can be no doubt the decision to remove the applicant from the register was a proper reflection of the seriousness of his offending.

“Given all of the matters referred to above, however, the committee considers the applicant has demonstrated sufficiently he has learned the lessons required and is now fit to be restored to the register.”

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