Newcastle-based veterinary surgeon Kirk Thompson is to be removed from the register after being found unfit to practise veterinary surgery, following a Crown Court conviction for manslaughter, assault and drug possession.

The type and nature of Kirk Thompson’s criminal conduct “falls seriously below the standard expected of a member of the profession”. Image © Morrison.

Following a trial at Newcastle Crown Court in April 2014, Mr Thompson was convicted of the manslaughter of Mr K at Mr Thompson’s flat during the night of 1 March 2013.

He was also convicted of assault causing actual bodily harm (also on Mr K) and possession of methylamphetamine, a class A controlled drug – both offences occurring on the same night.

Mr Thompson was subsequently sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment, with a five-year extended licence period.

Inquiry notice

While the RCVS opened a case against Mr Thompson in February 2014, it only received confirmation from the Supreme Court of the final conclusion of his subsequent (and ultimately unsuccessful) appeals against his conviction and sentencing in October 2015. The disciplinary committee, therefore, served a notice of inquiry on Mr Thompson in November 2015.

Mr Thompson admitted the convictions, but did not attend the hearing due to his incarceration, nor was he represented at it; he also declined the opportunity to attend by video link.

After due consideration, the committee decided the notice of inquiry had been properly served and that it was in the interests of justice to proceed in Mr Thompson’s absence.

‘Fundamentally incompatible’

The committee was satisfied Mr Thompson had been convicted of the three offences listed in the charges and concluded he was not fit to practise as a veterinary surgeon.

Speaking on behalf of the committee, its chairman Alistair Barr said: “[We are] satisfied the type and nature of [Mr Thompson’s] criminal conduct falls seriously below the standard expected of a member of the profession. [We have] noted Mr Thompson recognises the disrepute his actions have brought on the profession […] and consider that [his] conduct is fundamentally incompatible with being a veterinary surgeon.

“In the circumstances, [we have] concluded that, in the public interest, there is only one proportionate sanction that could be imposed, namely the removal of Mr Thompson’s name from the register.”

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