RCVS disciplinary committee orders Gary Samuel to be struck off register, citing the “serious” nature of his convictions and his “very limited insight” into his behaviour.

A Leeds-based vet has been struck off the register after being convicted of threatening behaviour, theft and assault.

The disciplinary committee deemed Dr Samuel's convictions too serious for him to remain on the register, so he has been struck off.Gary Samuel – who was convicted by magistrates in Cardiff in November 2011 – was brought before the RCVS’ disciplinary committee (DC) to consider whether his convictions, which relate to behaviour near his property in Cardiff in July 2011, made him unfit to practise.

According to the prosecution, Dr Samuel took a camera and memory card from a neighbour who was taking photographs of construction works behind his property. In doing so, he grabbed the neighbour from behind, twisting her arm, and later threatened her and her partner with a large piece of wood.

Previous to Dr Samuel’s DC hearing, he had written to the college to explain he had pleaded guilty to the charges. However, he denied some of the offences charged, suggesting that it was the neighbour who had been abusive towards him. He has since, said the college, displayed “very limited insight” into his behaviour.

According to the college, the DC did allow the possibility that Dr Samuel may have acted impulsively and lost control of his actions as a result of provocation and offensive abuse.

However, the committee believed Dr Samuel’s convictions were “serious” as the female neighbour suffered an injury, while the threatening behaviour towards both neighbours could have caused more injury. The theft, it said, “involved dishonesty”.

Peter Lees, chairing and speaking on behalf of the committee, said the “suspended sentences, community service orders, fines, restrictions and penalties” imposed by Cardiff magistrates demonstrated the seriousness of Dr Samuel’s convictions, and even though they do not relate to animal welfare, “a serious sanction” was required “to uphold the reputation of the veterinary profession”.

The committee has therefore directed Dr Samuel’s name to be removed from the register.

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