A Sri Lankan vet has been struck off the RCVS register after attacking a woman and child with a knife.

Last week (February 13) the Disciplinary Committee (DC) of the RCVS directed Kumaran Kanesh should be removed from the register, having found him unfit to practise veterinary surgery following Crown Court convictions for wounding with intent and false imprisonment, for which he was sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

At the hearing, DC heard how Kanesh, who undertook veterinary studies in Sri Lanka before moving to the UK in 2003 to study further, had been sentenced under the Mental Health Act in March 2013, following his attack on a woman and child in August 2012 in south-west London.

During the summer of 2012, following a period of worsening mental illness and increasing paranoia about people, Mr Kanesh had launched a pre-planned assault against Mrs A and Child B.

In what the Crown Court judge described as an extremely violent, deeply distressing and seemingly frenzied attack, Kanesh bound and gagged the couple, before cutting Child B’s eyelids with a knife.

Mrs A freed herself and tried to protect the child, but Kanesh then attacked her, stabbing her 17 times.

Both Child B and Mrs A escaped, where they were assisted by the public, before the police arrived to arrest Kanesh. The DC noted both Mrs A and Child B had since made a good physical recovery from their injuries, although their psychological well-being was still in question.

Following the attack, Kanesh was remanded in custody before being transferred to Broadmoor Hospital, where he was retained under the Mental Health Act until sentencing. Consultant psychiatrist Dr Samrat Sengupta told the sentencing hearing that Kanesh suffered from paranoid schizophrenia with symptoms characterised by “persecutory and self-reverential delusional ideations” about members of his family and the wider public.

He added the degree of Kanesh’s illness warranted his ongoing hospitalisation and treatment, and that the possibility of relapse from failing to take his medication was a real concern.

At the DC hearing, which Mr Kanesh attended escorted by a mental health nurse, he admitted the convictions and that they rendered him unfit to practise veterinary surgery.

Mrs A had written to the college stating she supported Kanesh and understood his behaviour had resulted from his ill-health. Dr Sengupta also wrote to the college stating Kanesh had responded well to medication with complete resolution of his symptoms and had been moved to a lesser secure environment for further rehabilitation.

In its submissions to DC, the college stated Kanesh’s convictions represented some of the most serious offences that it could consider, which, had he been of sound mind, would have led to a significant period of imprisonment.

His conduct was of such an exceptionally serious nature as to significantly damage the reputation of the veterinary profession and undermine the public’s confidence in it, regardless of the underlying reasons. The DC accepted the college’s submissions and found Kanesh unfit to practise veterinary surgery.

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