Psychologist with 2004 child sex conviction currently working under different name
October 7, 2011
A convicted child-sex offender has been offering counselling services in Christchurch under another name.
In 2004, Stephen Andrew Gilmore, then 37, was sentenced to nine months jail after he admitted inducing a minor to perform an indecent act in Christchurch in 1992. He was ordered to pay reparation of $10,000 to the girl, who was seven at the time.
Gilmore had qualified as a clinical psychologist in 2000 and had been working with the Waitemata District Health Board.
After his conviction, he was deregistered by the New Zealand Psychologists Board (NZPB). He is listed on the board's website as having his registration cancelled and as using the names Steven McGrath or Hartstein.
Gilmore has allegedly been offering cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) in Christchurch through his website, therapythatworks.net.nz, using the name Steve McGrath in emails.
The website stated "Steve" had 25 years experience, had trained as a clinical psychologist and had "an intimate knowledge of anxiety, depression and oppression from his own life". The website suddenly stopped operating on Wednesday.
Gilmore told The Press he had changed his name to protect his family and himself from ongoing harassment.
He said he did not treat children.
"I remain very remorseful over this incident 19 years ago," he said.
"This matter has been before a judge, and the sentence has been served and I have undertaken appropriate treatment."
Gilmore said he was trained as a clinical psychologist but made it clear to clients he was no longer a registered clinical psychologist.
"I practise as a counsellor and adhere to the guidelines of the industry, which includes professional supervision and a code of ethics. I have given full disclosure as appropriate within the industry," he said.
Board chief executive Steve Osborne said Gilmore was struck off the register after his conviction.
He said Gilmore later applied to be reinstated, but was declined.
Gilmore came to the board's attention again in February this year after a member of the public contacted the board.
Because Gilmore was no longer on the board register, the NZPB referred the matter to the Health Ministry, Osborne said.
Four months later, the ministry told Osborne that, since Gilmore did not use the title "psychologist" in his advertising, no action would be taken against him.
Osborne said it was "misleading" for Gilmore to say he "trained as a clinical psychologist", even though it was in itself true.
Osborne said the ministry told him it had sent members of the Christchurch police child-abuse team to visit Gilmore to discuss what safety mechanisms he had in place.
Osborne said he was deeply concerned that there had been no real consequences for Gilmore.
The NZPB would contact the health minister to express the board's concern about the ministry's lack of adequate response, he said.
"Unfortunately, legally he is beyond our reach," he said.
A ministry spokeswoman declined to comment on its investigation.
A police spokesman said police had investigated Gilmore's activities, but no charges were laid.
He said the investigation file was closed.
A Corrections Department spokesman said Gilmore's sentence and any conditions imposed ended in December 2004.
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