Board revokes license of psych nurse who stomped 82-year-old patient
January 18, 2012
A "SADISTIC" nurse who stamped on an elderly patient’s ankle has been kicked out of the profession.
Edward Ruddick assaulted Alzheimer’s sufferer Reg Hulse after the 82-year-old knocked over some furniture, the Nursing and Midwifery Council heard.
The 49-year-old applied pressure and moved his foot back and forth, causing the victim bruising.
Ruddick was working as a psychiatric nurse at the privately-run Victoria House Care Home in Stockton, at the time of the assault, between November 1 to 7, 2008.
He was convicted of actual bodily harm at Teesside Crown Court and handed a six-month prison sentence on September 3, 2010.
Sentencing, Judge Peter Armstrong said the defendant’s actions were “particularly unpleasant, if not sadistic”.
At the time, Ruddick had a second job working for Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Trust as a staff nurse.
Ruddick, of Kentmere, Spennymoor, chose not to attend the central London hearing, citing “financial hardship.”
The NMC panel ruled his fitness to practice was impaired by reason of his conviction.
Panel chairwoman Lesley White said: “This was a serious offence that was committed on a vulnerable 82-year-old patient suffering from mental illness.
“Mr Ruddick, at the time of sentencing, still protested his innocence and - as the judge noted - did not show any remorse for what he did.
“The panel notes Mr Ruddick has not demonstrated any sympathy or regret towards the patient.”
Ms White said his behaviour was “not easily remediable and a risk of repetition still exists.”
“The conviction is so serious that it impairs Mr Ruddick’s fitness to practice,” she added.
Striking him off the register, Ms White said: “The case concerns direct harm towards a patient and Mr Ruddick has not demonstrated any insight into his behaviour.
“Mr Ruddick, as a nurse, was in a position of trust.
“Such a breach of trust is fundamentally incompatible with continuing to be registered with the NMC.
“It is difficult to imagine how a person in the caring profession could have put his foot on the ankle of a patient and moved it back and forth causing bruising. Such a lack of insight leads the panel to conclude that the only appropriate order is one of striking off.”
Great-grandfather Mr Hulse did not live to see justice being done at the crown court.
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