UK psych nurse loses license for forcing sex on pregnant patient

January 27, 2012

Jonathan Henk, a psychiatric nurse who forced himself on a patient he was secretly dating after discovering she was pregnant by another man, has been struck off.

Henk, 47, fell in love with the woman, proposed to her and invited her to move into his home.

Henk also whisked her off on a three-day holiday to Majorca during their five month affair in 2008, the Nursing and Midwifery Council heard.

But the woman believed Henk was seeing another psychiatric patient and the romance fizzled out.

Henk then tried to bully her into keeping quiet about their affair.

The nurse was working at Halesview Mental Health Centre in Halesowen, West Midlands when he started counselling 'patient A' for panic attacks in April 2007.

In March the following year, he referred her to another psychiatrist then began seeing her outside work.

Henk wooed her by sending a flurry of personal text messages and telling her he had 'butterflies' when he saw her for the first time.

Cassandra Scarborough, for the NMC, told how Patient A felt pressured to have sex with Henk' during their five-month fling.

"Mr Henk engaged in their first intimate contact at his house when he took Patient A to the Merry Hill shopping centre in Dudley, and then said on their way he would need to get changed.

"He took her to his house, poured her a glass of wine, told her she was beautiful, and kissed her.

"They had sex for the first time in April 2008, when Mr Henk took her out for a drink in Bromsgrove and she became very drunk.

"At that stage, he made it clear to her that no-one should find out about their relationship.

"It is the council's case that Mr Henk initiated the relationship and that he clearly took advantage of his position with a vulnerable client."

The romance soured in July 2008, when Patient A moved in with Henk, and he became suspicious of her friendship with another man.

'On August 27, 2008, Mr Henk came to her house, she told him she was pregnant, and, upon hearing that news, he said he would stay for lunch,' said Ms Scarborough.

Patient A told Henk she was pregnant and that he should leave her alone, then he had sex with her without her consent.

'Suffice to say her health deteriorated as a result of that incident,' she said.

After the pair split up, Henk tried to bully her into silence after her ex-boyfriend reported him to bosses at Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust.

He even forced her to write a letter saying she would withdraw her complaint, before driving her to the post box himself, the hearing was told.

An internal enquiry was launched but later abandoned after Henk resigned.

The NMC panel found 20 charges were found proved and ruled his actions were sexually motivated and amounted to 'very serious misconduct'.

He was cleared of telling the woman to have an abortion - an allegation he repeatedly denied - and kissing her at his home before she had been referred to another member of staff.

A charge that the nurse had a relationship with a second woman, identified as Patient B, was also dropped.

Henk admitted he had sex with Patient A, but insisted it was consensual.

He said: 'After we did the pregnancy test, we did have sex on the floor of Patient A's house.

"But if she said no, we wouldn't have had sex."

Ruling that he was guilty of misconduct and his fitness to practice was impaired, NMC panel chairman Paul Archer said: 'The facts found proved amount to serious breaches of the standards expected of a registered nurse.

"Mr Henk's actions had the potential to cause damage to individuals and the nursing profession.

"He has admitted his fitness to practice is impaired from the outset and the panel finds it remains impaired.'

Striking him off the register, Mr Archer added: 'Mr Henk abused his position of trust and power to further a relationship with a vulnerable woman who encountered him in his position as a nurse and trusted him.

"On one occasion, they had sexual intercourse without that patient's consent.

"This is an extremely serious finding.

"Mr Henk has shown very little insight and denied the most serious allegation.

"His actions are fundamentally incompatible with remaining on the register.

"The misconduct completely undermines the trust others should have in a nurse and is irremediable.

"Public confidence in the profession would be seriously damaged if Mr Henk was not struck off."

Henk, wearing a black suit, white shirt and striped tie, showed no emotion as the decision was announced.

He has 28 days to appeal against the decision, during which he is subject to an 18-month interim suspension order.

Source: Psychiatric nurse struck off after forcing himself on pregnant patient," The Telegraph, January 25, 2012.


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