Wife-beating Cambridge psychiatrist Empee Vithayathil barred from profession for a year

April 22, 2014

A psychiatrist who repeatedly assaulted his wife, breaking her ankle on one occasion, has been banned from the profession for a year.

Cambridge-based Dr Empee Vithayathil, who was described as having ruled his household “with a rod of iron”, was suspended at the conclusion of a four-day hearing at the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service.

The hearing heard Dr Vithayathil had been sentenced to four months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, at Cambridge Crown Court last year.

He was also made subject to a restraining order and told to participate in a domestic abuse programme.

This came after Dr Vithayathil was convicted of one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and three counts of assault by beating.

The first count related to an incident in 2007 when Dr Vithayathil attacked his wife, resulting in her breaking her ankle and having to spend eight weeks in a plaster cast.

The other counts related to three assaults in the space of three days in February last year.

First, Dr Vithayathil slapped his wife’s face following an argument over a library book, which erupted again the following evening.

On the second night he slapped her in the face, bent her wife’s fingers back against her hand, grasped both her hands in a ‘lock-style’ grip, and hit her in the chest.

The following morning Dr Vithayathil had an argument with his sons, which ended in him slapping one of them.

The panel heard Dr Vithayathil admitted his wife’s injury in 2007 was “highly significant” but was “not an intended consequence” of his actions.

Sentencing, Judge Jonathan Haworth had told Dr Vithayathil the offences “occurred in a household which you clearly ruled with a rod of iron”, the panel was told.

Craig Ferguson, for Dr Vithayathil, told the panel there was no suggestion his client posed a risk to patients or that his violent tendencies “extend beyond a domestic setting”, adding there was a “non-existent” chance of a remorseful Dr Vithayathil reoffending.

Michael Menlowe, the panel chairman, said: “The panel is satisfied this suspension is proportionate and is sufficient to protect the public interest.

“It also signals to the public and other members of the medical profession that behaviour such as yours is serious and unacceptable because it undermines proper professional standards and public confidence in the medical profession.”

Source: Chris Havergal, "Wife-beating Cambridge psychiatrist Empee Vithayathil barred from profession for a year," Cambridge News, April 19, 2014.


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