Psychiatrist Bruce James Spittle Struck Off For Indecent Assaults Against Patient

June 27, 2018

New Zealand psychiatrist Bruce James Spittle, who practiced in Dunedin, has been struck off the medical register after being convicted of the indecent assault of a patient. Spittle was censured and ordered to pay $5,720 towards the costs of his prosecution at the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal. The decision was made today following a hearing in Auckland in February.
Spittle was convicted in the Dunedin District Court in 2015 of the two counts of indecently assaulting a female patient in 1999. Both assaults involved Spittle touching his patient and he encouraged her to touch him too. The first assault occurred during a trip to an ice-skating rink. Spittle parked his car, in which the patient was present, in a secluded side street. The second occurred in the patient's bedroom at a hospital. 
The district court sentenced Spittle to seven months home detention and ordered him to pay $15,000 reparation to the victim.
Shortly after being sentenced, he voluntarily ceased practicing until his appeal was determined and the council could consider the verdict. The Court of Appeal rejected his bid to have the convictions overturned and the Supreme Court refused to hear a further appeal. The Medical Council committee which brought the disciplinary charge against Spittle said that among aggravating feature was his lack of remorse.
"Doctor struck off over historic indecent assaults against patient in Dunedin," NZ Herald, 22 Jun 2018, 


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