W. Australia Forensic Psychologist Darryl Menaglio Fined, Banned for Professional Misconduct in Custody Case

October 25, 2019

A psychologist who attributed psychopathic traits to a father without justification, conveying that the father’s young son needed protection from him, has admitted professional misconduct.

According to documents published online on Friday by the State Administrative Tribunal, psychologist Darryl Menaglio was a single expert witness in a family court matter seven years ago when he wrote a report attributing traits of the personality disorder psychopathy to the father.

He did this “in circumstances where he had insufficient data or clinical evidence to justify that attribution,” according to a document published by the tribunal.

He did not get another psychologist trained in the diagnostic tool for psychopathy to administer that test to the father, and he continued to act as a single expert witness in family law matters until 2017.

The Psychology Board of Australia and the psychologist agreed to a set of sanctions after mediating on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the tribunal’s published orders.

The psychologist must pay a $20,000 fine and not act as a single expert witness, or court-­appointed expert, in proceedings in the Family Court of Western Australia or the Family Court of Australia.

The tribunal wrote that it was “satisfied that proper cause exists for disciplinary action” against the psychologist. Mitigating factors agreed to by both the Psychology Board of Australia and the psychologist included that he had a distinguished 38-year ­career as a clinical and forensic psychologist with no disciplinary history of any kind.

The father on Friday said: “It’s taken seven years to find this so-called ‘expert’ guilty of professional misconduct, the worst category of unprofessional behaviour, and for him to be banned from acting as a Family Court expert.

“How many kids’ lives have been ruined in the meantime?”

Source: “Expert psychology witness fined and banned,” Weekend Australian, October 19, 2019, URL: https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/expert-psychology-witness-fined-and-banned/news-story/87f7b5b7ee805fff16b5d71ea4b9a9a4?fbclid=IwAR03sYShjnJgaYvMy-5fbwXtUCavY3ZCj_fcCIehOOqFx-tJqBc8uqGe_qc and Decision and Order, Psychology Board of Australia and Menaglio [2018] VR47, published October 18, 2019.

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