UK medical tribunal finds psychiatrist Malcolm Darley guilty of misconduct; convicted of soliciting a prostitute

June 9, 2010

A psychiatrist has been sacked in disgrace after he was caught kerb-crawling [driving slowly along the curb seeking sex from prostitutes or other women].

Malcolm Darley, who described his life as that of a 'gregarious and sociable bachelor', was arrested by plain-clothed officers patrolling a red light zone after they saw him disappear into an alleyway with a prostitute.

But when they brought him back to the station, he gave his name as 'Malcolm Darling' and invented a date of birth exactly one year later than his real one.

His lie was quickly exposed, however, and he was later convicted of soliciting a prostitute and obstructing police and fined £300.

Yet Dr Darley's public shame as a result of his indiscretion was still not complete - he was placed under investigation at a mental health unit where he worked for failing to inform his employers.

Today, as he was found guilty of misconduct by the General Medical Council over the embarrassing saga which it said showed a 'pattern of dishonesty', it was revealed that he had now been sacked.

The consultant psychiatrist, who specialised in treating personality disorders at Wavertree mental health unit in Liverpool, had driven his Volvo 65 miles from his home in Southport to Stoke-on-Trent, the disciplinary hearing was told.

There he was watched by undercover officers cruising through the city's red light zone, slowing down when he came across a prostitute.

But while he was chatting with her, the officers walked over, Andrew Coleman, counsel for the GMC, told the hearing in Manchester.

'She recognised the officers and walked away. It seems the doctor did as well, and walked away. But both of them were stopped in a nearby alleyway.'

Dr Darley said he was 'just out for some fresh air' after going for dinner with friends, claiming he had pulled over to use his mobile phone and had no idea he was in the red light district.

He said the prostitute had approached him 'asking if he wanted business'.

Back at the station the doctor was recorded on CCTV spelling out his surname as 'Darling', also shifting his date of birth forward by exactly a year.

However, checks established his real identity, and when challenged he claimed 'it must have been a mistake'.

Dr Darley refused to answer further questions and was later convicted of soliciting and obstruction at Stoke-on-Trent magistrates' court over the incident in April 2008.

But while he informed his employer, Mersey Care NHS Trust, of his arrest, he did not disclose that he had also been charged with using false details.

Challenged later, he blamed an 'oversight', saying he was embarrassed and may have forgotten to put the information in.

He said after the incident he had been 'deeply embarrassed to face people or even speak on the phone'.

After internal disciplinary proceedings were launched, Darley claimed the officer 'had misheard' his name.

Later, however, he admitted to bosses that he was aware that the details he had given to officers were incorrect and admitted he could have corrected them.

Today the doctor was found guilty of misconduct charges following a three-day tribunal at the GMC. He could now face being struck off.

Panel chairman Andrew Reid told Darley he had shown 'repeated dishonesty' quite apart from having broken the law.

'It was apparent to this panel that you remain reluctant to confront the reality of your convictions and the behaviour which led to them,' he added.

'Your behaviour has brought the profession into disrepute and represents a serious failure to uphold proper standards of conduct and behaviour.'

Dr Darley had been suspended a year before the kerb-crawling incident after being arrested when 71 indecent images of children were found on his home computer.

Wraps of amphetamine and cocaine were also found in a sock drawer.

However he was acquitted of possessing the images last year following a trial where he claimed someone else could have accessed his computer in his 'open household'.

'I was a single man in a large house, I was very sociable, very gregarious,' he told the court. 'I was very open, probably too open.'

The drugs charges were dropped.

The doctor, who now lives in Carnforth, Lancashire, was sacked in January last year and has not worked in medicine since.

Source: James Tozer, "Psychiatrist sacked after being caught kerb-crawling... and then giving police false name," Daily Mail, June 9, 2010.


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