06 Oct 2023
A tribunal has cancelled a nurse’s registration and disqualified her from applying for four years after she was convicted and imprisoned for aggravated robbery and attempted aggravated robbery.
Ms Tracy Joan Dawkins was arrested on 15 March 2020 and charged on 16 March 2020 with aggravated robbery of two service stations and the attempted aggravated robbery of a third by using or threatening force with a knife. She failed to notify the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) of the criminal charges within seven days of her becoming aware of them as required by sections 130(1) and 130(3)(a)(i) of the National Law.
She was convicted of all charges and sentenced to 50 months and 12 days imprisonment with a non-parole period of 18 months and on 31 May 2021 was released on home detention to serve the balance of her sentence.
The NMBA took immediate action and suspended Ms Dawkins’ registration after receiving a mandatory notification about her conduct the subject of the charges and her then benzodiazepine dependence.
The South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (tribunal) noted that Ms Dawkins’ conduct was not during her practice as a nurse however was satisfied her behaviour amounts to professional misconduct on the basis that it was conduct that is ‘substantially below the standard reasonably expected of a registered health practitioner’ and ‘inconsistent with the practitioner being a fit and proper person to hold registration’ as a nurse.
The tribunal ordered that she:
The tribunal noted that Ms Dawkins has been punished for her criminal conduct by her imprisonment, home detention and ongoing parole which as at the time of the tribunal’s decision was due to end on 14 January 2025. However the fact of punishment under the criminal law is not an answer to the question of whether disciplinary sanctions are necessary for the purpose of protection of the public and the upholding of professional nursing behavior and standards.
The tribunal’s decision was made on 15 March 2023 and is available on the AustLII website.