herald

Friday 17 August 2018

Cruel mum is banned from being a nurse

A NURSE jailed for "horrific" cruelty to her eight-year-old daughter -- including holding the child under scalding showers -- has failed to have her name restored to the nursing register.

The High Court's Mr Justice George Birmingham said the gravity of the abuse by the nurse, who cannot be identified, made it inevitable her name would be erased from the register even though it would cause her hardship.

The abuse was horrific and prolonged, he said. "The very notion of a nurse who has a history of having engaged in sustained cruelty, caring for patients, is one that shocks."

Qualities such as kindness, gentleness and patience as well as professional competence are at the very heart of what the nursing profession is about and at the heart of how society views its nurses and what it expects of them, he said.

The woman, who qualified as a nurse in Asia in 1988 and worked in an Ulster hospital, argued she had already paid a heavy penalty, including jail, loss of her job, and questions over her immigration status and that of her husband.



Bruising

The nurses' regulatory body, An Bord Altranais, argued she posed a threat to patient safety.

She was given an 18-month jail term in 2010 for the abuse which, according to a garda who led an investigation into it, involved the child's skin being pinched with two fingers, pulled out and twisted, leaving her with severe bruising all over her body. She had a number of severe burn marks which were inflicted by pouring scalding water over her and holding her under a scalding shower.

Her mother also pulled large amounts of hair from the child's body, the judge said.

A psychiatrist's report said that, should stress arise in her personal life in the future, there would be a risk she would revert to "displacement strategies" to cope with her anger and vulnerable individuals could be at risk

It was argued that it was open to the court to allow her to remain on the register subject to conditions such as requiring her to attend her local mental health service for a year to monitor the risk of relapse.

The judge ruled there was no statutory basis for imposing conditions on her registration.

hnews@herald.ie

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