Nurse struck off after sex taunts at Budleigh

A Budleigh Salterton care home owner has taken a strong line over the sexual harassment of staff.

Pinewood Residential and Nursing Home nurse John Cauldwell was struck off after a medical disciplinary hearing heard how he told a colleague to pull her trousers down so he could spank her bottom, touched her inappropriately and stared at another female worker’s bottom while giggling.

Nursing home director Philip Sadeghi said Cauldwell, who worked at the home for just two weeks, was suspended immediately and fired following reports of his lewd behaviour.

Mr Sadeghi said sexual harassment would never be tolerated at Pinewood.

He said: “The reason I held a disciplinary hearing and dismissed him was because I wanted to make an example of him.

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“It was stupidity on his part.

“He was suspended and dismissed as soon as the incident was reported to me, which was over a period of two days. We held a disciplinary hearing, although we didn’t have to hold one because he had worked for us under a year.

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“We did because I thought it was so severe.”

The Nursing and Midwifery Council heard how, in 2009, Cauldwell began harassing a female carer at Pinewood.

He touched her leg and, when he was told to stop, he continued.

He also made an ‘inappropriate’ comment to the carer over a two-way radio, instructing her to ‘pull down your trousers and I will spank you’.

Another female co-worker was subjected to Cauldwell putting his arm around her waist and sliding it down to her buttocks, later saying: “Hello, gorgeous, if I was a few years younger or you were a few years older, then, you know.”

The hearing deemed these and other offences, including placing his hand over a care assistant’s hand, were sexually motivated.

Cauldwell was struck off after being found guilty of all the charges put to him at a hearing in Cardiff.

Sheila Hewitt, the panel chairman, said: “The serious nature of the registrant’s inappropriate behaviour was exacerbated by the fact that the colleagues concerned were junior staff to whom he should have been a role model and leading by example.

“In addition, it is clear that the behaviour in the majority of theses charges occurred in the presence or potential hearing of residents, as well as the colleagues concerned.”

Cauldwell, from Barry Island, South Wales, claimed his actions were ‘harmless horseplay’.

The nurse was also found guilty of failing to administer residents’ drugs and disregarding an ‘urgent’ request to change a dressing in danger of ‘faecal contamination’.

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