A former nurse manager at a hospital in Braidwood had her nursing registration revoked after attacking a woman with a horse whip.
Robert Richardson has worked as a Registered Nurse at Braidwood Multi-Purpose Service Hospital since 2006 before becoming a Nursing Administrator in 2014, a recent decision by the NSW Civil and Administrative Court.
In 2020, he was found guilty of one count of assault that caused actual bodily harm by the Queanbeyan District Court and was sentenced to an 18-month conditional release order, but was not convicted.
In May of that year, the woman ended her relationship with Richardson, but had to stay home for a few days before moving out.
She was making tea in the kitchen when Richardson walked in with a one meter long horse whip.
He used the tip of his whip to hit her leg three times, inflicting pain and bruising.
The woman eventually locked herself in the house after Richardson got out and began collecting her belongings, but soon returned. With her door locked, he entered through her laundry window and chased her around her house, still holding her whip.
The New South Wales Nursing Midwives Council suspended his nursing registration in September 2020.
The Health Care Complaints Commission then went to court, seeking to have his registration revoked for 12 months, arguing that he was under criminal investigation and guilty of poor professional conduct.
Richardson did not attend the hearing against him and did not answer two calls from the court during the September 2022 hearing.
The committee argued that domestic violence is inherently serious, diametrically opposed to nursing practice, and should be found to render Richardson unfit for practice.
The court eventually found that each petitioner of the Commission on Richardson was established and canceled his nursing registration for six months. He cannot ask for a review of the order at that time.
“If a practitioner shows up, shows remorse, and shows some insight into his behavior, it seems less likely to issue a protective order such as suspension or reprimand,” the court said.
“Given the objective seriousness of the conduct, we have come to the conclusion that short-term revocation is the appropriate protective order to maintain public confidence in the profession.”