A Wellington nurse has been deregistered after being brought before the New Zealand Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal following two charges of indecent assault against a colleague.
David Savage, 43, has had his registration as a nurse cancelled and ordered to pay $4400 in costs to the tribunal and the Professional Conduct Committee appointed by the Nursing Council of New Zealand for the hearing.
The tribunal decision was released today following the hearing in February.
In 2017 Savage was convicted in the District Court on two counts of indecent assault against a colleague.
The court sentenced Savage to six months’ community detention and 150 hours of community work.
Sentencing notes from the court hearing said Savage and a colleague were working a night shift together when he made inappropriate comments of a sexual nature.
Then when in the hospital pharmacy he “grabbed his colleague’s left breast
over her clothing and squeezed while placing his left hand on her back, asking
her for a ‘quickie’, and made other inappropriate sexual suggestions to her”.
Later in the evening, Savage saw the same colleague in another part of the hospital.
“Mr Savage grabbed the colleague on the bottom, rubbed the inside of her thigh and then between her legs at the genital area; and made inappropriate comments to her as he was doing so.”
The sentencing notes also said, “It was clear from the evidence heard at trial that black humour, sexual innuendo and comment were part of the working environment, often used to relieve stress and lighten the load in a difficult and stressful working environment.”
Referring to the two assaults, the tribunal said it found that “the convictions entered against Mr Savage on which the charge is based are qualifying convictions that reflect adversely on his fitness to practise as a nurse”.
It also said “Savage’s conduct fell well below that expected of a nurse”.
Savage was also noted to be absent at the tribunal hearing.