Mr Benjamin Bolton – Optometrist – Registration cancelled for professional misconduct and unsatisfactory professional conduct
16 November 2021
The Health Care Complaints Commission prosecuted a complaint against Mr Benjamin Bolton, an optometrist working in locum positions in NSW and Victoria, before the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal (‘the Tribunal’).
Mr Bolton had been convicted of 19 criminal offences between 2004 and 2017. The convictions included multiple counts of driving with a high range prescribed concentration of alcohol, multiple counts of assault, as well as stalking/intimidation and resisting arrest. The complaint of impairment alleged that Mr Bolton suffered from a mood disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, alcohol use disorder and personality vulnerabilities. The Commission also alleged that as a result of his impairment, Mr Bolton was not competent to practise the profession of optometry because it was of a sufficient nature and degree to impair his mental capacity to practise. It was further alleged that Mr Bolton failed to comply with reporting requirements, including failing to notify the National Board of certain charges and convictions within 7 days and failing to disclose in his annual statements for renewal any changes in his criminal history and any impairments.
In October 2021, the Tribunal found all of the complaints proven, except for the complaint alleging Mr Bolton was not competent. The Tribunal indicated that the circumstances demonstrated there had been a ‘steady escalation’ to Mr Bolton’s criminal conduct, and that his offending against his father and work colleague were incompatible with respect for the health, welfare and safety of the public. The Tribunal found Mr Bolton unfit in the public interest to practise optometry and cancelled his registration, with a non-review period of 18 months.
A copy of the full decision can be found here: NSW Caselaw.
For further information, contact the Executive Officer of the Health Care Complaints Commission, on 9219 7444 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The information in this media release is correct at the time of publication. Orders may change; for example, conditions may no longer apply. For current information regarding the status of a registered health practitioner, including any conditions that currently apply, please check the National Register at www.ahpra.gov.au
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