Mr Rajiv Muthunesan – Registered nurse – Registration cancelled
17 November 2021
The Health Care Complaints Commission prosecuted a complaint against registered nurse Mr Rajiv Muthunesan before the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (‘the Tribunal’). It was alleged that Mr Muthunesan:
- was convicted of three offences: an offence of reckless wounding and two offences of common assault
- failed to notify the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia of his charge and conviction for the offences, and
- provided false and/or misleading information to Ahpra that he had no prior convictions, when he had been convicted of two driving offences in February 2009.
The three offences occurred against a single victim in a convenience store in the early hours of 24 September 2017. The Local Court Magistrate found that Mr Muthunesan was under the influence of alcohol and responded to two homophobic slurs from the victim, a security guard from a nearby venue, by spitting twice in his face (the two common assault offences). A scuffle then occurred and Mr Muthunesan was dragged from the store by the victim’s colleagues, at which time the victim struck him in the head. The victim went into a bathroom in the convenience store to wash his face and Mr Muthunesan returned to the store on two occasions to try and confront him. On the second occasion a scuffle broke out, during which Mr Muthunesan was pushed to the ground, got up, and struck the victim in the face with a broken umbrella. The victim suffered a wound to his cheek requiring 19 stitches and cuts to his ear requiring suture glue.
Mr Muthunesan did not attend the hearing and did not provide any reply to the complaint.
On 10 November 2021, the Tribunal determined that Mr Muthunesan’s registration should be cancelled and imposed a non-review period of three months. The Tribunal made this decision based on the circumstances of Mr Muthunesan’s convictions and his failure to notify the National Board of his charges and convictions, the latter amounting to both unsatisfactory professional conduct and professional misconduct. The Tribunal did not find that Mr Muthunesan had made a false or misleading statement that he had no prior convictions, citing the time that had elapsed since the driving offences occurred and their limited seriousness.
The Tribunal took into account that Mr Muthunesan’s offences occurred whilst he was intoxicated and in response to homophobic slurs, and that he was supported by personal and professional references indicating his behaviour was out of character. However, the Tribunal found that Mr Muthunesan’s lack of involvement in proceedings meant that it was unable to assess his current remorse or insight into the conduct, such that cancellation was appropriate.
The full decision can be found here: NSW Caselaw.
For further information, contact the Executive Officer of the Health Care Complaints Commission, on 02 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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