Sept 2004

Sex attack vet taken off register

Laurence Swift has been struck off the veterinary surgeons’ register

A Herne Bay man who admitted indecent assault on a girl in July has been found unfit to practise as a vet.

Laurence Swift who ran the St Francis Veterinary Clinic in Canterbury Road, was struck off the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) register.

The college’s disciplinary committee ruled his crime against the 12-year-old girl rendered him unfit to practise.

The 57-year-old was also found guilty of “disgraceful conduct” in his treatment of a cat.

In a three-day case, the committee heard allegations that he used unlicensed medicine on a cat, called Blue, and mistreated a dog found to have teeth missing after an X-ray.

The committee heard the cat had to be put down the day after being given the drugs.

Blue had to be put down after being given unlicensed drugs

The committee ordered his name to be removed from the register because of the indecent assault, which Swift admitted at Canterbury Crown Court in July, and also because of his treatment of Blue.

After the hearing, Blue’s owner, Joan Williams, said: “He thrust this tube down his throat, but obviously it went down the windpipe and just smothered his lungs in this formula.

“That’s what he had to be put down for, because his lungs were full up with the stuff.”

Allegations relating to the dog, called Jess, were dismissed.

Gordon Hockey, RCVS spokesman, said: “Veterinary surgeons, as professionals, have wider responsibilities than just in the care of animals.

“His conduct can have an effect on the profession’s reputation and it’s on that that he is being judged.

“In addition, there were three charges that related to his inappropriate use of medicines and his lack of regard for the welfare of a cat, and on those charges he’s been directed to be removed from the register as well.”