West Midlands paramedic had sex with vulnerable patient

Image caption,
Trevor Finnerty, who was based in Nuneaton was called to the home of the "vulnerable" woman in January 2017.

A paramedic has been struck off the health register after having sex with a "vulnerable" patient while on duty.

Trevor Finnerty, who worked for West Midlands Ambulance Service, was called to the woman's home in January 2017.

He said he was "blackmailed" into having sex with her, but a misconduct panel heard he had later texted the woman.

At a hearing on Thursday the Health and Care Professions Tribunals Service found him unfit to practise.

The ambulance service said it had carried out a "a full disciplinary investigation" and Mr Finnerty, who had been based around Nuneaton, would have been dismissed if he had not resigned.

The patient, who cannot be named, had "serious mental health issues", the panel heard, while the paramedic, who had more than 30 years' experience, had been working alone on a rapid response vehicle at the time.

In a statement to police Mr Finnerty said the woman had invited him into her bedroom during his visit.

He said he had refused but she then "threatened to tell his boss that he had done it anyway", so he agreed to her demands "out of fear".

However, he described the encounter to police as "quite erotic".

'Brunt of blame'

Giving its ruling, the panel found his version of events to be "unconvincing and implausible".

It heard how he later returned to get the woman's phone number and sent her a text message, saying: "'This is u friendly ambulance service, how was u service".

The woman then called the police.

Mr Finnerty acknowledged in a statement to his manager that he "must take the brunt of the blame" for what happened.

However, the panel heard that in a written submission Mr Finnerty said the patient had, in effect, "duped" him into following her upstairs and then "threatened" him into having sex with her and he suggested he was "a victim of rape".

The paramedic had worked for the service since May 1982 and resigned in February 2017.

The panel said Mr Finnerty said he had undergone counselling and was "keeping himself busy with church activities".

A report by the panel heard he had not been charged with any criminal offence.

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