Ambulance boss Robert King struck off after concealing murder conviction

Image caption,
Mr King progressed to operations manager for SCAS

An ambulance manager has been struck off by a health regulator after failing to declare a murder conviction.

A Health and Care Profession Council panel heard Robert King worked in the service for 16 years after giving false information in his application form.

The hearing heard the murder raised "serious concerns about his suitability as a health care professional".

Mr King, 48, of Merton Road, Ambrosden, Oxfordshire, was convicted at Reading Crown Court in 1981.

He was not present at Friday's disciplinary hearing in London.

It was alleged he was dishonest by also failing to admit to a conviction for stealing a motor vehicle and ticking the "no previous convictions" box on his job application forms.

Nicola Baston, chair of the panel, said: "Murder is an offence of the utmost gravity. Failure to disclose it is a very serious omission."

'Took a life'

The disciplinary committee heard that when later asked by David Williams, head of emergency operations at South Central Ambulance Service (North) about the conviction, he replied: "It's not as simple as that. I can't discuss it, I need some time to speak to my wife."

Mr King also claimed to have mentioned the conviction in one of his job interviews for the ambulance service and been told not to worry about it.

Elizabeth Taheri told the committee: "We have no details of the circumstances of the offence but that should not trouble you.

"Mr King took another person's life and that raises serious concerns about his suitability as a health care professional."

Mr King joined the ambulance service in March 1995. He trained as an ambulance technician before becoming a paramedic in 1997 and an air ambulance paramedic in 1999.

He progressed to assistant operations manager in 2001 before taking up the post of operations manager in 2007.

'Unaware of background'

A South Central Ambulance Service statement said: "Patient safety and public confidence in the ambulance service are of paramount importance... we are committed to providing the best possible mobile health care to a resident population of four million people across four counties.

"The trust was only recently made aware by the police of the serious conviction that ex-employee Robert King was sentenced for, as a minor, in 1981.

"Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) checks were not in existence at this time and consequently the trust was unaware of his background."

In April Mr King was found guilty at Oxford Magistrates' Court of drink driving after crashing his work car into a shop window in Oxford.

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