The disciplinary committee of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) has accepted the application for restoration to the Register from a Portsmouth-based veterinary surgeon who was originally removed in 2018 following a conviction for making indecent images of children.
Simon Wood was originally removed from the Register in June 2018, following the December 2017 conviction and January 2018 sentencing which saw him receive a community sentence and made subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for a period of five years.
Mr Simon Wood had previously applied to rejoin the Register in 2020 but his application was rejected on that occasion.
The hearing for his current application took place on Wednesday 27 and Thursday 28 September.
At the outset of the hearing, Mr Simon Wood’s counsel said the basis for the current application was that he:
- was professionally competent to be restored
- he had strong mitigation for his offending
- had consistently and repeatedly expressed and demonstrated profound remorse
- posed a low risk of re-offending; had proactively engaged with the Probation Service and voluntary counselling to gain further insight into his offending
- and had completed his community sentence and was no longer subject to any of the court orders arising from his conviction.
Having heard the evidence from Mr Simon Wood and his counsel, it was for the Committee to decide if he was fit to be restored to the Register.
The factors it considered in doing so were:
- whether he had accepted the findings of the Committee at its original hearing
- the seriousness of the offences; whether he demonstrated insight; protection of the public and the public interest
- the future welfare of animals should he be restored to the Register
- length of time off the Register; conduct since removal
- and, evidence that he had kept up-to-date with veterinary knowledge, skills and practice.
Dr Kathryn Peaty, MRCVS, chairing the Committee and speaking on its behalf, said: “The Committee is satisfied that Mr Simon Wood has done everything required of him in order to be able to satisfy the Committee that he is fit to be restored to the Register.
“At the last application in June 2020, he was unsuccessful largely because of the outstanding ancillary Court Orders that did not conclude until early 2023. Those Orders have now concluded.
“He has shown significant insight into his offending behaviour. He has been proactive in his rehabilitation and taken significant steps to ensure there would be no repetition.
“He has a small, but strong, network of people around him who appear to genuinely care about him and support him. He has worked hard at maintaining his skills and knowledge, in so far as he has been able to in light of not being able to practise as a veterinary surgeon.
“He is thoughtful and realistic about his prospects going forward. His responses to questions about addiction were appropriate and persuasive. He has expressed genuine remorse and there is, in the Committee’s view, a public interest in allowing him to be restored to the Register.”
The full findings of the Disciplinary Committee can be found at the RCVS website.