By: Melissa Nightingale
The case of a former Whanganui doctor arrested at Wellington Airport in 2015 has been dragged out yet again, with the man’s sentencing postponed until next year.
The man, who has interim name suppression, was due to be sentenced in the Wellington District Court yesterday on charges of using a forged document as if it were genuine, using a document for monetary advantage, and making a false statement or declaration.
The 36-year-old was employed by Whanganui District Health Board in 2015 after providing a fake document – a certificate of good standing.
According to the Medical Council of New Zealand, a certificate of good standing confirms a doctor’s registration and notes whether or not there have been any complaints, investigations, or disciplinary action in the time of the doctor’s registration.
The man pleaded guilty to the charges in September after a drawn-out court process.
Despite the sentencing being set for yesterday and his defence lawyer John Dean being told to file submissions seven days in advance, he only filed them yesterday morning.
Judge Peter Hobbs said it would be “unfair to insist police continue under these circumstances”.
Mr Dean filed an application for a discharge without conviction, as well as an application for permanent name suppression, which Judge Hobbs said police should be given time to consider.
He remanded the matter to February 14 for sentencing.
At the time the offence came to light in 2015, Whanganui health board chief executive Julie Patterson said she “believed no patient has been negatively affected by this doctor”.
“While employed by the health board, the doctor was under appropriate supervision. He was stood down immediately, concerns were identified.”
Source: Wanganui Chronicle